Pour milk and water (or just water) in a pyrex cup and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes. If using saffron, add it to the mix. Alternatively, heat it on the stove in a sauce pan. Keep aside for later.
Heat a wide pan on medium-low heat. Add ghee (or butter), and wait for it to melt, about 20-30 seconds. If using nuts and raisins, add them and saute for 30 sec- 1 minute. Add sooji/ suji and roast for 6-8 minutes, while stirring continuously. Roast it until the color darkens a little and you can smell the aroma of suji.Note: If adding almond flour, add it along with sooji/ suji.
Add the warm milk and water mix slowly, and stir continuously with a whisk or wooden spoon to prevent any lumps from forming.
When the liquid is reduced in half (about 1-2 minutes), add sugar and stir till it reaches a thick pudding-like consistency. If you like your halwa more dry, continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes until it looks like soft dough. The halwa is ready when it stops sticking to the pan. Turn off the heat and stir in cardamom powder. Serve warm or cold.
Semolina: For a creamy consistency, use fine semolina.
Water or Milk: Add the liquid as per your preference. Add a combination of milk and water for a rich flavor and texture, otherwise use plain water entirely.
Sweetness: For a less sweet taste, reduce the sugar to ⅓ cup.
Ghee or butter: For best results, I recommend making this halwa in ghee or unsalted butter.
Careful of Splashes: When you add warm liquid to the pan it splashes, so use a deep sauce pan and a long whisk to be safe.
End Texture: For a creamy pudding-like texture, turn off the heat when halwa reaches a semi-solid state. For a grainer texture, continue to cook till it stop sticking to the pan and resembles a soft dough.
Vegan Suji Halwa: To make this halwa vegan, skip the milk or use almond milk instead. Instead of ghee, use coconut oil or avocado oil.
High Protein halwa: Add 2 tablespoons of almond flour to boost the protein content in this recipe. Adjust the sugar by adding another tablespoon if needed.
Instant pot vs Stovetop: When making this halwa for 4 servings, I prefer to make it on the stove. Instant Pot comes in handy for a larger quantity.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates and include nuts. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.