Home / Desserts / Navaratri special- Coconut, cashew halwa with a secret healthy ingredient (gluten-free, milk-free)
29 September, 2014

Navaratri special- Coconut, cashew halwa with a secret healthy ingredient (gluten-free, milk-free)

Comments : 27 Posted in : Desserts, Indian sweets, snack on by : apsara Tags: , , ,


Navaratri is an Indian festival that motivates me to make an Indian sweet, as I call people home to celebrate the function in the evening.

Last week, I had fresh coconut with me and thought of making a variation of my mango halwa. Alas, I did not have any mango pulp or the fruit in the pantry! Nevertheless, I soaked cashews, shredded the coconut and set out making a sweet, thinking it would be a new coconut burfi recipe, without any milk or condensed milk in it. I think I have said before- I’m not a fan of stirring for a long period of time, so avoiding milk was to minimize stirring time. I had only a few hours before the guests were supposed to visit!


As I was mixing the coconut and cashew paste with sugar, it seemed that it needed something else.Β Something that would bind it and bring it all together, but I wanted it also to be gluten-free. So I selected some GFΒ oat flour, and voilΓ ! I have an Indian sweet with whole grain but still doesn’t taste like oatmeal! In fact, none of my guests was able to guess this ingredient in the halwa. I call it ‘halwa’ because it is not hard enough to be called a ‘burfi’- the consistency is between the two.

I made it another time with unsweetened frozen coconut, and got the exact same taste as the first time. So, here it is- an easy sweet with minimal stirring time and healthy ingredients.

With the approval of everybody who tasted this- here is the recipe. πŸ™‚

Coconut, cashew halwa with secret healthy ingredient

  • Servings: 16 pieces
  • Time: soak time + 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


unsweetened shredded coconut (fresh/frozen)- 1 1/4 cup

whole cashews- 3/4 cup

(GF) powdered oats – 1/4 cup (oats do not have to be gluten free)

sugar- 1/2 cup (use raw sugar for vegan option)

ghee (clarified butter)- 2 tbsp. (use coconut oil for vegan option)

cardamom powder- 1/8 tsp.

saffron strands- a few


1. Soak cashews in hot water for 12 hours. Drain water and grind in a blender to a smooth paste with minimal added water, about 1/8 cup. You could add shredded coconut to facilitate the blending process.

2. Heat sugar in a non-stick pan with 1 tbsp. water. After it melts, add coconut, cashew paste. Stir in cardamom powder and ghee.


3. After a few minutes, add oat flour, stir.


4. Stir for 10-12 minutes till the mixture thickens and leaves the sides of the pan.


5. Transfer to a greased dish. Flatten with the back of a flat cup or tumbler. After it cools, refrigerate for 1-2 hours (refrigeration is optional if there is no time). Cut into squares and press a broken roasted cashew and saffron strands in each for garnish.


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27 thoughts on : Navaratri special- Coconut, cashew halwa with a secret healthy ingredient (gluten-free, milk-free)

    • September 29, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      thanks, Julie! It does not stay long… I think the reason is it’s delicious πŸ˜‰

  • September 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Looks Yum Apsara!!!

    • September 29, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      thank you. Malar. πŸ™‚

  • September 29, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Wowee. .. c2 with oats. .. hmm love oats there rich, fibrous. … and deli – sh. ..

    • September 29, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      I do too, as long as it’s not too sweet.:)

  • September 30, 2014 at 3:04 am

    Lovely recipe!

    • October 8, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      thanks, Karinna. πŸ™‚

  • September 30, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Yum! These look amazing and even better with some added fibre πŸ™‚

  • September 30, 2014 at 10:12 am

    my mom makes these too… they are sinful!!

    • October 8, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      yes, full of calories…but good ones πŸ˜‰

  • September 30, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    My mom do coconut burfi but love the oats addition should try this soon:-) diwali Ku I have a sweet recipe

    • September 30, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      that’s right, I’m also trying to find an easy sweet for Diwali!

  • October 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    These treats are new for me! They look easy & fun to make! πŸ™‚
    I must try these tomorrow,…ooh yes!!

    • October 2, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      they are easy. Do let me know if you have any suggestions on improvement too! πŸ™‚

  • October 5, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Great idea to use oat flour Apsara! The halwa looks delicious πŸ™‚

    • October 5, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      thank you so much, Naina!

  • vanillaplummedia
    October 6, 2014 at 4:51 am

    These look sooo good! Great recipe and an excuse to use cardamom.

    • October 6, 2014 at 10:13 am

      thank you for the visit and the comment!

  • October 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    These look so good and I love the ingredient….they are ingredients I use all the time! Looks so creamy. I love oat flour as well…it’s an excellent ingredien.

    • October 8, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      thanks, Brandi. πŸ™‚

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