Karachi Halwa or Bombay Corn Flour Halwa is a tasty, soft, and melt-in-mouth Indian sweet dish. This Karachi Halwa is popular during Indian festivals like Diwali, Ramadan, Holi, or any parties. It is basically prepared with minimal ingredients like corn flour, ghee, sugar, and nuts, making this Karachi halwa or halva dish so simple and easy. Also called the Bombay halwa recipe is a delicious sweet dish that can be perfect for any special occasion, festival, parties, or as an after-meal dessert.
About Karachi Halwa
Karachi Halwa is one of the easy and tasty sweet dishes popular across India and Pakistan. As the name refers, this halwa has its origin in Karachi, a city in Pakistan. Despite its origin, this halwa is popular across India and the same variant is called Bombay Halwa. It is also one of the popular sweets that one could find in most Indian bakeries, street food stalls, and other food joints.
This delicious Karachi halwa is prepared with a handful of ingredients like corn flour, ghee, sugar, and crunchy nuts. Especially the bright red, orange, yellow, or green food colors used in the recipes make this sweet dish stand out from others. Not only it tastes delicious and tempting but also it requires only minimal time to make this dish at home. Yes, all we need is just 30 minutes to prepare this entire dish. But if you would like to make the chewy texture Karachi halwa recipe then you may need some extra minutes to make the sweet.
Bombay or Karachi halwa is a simple yet appetizing dish that even beginners can master at home. And it would be a perfect sweet treat for any special occasions, festivals, parties, or as a quick sweet snack.
Variations in Karachi Halwa Recipe
Karachi Halwa is a famous, melt-in-mouth sweet dish that has a lot of variations. Even though the traditional recipe is chewy in texture, you could also make this dish soft. The recipe that I have shared here neither is hard nor chewy in its texture. Instead, it is a soft consistency halwa.
If you would like to have a chewy texture then feel free to stir the mixture for an extra 5 to 7 minutes than what I shared in the recipe card below. Even though the traditional recipe is prepared with white sugar, we can also try the same with jaggery syrup. But if you want to enjoy the real authentic taste and flavor then I would suggest sticking with the white sugar syrup method.
I have used cashew and pistachio for making this Karachi halwa, but you could also add almonds and dry coconut flakes for extra crunchiness. I have used bright orange color for making this cornflour halva which can also be replaced with yellow, pink, and green colors for other color variations.
Karachi Halwa ingredients
The ingredients for making Karachi halwa are Cornflour, ghee, sugar, water, lime juice, cardamom powder, and nuts. Usually white cornflour/corn starch delivers the right texture, taste, and flavor to this Bombay halwa. And make sure not to use corn flour that is available in light golden yellow color. The yellow color corn flour is best for making corn cakes, bread, and puttu dishes and not for this Bombay halwa.
Ghee is one of the important ingredients which gives a rich and aromatic flavor and taste to this halwa. So feel free to add a generous amount of ghee in the making of the halva. The cardamom powder or crushed cardamom pods also gives a fresh aroma to this cornflour halwa. On the other hand, mixed nuts like cashews, almonds, pistachio give crunchiness to every bite.
How to make Karachi Halwa?
The recipe I have shared here is a tasty and quick Karachi Halwa which yields 12 medium pieces. Even though preparing some type of halwa is time-consuming, this cornflour halva is super simple and can be made in under 30 minutes. So in this part, let us see how to make/prepare this dish easily at home.
To give a clear idea, the following are the steps involved in making this dish.
- Diluting corn flour/starch
- Making sugar syrup
- Preparing Karachi halwa
1. Diluting Corn Flour/starch
To dilute the flour, in a bowl add 1 cup of cornflour/starch and pour in 1¼ cup of water. Whisk the flour without any lumps and keep it for later use.
2. Making sugar syrup
Preparation of sugar syrup is one of the important steps to achieve a shiny corn flour halwa/halva. So to make that, add 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water in a pan with medium heat. Mix it nicely until the sugar dissolves in water. Then allow the mixture to boil until the sugar syrup turns sticky. For this Karachi Bombay halwa recipe, we do not worry about the string consistency which is not required for this particular recipe.
3. Preparing Karachi Halwa
Once the sugar syrup turns sticky, add in the diluted cornflour slurry and stir continuously. Then add the lemon juice and continue mixing until it starts to thicken. Once it thickens slightly, add 2 tsp of ghee and continue mixing. After 3 to 5 minutes the mixture starts to thicken and starts to leave from the pan. At this stage, add in the food color, nuts, cardamom powder, ghee and combine them well.
Once they are combined, stir in another 2 tsp of ghee and mix well until it turns nice shiny and glossy consistency. Now the Karachi halwa is ready and you can consume warm at this stage. But if you want to cut it into squares, then transfer it into a glass or aluminum tray and set it for about 15 to 30 minutes.
After the suggested time, unmould the Bombay halwa mixture from the tray and cut it into squares. And now it is ready for you to taste and enjoy.
The key to getting a perfect Karachi halwa is to make the right consistency sugar syrup to the cornflour we are using. Most importantly, always make sure to add only water to dissolve the sugar crystals as mentioned in the recipe card below. Adding too much water will not give the right sticky texture to the sugar syrup.
The recipe shared here gives soft textured corn flour halwa/halva. But if you want to achieve a chewy texture, then feel free to stir the mixture for an extra 5 to 7 minutes. And adding mixed nuts gives a nice nutty and crunchy taste and flavor to the dish. And another important fact is to make sure not to use nuts like pecans, and peanuts which may not give the real authentic taste and flavor to this dish.
This Karachi halwa is an easy and tasty sweet dish that can be perfect for any special occasion. And I believe you will try and enjoy this dish with your family and loved ones.
Karachi halwa stays good for up to 3 days at room temperature in a closed container. And you could also store it in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container. Make sure to reheat it for 1 minute in the microwave or keep it outside until it reaches room temperature before serving it to your loved ones.
This Karachi halwa can be a perfect treat for festivals like Diwali, Holi, Ramadan/Ramzan, and similar others as sweet treats. But you could also make and serve this dish on your regular day to satisfy your sweet craving.
Karachi Halwa Recipe Video
I have also shared a detailed video of this Karachi halwa recipe that I hope it would help you to make this sweet dish easily at home. For a quick reference, you could also refer to the recipe in story format.
Karachi Halwa (Bombay Corn Flour Halwa)
- 1 cup Cornstarch
- 1¼ cup Water
- 6 tsp Ghee
- ½ tsp Cardamom Powder
- 3 tsp Cashew Nut, chopped
- 2 tsp Pistachio, chopped
- 1 tsp Orange Food Color
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
For Sugar Syrup
- 1 cup Sugar
- ½ cup Water
To Dilute Cornstarch
- In a bowl, add 1 cup of cornstarch, and 1¼ cup of water, and dilute them without any lumps. Reserve the solution for later use
To Prepare Sugar Syrup
- In a pan with medium heat, add 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water and mix until the sugar dissolves
- Allow the mixture to boil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the syrup turns sticky(we need not require any string consistency for this particular recipe)
To Prepare Karachi Halwa
- Once the sugar syrup turns sticky, mix in the cornflour water and stir continuously
- Once the cornflour starts to thicken, add in the lemon juice and mix well again
- Add 2 tsp of ghee in batches and stir continuously until the mixture thickens
- Add in the food color, chopped nuts, cardamom powder and mix well to combine
- Once the cornflour mixture starts to turn glossy, add the remaining 2 tsp of ghee and stir for another 2 to 3 minutes
- Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer it to a ghee greased glass or aluminum rectangle tray. Pat the mixture to flat and rest it for 10 to 15 minutes
- Demould the Karachi halwa mixture from the tray and cut it into pieces. Now the Bombay/Karachi Halwa is ready for you to taste and enjoy
- Serve this delicious Bombay Karachi/corn flour halwa for any special occasion like Diwali, Ramadan, Christmas, or as a sweet dish for regular day craving
Chef's Notes and Tips
- The key to achieving a perfect Karachi halwa is to use the right quantity of ingredients. So always make sure to add the ingredients correctly as mentioned in the recipe card
- Even though some recipes need sugar syrup in string consistency, it is enough to keep it in sticky consistency for this recipe
- Adding ghee delivers a rich aroma and taste to this sweet dish. So I recommend using a generous amount of ghee in the making process
- I have added pistachio and cashew for this Karachi halwa and you could also add almonds for extra crunchiness
- This Karachi halwa can be served for festivals like Diwali, Ramadan/Ramzan, Holi, and similar special occasions
Disclaimer: We’re not nutrition experts. Nutritional info is estimated and should be used as a guide. For precise details, consult a professional.
Karachi or Bombay halwa is a tasty sweet dish popular across India and Pakistan. As the name suggests its origin is from Karachi, a city in Pakistan. But the same variant is called Bombay halwa in India. It is usually served as one of the sweet dishes during festivals, special occasions and parties. And we could also find it in most Indian bakeries, street food stalls, and food joints.
The ingredients required for Bombay Karachi halwa are Cornflour/starch, ghee, sugar, nuts, and cardamom powder, and these ingredients are easily available in most Indian grocery stores around.
Karachi halwa stays good for up to 3 days at room temperature and holds good for a week in a refrigerator in an airtight container.
This Karachi/Corn flour halva can be served as a treat with other sweets like gulab jamun, peda on festival occasions, or as an after-meal dessert on a regular day.
I really hope you enjoyed the recipe that I have shared here and I would love to hear from you on how it turned out for you. Please let me know.
If you have any other questions, feel free to post them in the comment section below and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.