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Vegetarian Recipes

Vegan Almond Halwa – Instant Pot Badam Halwa (No Oil)

Vegan Almond Halwa – Instant Pot Badam Halwa with No Added Refined oil. No ghee or dairy! 5 Mins active time. 6 Ingredients! And Almond Ladoo too! Gluten-free Grain-free Soy-free Recipe.

Its that time of the year! No not Halloween, Its Diwali this weekend! All festivals and holidays seem to all come close to each other. One day I am planning bowl meals and the next I am thinking pumpkin, Indian sweets, desserts, lentil loafs.

This Diwali I bring you 3 variations of Almond Halwa! Indian Halwa can range in texture from a crumble to a set jelly like to soft spoon fudge like. You can make this halwa into any of the textures you like! If you don’t want to use the spoon, roll it up into balls for amazing almond ladoos.

Traditional Badam Halwa recipe often requires making a sugar syrup of certain consistency, then adding almonds(soaked and blended or ground) and cooking for a good number of minutes. This recipe has none of that! No standing around in the kitchen stirring stuff and no checking on the sugar to get the right syrup thread consistency.

Just mix the sugar of choice in the hot water, Add flavors such as cardamom, saffron, rose water or cinnamon. Add in almond flour (blanched works great) and pressure cook. Done and done. With pressure cooking, the sugar, water mixture thickens and the almond flour rehydrates very quickly.  Did I mention, you don’t need any butter or oil as well! Ok lets make this. If you double the recipe(which you will want to), add a minute to the pressure cooking time.

Ingredients for Vegan Almond Halwa

You will need

  • hot water
  • sugar of choice. Use cane sugar for lighter color halwa, jaggery powder, coconut sugar, date sugar or other unrefined sugar of choice.
  • a few drops of lime juice and a good pinch of salt (this adds the ghee/butter like flavor)
  • Flavors: such as whole cardamom seeds, ground cardamom, ground cinnamon,or saffron strands.
  • Almond flour. Use blanched almond flour for lighter colored halwa or use regular with skin almond flour. You can make you own ground almonds by blending raw almonds in a blender. The almonds may tend to get buttery, which is ok. or add a tbsp starch to ensure more flour like result.

First Picture uses 3 tbsp water, whole cardamom seeds and unrefined sugar. The picture below used cane sugar, saffron and 1/2 cup of water.

Depending on the water amount used, you will get the consistency in the first picture or the below picture. The thicker lumpy halwa in the first picture can be rolled into balls.

How to make Vegan Badam Halwa in the Instant Pot with step pictures

Mix the sugar in hot water. Add lime, salt and cardamom/other flavors and mix in.
Add almond flour and press and mix. Below is halwa with unrefined sugar, cardamom seeds and 3 tbsp water.

For thinner Halwa, use 1/2 cup water. Below is halwa with saffron,more water and cane sugar.

Add 1.5 cups water to the Instant Pot. Cover the dish with a light lid and place in the pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 5 mins. Natural release.

Scoop into serving bowls. Indian sweets are served in small amounts. So this will serve 4 in Indian serving size, or 2 regular serves.

Garnish with chopped nuts, raisins or chopped dates.
To make ladoos: Chill for half an hour, then roll into balls. Garnish with coconut, finely chopped nuts or seeds of choice.

More Indian Sweets

Savory Snacks and Meals:

Can I make this with other nuts?

Yes, you can make it with cashews, pistachios or macadamia nuts. Use a coarse flour. Cashews will tend to make thicker halwa.

I don’t have almond flour, What do I use?

You can make you own ground almonds by blending raw almonds in a blender. The almonds may tend to get buttery, which is ok. or add a tbsp starch to ensure more flour like result. Or use other nut flour. You cannot substitute grain flour as grain flours absorb a lot more liquid. Similarly coconut flour will absorb a lot of liquid and will not work.

Can I make the Halwa directly in the Instant Pot

No, the almonds will burn with the direct heat.

Vegan Almond Halwa (Instant Pot Badam Halwa) Oil-free

Vegan Almond Halwa & Almond Ladoo – Instant Pot Badam Halwa with no added refined oil. No ghee or dairy! 5 Mins active time. 6 Ingredients! Gluten-free Grain-free Soy-free Recipe. Makes 4 Indian size servings

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time15 mins

Total Time20 mins

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Indian

Keyword: badaam halwa, badam halwa, badam ladoo, instant pot almond halwa, vegan badam halwa

Servings: 4

Calories: 219kcal

Author: Vegan Richa


  • 3 to 8 tbsp water (3 Tbsp water for crumbly Halwa and for ladoos, 1/2 cup(8 tbsp) water for thin pudding like halwa, 1/3 cup water for thick halwa)
  • 1/3 cup (66.67 g) sugar (cane sugar,conut sugar, or jaggery powder)
  • 3 drops of lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Flavors: cardamom seeds from 4 green cardamom pods(see note), or 6 to 8 saffron strands, or 1/8 tsp cinnamon, or 1/2 tsp rose water
  • 1 cup (112 g) almond flour


  • Add hot water to a baking dish or pyrex** that fits your instant pot. Add the sugar and mix in. Add the lime juice, salt and flavors(cardamom, saffron etc) and mix in. (See notes for stove top)
  • Add almond flour and press and mix. With less water, you will have to press and mix so there are no dry lumps. if making the thinner halwa, use a whisk to mix in the almond flour.
  • Add 1.5 cups of water to the instant pot. Place the dish in the steamer basket and lower into the instant pot. Cover with a light lid or foil.
  • Close the lid and pressure cook for 5 minutes at high pressure. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Carefully remove the dish from the instant pot. Garnish with chopped nuts, raisins or chopped dates and serve.
  • To make ladoos: Chill almond halwa made with 3 tbsp water, for half an hour, then roll into balls. Roll in coconut, finely chopped nuts or seeds of choice, or drizzle with chocolate for a halloween treat.
  • Store: Store on the counter for the day. Refrigerate for upto 5 days.


** You can also use the steel insert. The thicker pyrex or baking dish cooks more evenly and the halwa doesnt stick as much to them.

Green Cardamom: Use a knife to slice open the cardamom pod. Remove the black/grey seeds and break them into individual seeds if they are clumped. You can also use 1/4 tsp ground cardamom instead.

Stove Top: Use 1/2 cup water, add to a skillet over medium heat with sugar, flavor,salt and lime. Bring to a boil. Cook for another minute. Then fold in the almond flour. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for 5 to 10 mins or until desired consistency. Stir occasionally.

Almond flour: You can make your own almond flour by blending raw almonds in a blender. Add a tbsp of starch so that the almond flour does not get too buttery. You can also use other other nut flour such as macadamia, cashew, pistachio.


Use half coconut shreds(small shred, process in blender to make small shreds for best result) and half almond to make coconut almond ladoo.

Add 2 tsp vegan butter for decadent halwa.


Nutrition is for 1 serve


Nutrition Facts

Vegan Almond Halwa (Instant Pot Badam Halwa) Oil-free

Amount Per Serving

Calories 219 Calories from Fat 126

% Daily Value*

Fat 14g22%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 73mg3%

Carbohydrates 23g8%

Fiber 3g13%

Sugar 18g20%

Protein 6g12%

Calcium 59mg6%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Vegetarian Recipes


“I want you to come watch the movie with us ON the couch, not be in the kitchen!”

I’ve been filling out this one-question-a-day journals for moms that I received for Christmas. It records a little thought or memory over the last year, and then starts again, so you can see how your answers change over a few years. One of the recent ones, prompted me to jot notes about what I am learning as a mom, and I found the question so general I was basically annoyed. I am a romantic, and also wildly pragmatic. In the span of a day I can tear up over the depths of love I feel for my kids, and also wish for them to have a mute button. We all have worlds within us; mothering pushing me into the corners of myself I am sometimes proud of or other corners ashamed of, but am I learning? Yes, every single day. Sometimes in the moment and other times after a particular season. But in 2021, my answer in the bullet journal was that I see my kids are wanting me to play with them. They aren’t registering all the service and shuttling and laundry and what it takes to pull off a week, they just want to play WITH me. It’s natural for me to move within lists and tasks and responsibilities and hustling, but playing is something I have to pay attention to. For them and for me. We usually do a family movie on Friday nights and my son (6.5), see quote above, pointed out that I don’t actually watch the movie, I tinker in the kitchen and he wants me in the couch cuddle. Flattered, and found out that I’d rather make granola than watch The Croods 🙂 So from annoyed, to passing on the question to fellow parents, what are you learning? Try not to be annoyed. Maybe circle back to it.

I published this recipe over on SKCC a few weeks ago and wanted it to live here. We’re trying to find more family-friendly vegetarian recipes (it’s easy for me to fill up on roasted veggies and big salads, not so much for the kids). This batch lasts us two meals – once with noodles, maybe half zoodles, and the second round on toast or english muffins with cheese melted on top, like a pizza sort of thing? It freezes well and is great to deliver to new parents.


Serves 6


2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion – roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 head of cauliflower (about ¾ lb. or 12 oz. riced)
1/2 cup of raw walnuts pieces
1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. of fennel seeds – crushed
2 Tbsp. of tomato paste
2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of red wine (or broth of any sort, and double the vinegar to mimic the wine’s acidity)
28 oz. of canned, crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of red lentils
red pepper flake to taste

For serving

12 oz. of pasta or choice, zoodles, etc.
fresh, torn basil


In a large Dutch-oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium low heat.

In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic into smaller bits. Add them to the pot with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté to soften, about 3 minutes.

Pulse up the cauliflower florets to get a rice-like texture. Add the riced-cauliflower to the pot and sauté to soften, about 5 minutes.

Pulse the walnuts in the processor and add those to the pot along with the Italian seasoning, fennel seed, another few generous pinches of salt and pepper, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Sauté until fragrant.

Add the red wine, cook about 3 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, ½ cup water, lentils, pinch of pepper flakes and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, put the cover ajar and let it simmer gently for 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste for seasoning and adjust.

Cook your pasta or zoodles according to instructions. Top with cauli Bolognese, grated cheese, fresh basil and enjoy!

The Bolognese will keep in the fridge for a week and can be frozen for a few months.

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