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What is Halwa Poori?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Halwa poori is a popular dish in the cuisine of northern India and some regions of Pakistan. The exact ingredients used often vary depending on the preferences of the cook or the one eating the dish, but it often consists of a hot porridge similar to Western breakfast porridge and several pieces of fried bread. Halwa refers to the hot porridge part of this dish, and though different seasonings can be used, semolina flour and simple syrup are often key ingredients. The poori in halwa poori refers to the small pieces of fried bread served with the dish.

Though halwa poori can be served at different times of day in different areas, it is commonly served as a breakfast dish or as part of an early evening dinner. It does not necessarily refer to a specific dish that is prepared in one way, but to a general meal that often consists of porridge and fried bread. There are many variations regarding ingredients. Many of the spices used are traditional to Indian and Pakistani cuisine, such as cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.

Halwa poori typically consists of two primary dishes, though other foods can be served along with these as well. The halwa is made as a hot porridge somewhat similar to hot Western breakfast cereals such as cream of wheat. This usually begins with a small amount of hot oil in a pan and the addition of semolina flour, also called suji or sooji, which is fried and then removed from the pan. A simple syrup is made and heated, to which yellow food coloring is often added. This syrup is then combined with the fried semolina and other ingredients such as raisins, boiled almonds, and pistachios before serving.

The poori, sometimes spelled puri, portion of halwa poori consists of small pieces of fried bread. This bread is often made quickly and simply by combining a small amount of oil with whole wheat flour, also called atta. Small amounts of water are added to this mixture until a firm dough is created, which is often set aside under a damp towel for a few minutes. This dough is then separated into small balls, which are rolled flat, and then fried in hot oil to create round, puffed rolls. These are then served immediately with the halwa to ensure freshness and a light texture.

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