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Pistachio Halwa recipe by Indiaphile.info
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4.80 from 5 votes

Bombay Halwa

Pistachio and cardamom flavored Bombay halwa. Bombay halwa is a type of Turkish delight found in India. It is made of starch, sugar, and some kind of flavor.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: arrowroot, bombay halwa, halwa, turkish delight
Servings: 25
Calories: 63kcal


  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ½ cup arrowroot starch also known as arrowroot powder or arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp ghee plus a little extra for greasing the pan butter or Earth Balance work too
  • tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • 10 cashews cut into half lengthwise
  • 10 to 12 drops liquid chlorophyll


  • Smear a 8×8 inch square pan with ghee and set aside. (You can also make a parchment sling if you like but it’s not necessary)
  • In a wide saucepan, combine the sugar with 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and stir, making sure that the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the arrowroot starch into the mixture, a little at a time, whisking as you go along to avoid lumps. Whisk until the arrowroot starch is well incorporated and lump free.
  • Add 2 cups of water (room temperature) and whisk well.
  • Turn the heat back on to medium. Let the mixture cook but make sure to stir continuously. (At this point I switch to a silicon spatula for the stirring because it find it easier than using a whisk.) Cook for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens to the consistency of jelly.
  • Add the lemon juice and continue to stir. Let cook for another 5 minutes.
  • When the mixture starts to get stick to the sides of the pan, add the ghee. Cook for another 10 minutes until the ghee is well incorporated and the mixture has thickened further.
  • Add the ground cardamom (make sure to stir this in well because it tends to clump), pistachios, cashews and the chlorophyll.
  • Stir until everything is well combined. It will be the consistency of thick gel.
  • Transfer the gel to the greased pan. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours until set.
  • Then flip onto a cutting board and cut into 25 equal squares but cutting 5 rows lengthwise and 5 width-wise.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or a room temperature for 2 days.


Traditionally Bombay halwa is brightly colored. But I hate using food coloring if I can help it so I experimented with using chlorophyll. The final color turned out to be more grey than I wanted but I don’t mind it.
Feel free to use food coloring instead if you prefer.


Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg