A Guide to Making the Perfect Indian Sweet Dish

It takes quite a bit of will to suppress the appetite for a rich Indian sweet, be it a tender-melting gulab-jamun or bread-halwa. But who can resist them? Over the past week, we have indulged ourselves with many desserts – badam kheer, biscuit cakes and bread halwa, to name just a few of the sinful temptations, while hosting friends at home.

Whenever bread is left at home, it is either dried and crumbled to be used after as breadcrumbs, or most often make bread halwa. It is easy to prepare and is a rich sweet that requires a generous amount of sugar and ghee (clarified butter). Surely we should have the luxury of indulging in such sinful temptations from time to time!!

Bite-sized pieces of bread are fried in a generous amount of ghee until golden brown and then boiled soft in milk, sugar and a paste of almonds and cashews and topped with almonds and cashews. The halwa has a rich sweet taste and can be served either warm or cold. I prefer my halwa warm as the halwa tends to be soft and have a nice mouthfeel while the cold halwa is not so soft as it tends to harden a bit. But the taste is heavenly either way.

Bread Halwa recipe

  • Cooking time: 30 m
  • Cuisine: South Indian
  • For 6-7 persons


  • 3/4 Cup – 1 Cup Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 loaf of bread
  • 6-8 cardamoms (elachi)
  • 2 tbsp almonds (badam)
  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 1 lt of milk (low in fat)
  • 1 ¼ Cup of sugar (increase or decrease according to taste)

1. Tear the bread into small pieces. Heat three-quarters cup of ghee in a cooking vessel and add the pieces of bread and fry them until they turn golden brown.

2. Grind elachi, almonds and cashews (leave aside a few roasted almonds and cashews for garnish) to a fine paste.

3. In the meantime, boil the milk, add sugar and continue stirring until it mixes into the milk. Add the fried pieces of bread and the remaining ghee to this mixture.

4. Let it simmer until the pieces of bread soften and cook in the milk mixture. Combine the nut paste. Garnish with the toasted almonds and cashews.

5. Serve warm or store in the refrigerator until it cools down, and serve. It tastes good both warm and cold.

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