Jan 27, 2014

Amaranth Halwa


If you’ve ever eaten at an Indian restaurant, in particular at a lunch buffet, you may be familiar with Sooji Halwa, a sweet dessert made with semolina, cream, lots of ghee, sugar and spices. I’ve had it several times and absolutely loved it! So I really needed to transform this dessert into a healthier plant-based, gluten-free treat that I could enjoy and serve to my family.

The most important part of this dessert is the spices. Of course. It’s Indian. And Indian food is all about those wonderfully aromatic spices. Saffron can be costly. I found a good source on Amazon (link below). But don’t omit it! It’s a key flavor in this dish.

Have you ever had amaranth? It’s been called an ancient wonder food and the Golden Grain of the Gods. This tiny grain is actually a seed that is rich in protein and other important nutrients. The ancient Aztecs relied on amaranth as a food staple and used it in religious rituals as well. I was never a big fan of this superfood until I used it for this dish. When cooked, the texture is kind of gooey, resembling that of soaked flax seeds or chia seeds. But that’s exactly what makes it work for this pudding-like dessert!





  1. Bring the 3 cups of water to a low boil and add the amaranth, saffron and cardamom pods, stirring well.
  2. Turn the heat down, cover and simmer until all of the water is absorbed (about 30 minutes).
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
  4. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with a little extra cashew milk.

Serves 4. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,


6 responses to “Amaranth Halwa”

  1. Missy says:

    I'm not sure I could ever afford to make this dish…but a girl can dream can't she?

  2. I have never had a dish like this but I think I would love it! I would love to know what easy recipes you would choose to make for company. I need to host a dinner for 9 people and would love to show our friends how good a vegan/whole food plant based meal could be.They all enjoy Indian food – so this dessert would be awesome if I double the recipe could I squeeze 9 servings out of it? Any suggestions for appetizers, entrée and side dish?

  3. Helyn says:

    Hey Tami! I wouldn't necessarily try this for newbies only because the spices are very assertive and some may not be that taken with it. Let me look through my index and I'll get back to you with some suggestions! 🙂 PS email me so I can have your email too okay?

  4. Ines says:

    I couldn't either. But then again, I don't like saffron all that much anyway. Maybe I'll try something similar with different spices.

  5. This LOOKS heavenly can not wait to try your recipe (got to get some amaranth & saffron threads). I tell ya I am so surprise about all the different kind of grains that are out there, can't wait to try this one.

    Do you think I could also use this grain in a vegetable broth based soup as well?

  6. Helyn says:

    Thank you! Yes, you can use amaranth in soups and in many other ways. Enjoy!

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