Sooji halwa is a popular dessert across India, where it is also called rava sheera or rava kesari. It is made by combining sooji, or semolina, with clarified butter, sugar, nuts, and cardamom. Here, clarified butter is replaced with melted vegan butter and it's topped with a mixture of raisins, almond, and walnuts. While it is often made for special occasions like Diwali, sooji halwa needs no reason to be made — it's great for whenever you're craving a quick, sweet treat.

Sooji Halwa: Indian Semolina Dessert [Vegan]



  • 1/2 cup semolina (sooji)
  • 1/3 cup melted vegan butter
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 5-6 flaked almonds
  • 5-6 chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder


  1. Pour water into a saucepan and bring it to boil over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat melted butter and semolina over medium heat. Stir until ingredients are well combined. Let it cook for about 10 minutes, until it takes on a light golden color.
  3. Turn down the heat and gradually incorporate the hot water while stirring. Increase the heat and cook until the water is reduced completely. Add the cardamom and sugar, then let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture to obtain semi-solid consistency. Add the almonds, walnuts, and raisins, then mix to combine.
  4. Decorate with nuts before serving. You can serve it in bowls or, like the photo, you can shape it into squares.