Thirunelveli Halwa- A sweet delicacy!

04 Mar

The First time when i made this sweet was during my school days. Somewhere i read this recipe and made it. It came out good at the first time. This Sweet is so close to me as it reminds me of my childhood memories. My father used to buy this sweet from  a place called Thirunelvi, a region in southern part of Tamilnadu. The sweet is named after this city’s name. Though there are many different varieties to Halwa, this is something unique that i have come across.

The Preparation itself is a 4 step process. At first, wheat kernels have to be soaked overnight. Second, wet grinding the wheat and extracting the wheat milk. Third leaving it to rest for another 8 hrs. The fourth and the last step is the final preparation.  In Indian sweet shops, this halwa wont be having this cube  form as it is in this picture. As it is too soft and not stable, it will be difficult to make perfect square. Usually it is shapeless and scooped, weighed and sold in kilograms.

It feels like very soft jelly like although it is not completely jelly, and melts in mouth in no minutes. If you are diet conscious please stay one step back because once u try a spoon of it, you may feel addicted to it and may try to finish it.

Last Diwali, I made this sweet and shared with our friends. Got some nice comments from them and especially, D requested me for this recipe. So here goes the recipe….


  1. Wheat Milk – 1 , 1/2 cup ( from 1 cup of wheat kernels)
  2. Sugar – 3 cups
  3. Indian Clarified Butter(Ghee)- 1 ,1/2 cups
  4. Almonds – sliced 1/4 cup
  5. Powdered Cardamom –   Blend 5 cardamom pods and 2 Tbs Sugar to get fine powder
  6. Food color – a pinch of red and green each..


1. Soak the wheat Kernels with sufficient water for 7 to 8 hours preferably overnight.

2. Drain the water and wash the grains with fresh water.

3. Add the wheat and some water to a blender jar and blend it until coarse to smooth consistency.  Take a big  bowl using a strainer pour this ground mixture.

You can see that the wheat milk is getting collected and use a spoon to help drain the liquid thoroughly.

4. Take the husk or the outer layer of wheat which remains in the strainer, and add some more water and blend it and then strain it. Repeat this whole process,

blending, straining 2 to 3 times. Please be liberal in adding water at this point.

5. Leave this wheat milk in a kitchen corner undisturbed to atleast 5 to 6 hrs. The traditional recipe (which i remember from my long memory) will call to leave this milk  overnight, for 8 hrs. It does two things basically, one is to separate the water from this batter and the other is to let ferment.

6. This  liquid will look like pancake batter. After all the resting time, you can see the water is separated and solid white part of it stays down. Now take this bowl near to the sink and slightly tilt the vessel such that the clear water is removed. You may notice, the last couple of spoons of water will be difficult to be removed, let it be.  With 1 cup of Wheat you may get 1 and half cup batter.

7. Now we are all set to prepare this delicious sweet. Take a good flat non stick pan and add this batter and 4 cups of water. .Now switch on the heat and keep it to medium to low medium heat in the overall process.

8. When this mixture slightly starts boiling add in the sugar and keep stirring.

9. After some time you may notice, the mixture gets into thick batter consistency and now add it half of ghee and mix it.

10. Then on you can add the remaining ghee from time to time and fully incorporate it. Add in color if desired.

11. This whole cooking process may require 1 hr to 1.5 hrs. You may have to stop cooking when u see that the halwa has come together in to a lump.

12. The excess ghee which is floating on top can be removed with the help of spoon.

13. Finally finish it with cardamom and sliced almonds.

14. You can leave it like this. OR Take a steel plate or tray, apply ghee all over the plate. Spread this mixture and leave it until it cools down.

15 . With a sharp knife, slice it  and enjoy this by serving it warm. ( you may not get perfect cubes as the Halwa is too soft and unstable to handle.)


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Leave a Reply


  1. Priya

    March 4, 2013 at 1:56 am

    Making Thirunelveli halwa goes for a tedious work, i dont bother to make them atleast once a year at home..Beautiful slices, love it.

  2. Sharu

    March 4, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Devi, its another tempting n yummy dish:-) from you…

  3. Treat and Trick

    March 5, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Long process but the hard work paid off, simply irresistible!

  4. Amy Tong

    March 8, 2013 at 3:34 am

    I’ve never tried Thirunelveli Halwa before but I have a feeling that I would love this sweet treat….and eat them all up in one sitting. 😉

  5. Ramaa

    May 1, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Hi Sridevi! Just heard from Hema that you have posted halwa in the site. As always you didn’t fail to explain every detail and the picture is awesome. Kudos to you 🙂 Happy cooking!