Tirunelveli Halwa / Wheat Halwa

My Halwa Love:

Halwa, my love. Halwa, you are one of the reasons for me to own a blog, today. The first ever time, I prepared and relished you was the time I conceived the idea of owning a blog and here I am writing about you, today. I am deeply in love with you, my dear Halwa. <3 <3 <3

I wrote in my facebook timeline when i prepared Halwa for the first time,  more than a year ago that I could eat any amount of Halwa, at any point of time in any given day and thanked my Amma for sharing the recipe to me. When friends began to ask me for the recipe, I somehow managed not to share the recipe immediately as I wanted to write it down in my blog, sometime. How bad is that ! :)

Will you believe if I say that I make atleast once in three weeks? I have tried making it in different methods even when I did not get Samba Wheat. I have used some other wheat variety.

1. Using Sugar Syrup
2. Using Brown Sugar
3. Using Palm Sugar (Karuppati)
4. Using Fermented Wheat milk
5. Using Fresh Wheat milk

Every time I made it, It was a super hit. The Halwa just slides into the throat and pleases every cells of the body ;) :) Okay, I understand that you are tired of my bragging. :) . I am stopping it here for your goodness :). Just Continue you to read...

Tirunelveli Halwa / Wheat Halwa:

Tirunelveli is a southern district of Tamilnadu and the name 'Tirunelveli' reminds anyone of it's very own super famous delicious sweet 'Halwa'. This is a Rajasthani Sweet which has made a great hit in Tamiladu. The Perennial river Tamirabarani that flows across the city, imparts a special taste to the Halwa. As the name says, the river water is rich in Copper (Copper is Tamiram in Tamizh ) and the copper content should be the secret invisible ingredient for the yummylicious Halwa, I believe.
You can find so many Halwa shops being lined up throughout the East car street of the Halwa City. However, the 'Irutu Kadai' (meaning the dark shop) has a special place in the hearts of localities and the people everywhere. The Irutu Kadai opens at 5 and closes at 7:30 every evening.  Every Halwa Shops down the lane has its unique taste which only the localites could easily find. 
Halwa is so staple for the Tirunelvelians. No one can refuse if I say that Halwa is a part of their daily diet too :) ;).

The one that you see here, is the easiest and a fool proof recipe of Wheat halwa.  I would recommend this method. Please scroll down to have look at the variations that can be made to the Halwa.

Preparation Time : Soaking time - 8 to 10  hours / overnightCook Time : 40 minutes

Samba Whole Wheat berries1 unit
Sugar3 units
Ghee2 units
Water1 & 1/2 units

Directions to make Tirunelveli Halwa:

1. Wash and soak Samba Whole wheat berries overnight or minimum 8 to 10 hours.

2. Drain water from the soaked wheat berries. Grind the wheat berries with 1 unit of water, first. 

3. Extract milk from the berries using a strainer. 

4. Add 1/2 unit of water and grind it again and strain milk from it.

5. On a low flame burner, add 1 unit of water. Add 3 units of Sugar. (I have used organic unrefined brown Sugarcane Sugar).

6. Allow it to boil till the sugar completely dissolves.

7. Give a nice stir to the milk, to avoid the milk getting settled at the bottom of the vessel.

8. Add the milk slowly to the pan while stirring the sugar with another hand.

9. Once the milk starts to thicken, add ghee little by little at regular intervals. Whenever, the ghee is not seen on the halwa, add little ghee to it.

10. Around 30 - 35 minutes from the time of adding wheat milk, the halwa will start to thicken and moves along with the laddle when you stir.

11. To be precise, around 38 to 40 minutes, you would find the Halwa rolling up and the ghee that was poured in is oozing out.
The Halwa is completely cooked. You could now turn off the stove and allow the halwa to cool down.

12. Serve the Halwa in plantain leaf. The smell of halwa and the fresh banana leaf together smells so heavenly. True bliss.

I have used 1/2 cup  of wheat berries, 1.5 cups of sugar and 1 cup of ghee which yielded 740 grams of Halwa.

1/2 cup is 120 ml.


1. White sugar can also be used. To get the dark golden brownish color to the halwa, sugar caramelisation has to be done.

To caramelise sugar:
 (i)  Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of ghee in a dry pan. Let it boil for few minutes. The sugar first turns to a crystal and then dissolves. Watch for the color of the sugar till it turns brown. This process should 4 to 5 minutes. Add the caramelised sugar to the wheat milk and sugar content in the pan.

2. The ghee that oozes from the halwa can be separated and stored for later use. You can use that ghee while making Dosai.
3. Halwa tends to thicken over time. It can be reheated on a dosa pan or a skillet. The ghee will melt again and the halwa gets nice and soft.
4. Use only Samba variety Wheat.


1. There is another way that we make Halwa which involves making of sugar syrup to single consistency and then adding up wheat milk to it. However, I prefer the method (which you see in the video) as I find it easy and it tastes equally good.
2. The Wheat milk can be allowed to ferment for 8 hours or overnight. The halwa shops uses fermented milk, in their preparation.
3. There is a recipe for Karupatti Halwa, which I would be writing later. The measurement of Wheat : Karuppati / Palm Sugar differs from this Wheat Halwa. I have tried it once. Will make it specially for the blog again and share it with all the Karuppati lovers :)
4. Broken Wheat Rava is also used to make Halwa. I am yet to try it. I shall try and post it sometime later.
5. You can fry few cashew nuts in a spoonful of ghee and add it to the Halwa, before turning off the stove.

You can never get wrong if you adhere to the instructions, here. Please write to me when you have tried and tasted it at home. Your feedback will make me happy.

Post Author

Shankari Bagavathi

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food." -George Bernard Shaw


  1. nice click.. Loved the first one.. Halwa looks so tasty

  2. Awesome Recipe! I love your site.. All recipes posted in your site are different and delicious. Keep going!



  3. My FAVOURITE Shanki -just looking at it brings back all the childhood memories.

  4. ur halwa looks exactly in the color of iruttukadai halwa.. this stirs my childhood memories.. we used to buy dresses from rmkv, visit temple and stand in a queue for this halwa.. tat too served hot on a banana leaf..

    i have seen so many halwa recipes, but the color of this one is unique.. good job :)

    soon share ur karupatti halwa recipe.. i'm waiting for it..