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Sweet Potato Pudding / Sweet Potato Halwa / Shakarkandi Halwa

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Sweet Potato Halwa or Shakarkandi Halwa is a sweet potato-based sweet dessert pudding from Indian subcontinent. Easy, delicious and a healthy dessert which can be served on any occasion.
Sweet potato halwa or also known as Shakarkandi halwa is a popular dessert, traditionally made with boiled sweet potatoes, cooked with some milk, sugar, and ghee or clarified butter. Flavored with green cardamom for a nice aromatic flavor. Rich in nutrients and low in calories, this sweet potato halwa makes a great dessert that can be enjoyed anytime. Simple dessert made with just the few basic ingredients, is so rich, flavorful and delicious 😋.

Sweet Potato Pudding / Sweet Potato Halwa / Shakarkandi Halwa

As a kid growing up in India, I remember my mom used to make this sweet potato halwa specially during the festival time. This was one of my favorite foods to eat during the festivals. My mom used to make this with boiled white sweet potato, mix in some sugar, milk, some cardamom powder for the aromatic flavor and cook it in the ghee or clarified butter. Garnish with some nuts. The aromatic flavors from the cardamom powder, used to fill the whole house with sweet fragrance. We used to relish this sweet potato halwa with some poori (Indian bread). YUmmmmmmm😋😋


Sweet potato is such a versatile root vegetable, highly nutritious and low in calories, can be enjoyed in both savory and sweet dishes. Some of the sweet potato dishes I like, are sweet potato fries, chips (I air fry these for a healthier version of fries and chips). Mashed sweet potatoes topped with roasted pecans. Sweet potato pancakes, waffles, for a healthy breakfast. I also like to make sweet potato paratha (Indian style stuff flatbread). Add the sweet potatoes in curries, soups, stews and last but not the least my favorite sweet potato pudding. aka. sweet potato halwa. Possibilities are endless how one can use this incredibly delicious vegetable.

Sweet Potato Pudding / Sweet Potato Halwa / Shakarkandi Halwa

Traditionally, sweet potato halwa is made with boiled white sweet potatoes or shakarkandi. These boiled white sweet potatoes are further cooked in ghee, milk, sugar, until the sugar is well blended and the potato mixture resembles somewhat like a soft dough or halwa. Flavored with some cardamom powder, and garnished with some nuts. You can also make the same sweet potato halwa using the orange sweet potato. The main difference I find between the white sweet potatoes and orange sweet potatoes is that the orange sweet potatoes are slightly less sweet compared to the white sweet potatoes. Therefore, when I make halwa using orange sweet potatoes, I add little extra sugar for the sweetness.
I love to make this sweet potato halwa, its absolutely my family’s one of the favorite desserts. The fact that the potatoes have their natural sweetness, makes a great low-calorie dessert.

Sweet Potato Pudding / Sweet Potato Halwa / Shakarkandi Halwa

How to cook sweet potato halwa in Instant Pot?

Cooking sweet potato halwa in a Instant Pot is a breeze. In just under 10 mins you can actually make this yummylicious, melt-in-mouth sweet potato halwa in Instant Pot. The best part of this halwa is that you need not grate the sweet potato, unlike carrot halwa which takes quite some time. Peel and chop sweet potatoes and rest is taken care by IP. With minimum of effort and time, you can make this delicious sweet potato halwa. I bet you won’t stop eating this halwa 😍
Turn on Instant Pot on a saute mode(high), add a TBSP of ghee, when ghee melts, add peeled and diced sweet potatoes, a TBSP of sugar (IMPORTANT: do not skip this, sugar actually helps caramelize the sweet potatoes to bring out this nice nutty flavor), saute for 3-5 mins or until potatoes are slightly caramelized. Add half cup of whole milk, mix well. Pressure cook it on a high for 2 mins. A natural pressure release, around 5-10 mins. Turn on saute mode (high), add the remaining sugar or to taste, cardamom powder, almond flour, and freshly grated nutmeg. Cook until everything is incorporated well. This takes around 2-3 mins. At this point if you feel the halwa is too dry, you may add 1-2 TBSP of milk. Finally, add ghee(optional), mix well for a min. Dish out the halwa and garnish with your favorite toppings and the sweet potato halwa is ready to be devoured!!

Tips and Tricks

  • Why use sugar twice? Initially I add 1 TBSP of sugar when pressure cooking, this actually helps caramelize sweet potato and gives a nice nutty flavor to the halwa.  And later I add sugar as per taste. Now, depending upon how sweet the potatoes are and how sweet you like halwa, adjust the sugar. I used 1/3 cup of sugar in this recipe, ( 1 TBSP of sugar used while pressure cooking the potatoes  + the remaining sugar as per taste).
  • Why use ghee twice? I am using 2 TBSP of ghee in all for this recipe. Firstly, when pressure cooking, I saute potatoes in 1 TBSP of ghee. Secondly, at the end I added 1 more TBSP of ghee. This is totally optional. The second time ghee is used just to give a nice glaze or a shinny look to the halwa. If you would like to keep the halwa on a lighter side, you could totally skip adding ghee the second time, and the sweet potato halwa will still taste great.


  • Why use almond flour? I have a picky eater at home, my little one, my princess. She absolutely dislikes any kind of nuts in her food. And I think adding almond flour is the best way to sneak in some of the essential nutrients into her diet, without even her knowing 😃 Adding almond flour is optional, you could also add some handful of crushed almonds, will work just fine or make it nut-free, will totally do. Crushed pecans also taste great with sweet potatoes.
  • What other flavors can be added? Traditionally, green cardamom powder is added for flavoring. Some also like to add saffron. I love to add nutmeg, I think it gives halwa a very nice nutty flavor. Cinnamon is also a great spice to add.
  • Why add khoya? The consistency of sweet potato halwa is quite smooth. Adding khoya gives a nice texture to the halwa. Adding khoya is optional, I like to add a little for that added texture.
  • Sweet potatoes do soak up all the moisture and tend to dry out. You may add few TBSP of milk and warm it before serving. This helps moisten the halwa.
  • Half and half, heavy cream, condensed milk, dry milk powder, may also be used in this recipe for a rich flavor. If using any of these, add these after pressure cooking the potatoes.

Sweet Potato Pudding / Sweet Potato Halwa / Shakarkandi Halwa

How to store and serve sweet potato halwa?

  • Sweet Potato Halwa stays fresh in refrigerator for about a week.
  • I personally do not prefer to freeze sweet potato halwa. If frozen, I feel it does not taste the same.
  • Sweet potato halwa can be served warm or cold, it tastes yum either way🍨 Enjoy this North Indian delicacy, Sweet Potato Halwa with your loved ones and cherish good times!!



Sweet Potato Pudding/Sweet Potato Halwa - Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker

Sweet Potato Halwa or Shakarkandi Halwa is a sweet potato-based sweet dessert pudding from Indian subcontinent. Easy, delicious and a healthy dessert which can be served on any occasion!!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 to 6
Author Jyoti Behrani

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into 1 inch thickness
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 TBSP ghee / clarified butter Homemade Ghee
  • 1/3 cup sugar as per taste
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 TSP green cardamom powder
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • For garnish:
  • 1/4 cup mixed dry fruits nuts and seeds
  • walnuts, dried mango, almonds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds
  • 2-3 TBSP crumbled khoya

Instructions

Instructions for Instant Pot Cooking:

  • Turn on Instant Pot to saute mode (high).
  • When it displays "HOT", add 1 TBSP of ghee, chopped sweet potatoes, 1 TBSP of sugar. Mix well.
  • Saute for 3-5 mins or until sweet potatoes are slightly caramelized.  Add 1/2 cup of milk.  Mix well. Turn off Instant Pot.
  • Turn on Manual/Pressure cook mode (high), 2 mins, vent sealed. Followed by natural pressure release, around 10 mins. Open the IP lid.
  • Turn on saute mode (high), mash the sweet potatoes. You may use potato masher or with the spatula mash the potatoes. The consistency of sweet potato halwa is quite smooth.
  • Add remaining sugar (as per taste), cardamom powder, almond flour and freshly grated nutmeg. Mix well. Note: Using a cheese grater, fine grate nutmeg couple of time.
  • Saute on high, around 2-3 mins or until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Add 1 TBSP of ghee, mix well for 1-2 mins. Switch off Instant Pot.
  • Sweet potato halwa is ready to be served. Garnish with some mixed nuts and some crumbled khoya. Enjoy!!

Instructions for Pressure Cooker Cooking:

  • On a high heat, in a pressure cooker, add 1 TBSP of ghee, chopped sweet potatoes, 1 TBSP of sugar. Mix well.
  • Saute for 3-5 mins or until sweet potatoes are slightly caramelized.  Add 1/2 cup of milk.  Mix well.
  • Close the pressure cooker, vent sealed. After the first whistle, reduce the heat and cook for 2 mins. Followed by natural pressure release, around 10 mins. Open the pressure cooker lid.
  • On a high heat, mash the sweet potatoes. You may use potato masher or with the spatula mash the potatoes. The consistency of sweet potato halwa is quite smooth.
  • Add remaining sugar (as per taste), cardamom powder, almond flour and freshly grated nutmeg. Mix well. Note: Using a cheese grater, fine grate nutmeg couple of time.
  • Saute on high, around 2-3 mins or until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Add 1 TBSP of ghee, mix well for 1-2 mins. Switch off heat.
  • Sweet potato halwa is ready to be served. Garnish with some mixed nuts and some crumbled khoya. Enjoy!!

Instructions for Stove Top Cooking:

  • On a high heat, in a pot, add 1 TBSP of ghee, chopped sweet potatoes, 1 TBSP of sugar. Mix well.
  • Saute for 3-5 mins or until sweet potatoes are slightly caramelized.  Add 1/2 cup of milk.  Mix well.
  • Cover and cook the potatoes until soft.
  • Mash the sweet potatoes. You may use potato masher or with the spatula mash the potatoes. The consistency of sweet potato halwa is quite smooth.
  • Add remaining sugar (as per taste), cardamom powder, almond flour and freshly grated nutmeg. Mix well. Note: Using a cheese grater, fine grate nutmeg couple of time.
  • Saute on high, around 2-3 mins or until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Add 1 TBSP of ghee, mix well for 1-2 mins. Switch off heat.
  • Sweet potato halwa is ready to be served. Garnish with some mixed nuts and some crumbled khoya. Enjoy!!

Video

Notes

1. Chop the sweet potatoes, around 1 inch thickness.
2. Adjust the sweetness as per taste.
3. Almond flour is optional, you can substitute crushed almonds instead or make it nut-free.
4. Nuts of choice such as cashews, raisins may also be added.
5. Butter may be substituted instead of ghee. But traditionally halwa is made using ghee.
6. Cardamom powder and nutmeg gives sweet potato halwa a nice aroma.
7. Use heavy bottom pot for cooking halwa on a stove top. Helps prevent sticking of halwa at the bottom.
8. Halwa stays good for a week in a refrigerator.
9. Instead of sugar, you can also use condensed milk, gives halwa a nice rich taste.
10. Khoya is optional, but it gives nice texture to the halwa. Khoya is easily available in most Indian/Asian grocery stores.
11. Reduce fat milk may be substituted for whole milk. Please do not use skim milk for this recipe.
12. Half and half, cream, dry milk powder, condensed milk, may also be used for extra flavor. If using any of these, add these after pressure cooking the potatoes.
13. How to serve and store sweet potato?-checkout the discussion earlier in the post .
14. Tips and Tricks-checkout the discussion earlier in the post.



Jyoti Behrani

Hello!! Welcome to my blog, my journey Living Smart and Healthy! Cook with me easy and authentic Indian food and around the globe. Will be sharing tips and tricks on easy authentic cooking, without spending hours in the kitchen or comprising on authentic flavors. Keeping things simple and healthy is what I am all about. Life is simple, so lets keep cooking simple too!!

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