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Sweet potato halwa, also known as Shakarkandi ka halwa is a popular dessert, traditionally served during festivals in India. This comforting dish is made with sweet potatoes, some milk, sugar, and ghee or clarified butter. Flavored with aromatic green cardamom and topped with some nuts.
The addition of nuts and khoya, add a nice crunch and an absolute eye pleasing appearance. It also pairs so well with the soft, pillowy sweet potatoes. This Sweet Potato Halwa recipe is a must try!!
Rich in nutrients and low in calories, this sweet potato halwa makes a great dessert as well as a side dish that can be enjoyed anytime. Easy, delicious and a healthy dessert made with just the few basic ingredients, is so rich, flavorful and delicious 😋.
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. Possibilities are endless how one can use this incredibly delicious vegetable.
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.
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.
HOW TO COOK SWEET POTATO HALWA
INSTANT POT SWEET POTATO 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 minutes or until potatoes are slightly caramelized. Add half cup of whole milk, mix well.
Pressure cook it on a high for 2 minutes. A natural pressure release, around 5-10 minutes.
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 minutes. 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 minute or so. Dish out the halwa and garnish with your favorite toppings and the sweet potato halwa is ready to be devoured!!
RECIPE VIDEO – INSTANT POT SWEET POTATO HALWA
TIPS FOR BEST SWEET POTATO HALWA
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).
Instead of sugar, you can also use condensed milk, gives halwa a nice rich 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 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 – Khoya is dried evaporated milk solids available in Indian/Asian grocery stores. 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.
HOW TO MAKE SWEET POTATO HALWA VEGAN
Substitute vegan butter or oil instead of ghee.
Use almond milk instead of regular milk.
Skip the khoya, condensed milk.
HOW TO STORE 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.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR SWEET POTATO HALWA
Sweet potato halwa can be served warm, it tastes yum 🍨 I like to serve this halwa as a side dish also. Pair it up with some paratha or aloo poori.
Enjoy this North Indian delicacy,Sweet Potato Halwa with your loved ones and cherish good times!!
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Sweet Potato Pudding/Sweet Potato Halwa - Instant Pot
- 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch thickness
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
- 1/3 cup sugar, adjust per taste
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup mixed dry fruits, nuts and seeds (walnuts, dried mango, almonds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds)
- 2-3 tbsp crumbled khoya
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!!
- TIPS FOR BEST SWEET POTATO HALWA
- HOW TO STORE SWEET POTATO HALWA
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR SWEET POTATO HALWA
- HOW TO MAKE SWEET POTATO HALWA VEGAN