Easy Bombay Ice Halwa Recipe

Bombay Ice Halwa is an easy, unique Indian sweet with 20 minutes active time. It has a delicious, light cardamom and saffron flavor.
Bombay ice halwa sheets on countertop.

Ice halwa, also known as Bombay Ice Halwa, Mahim Halwa, and Paper Halwa.  This is one of the most unique Indian sweets in terms of texture and shape.  It’s paper-thin sheets of sugar, flour, saffron, cardamom powder, milk, and ghee topped with some nuts for crunch.

This mithai brings back memories for me as every time my family members went to India and stopped by Mumbai they would bring back some from the mithai shops or sweet shops.  It’s a specialty of Mumbai which is why it is often known as Bombay Ice Halwa. The ice halwa from Mohanlal mithaiwala shop is particularly well known.

It is a sweet that is popular with kids because of its unique shape and eating experience.  You peel back parchment paper from the halwa and eat it.

Ingredients

If you cook Indian food and sweets often, this Bombay ice halwa recipe only requires some basic ingredients.

Ingredients for ice halwa on a marble top in bowls and plates.

Flour – I like using all-purpose flour. You can substitute corn flour (not corn starch) or rava (sooji). 

Saffron strands – add a light yellow color and taste of saffron

Cardamom powder – Usually sprinkled on top.  If you have a fine powder you can add it to the mixture as well.

Dry fruits – Adding these like crunchy nuts adds a nice texture to the sweet.

Rose water – to make a variation you can add rose water, I didn’t as it’s not used in a traditional recipe

How to make

This is a simple recipe.  The key thing to remember is to keep the gas between low and medium and to keep stirring.  You will have to stir for about 15 minutes.  If you don’t you risk the mixture sticking to the pan or overcooking the sugar.

Preparation

  • Melt ghee
  • In two tablespoons of milk crush saffron strands and let sit a few minutes to bloom

Making Halwa

First place pan on stove on low-medium heat. Add flour to the pan then add milk, melted ghee and saffron milk. Whisk to combine and ensure it is lump free.

Then add in sugar and whisk to combine.

Next, keep stirring. It will take about 15-16 minutes on low-medium flame. Don’t try to speed it up by increasing the heat, you may overcook the mixture.

As you stir you will notice the mixture begin to thicken. At first, the mixture will come back together quickly as you run the spatula through it. As you get to the right point you will notice the mixture easily come off the pan and take longer to cover up the areas you just stirred through. See images below.

Then, on a 26X13 inches parchment paper or butter paper, turn the mixture out. Spread it with a silicon spatula.

Place another parchment paper on top of the ice halwa mixture. Roll out the mixture to make it smooth and spread out to the ends.

Sprinkle cardamom powder, pistachios and rose petals on top. Cover with the same parchment paper and lightly roll all over with a rolling pin to help the toppings stick.

Cutting and Drying Ice Halwa

Let halwa sit 2-3 hours. Then use a pizza cutter or knife to draw lines/cut marks for the pieces. Then, use clean kitchen scissors to cut out the pieces along with the parchment paper. The parchment paper will be always stuck to the bottom until you eat it.

Let it dry for at least one day. Depending on where you live and the climate, it may take less or more time. You can slightly peel the parchment and try one to check. I like to cover with a cheesecloth and leave on the countertop. Another option is to place it in the oven uncovered (don’t turn on the oven) and let it set to dry in there.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe. Find and follow me on on Instagram @some_indian_girl

Bombay ice halwa sheets on countertop.

Easy Bombay Ice Halwa Recipe

Shilpa Joshi
Bombay Ice Halwa is an easy, unique Indian sweet with 20 minutes active time. It has a delicious, light cardamom and saffron flavor.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 12 squares
Calories 164 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 wide bottom pan I use non-stick
  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • 2 sheets parchment paper

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup sugar 200g
  • ½ cup all purpose flour substitute rava or corn flour, 60g
  • ½ cup ghee 110g
  • ½ cup milk 125g
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsp pistachios finely crushed or chopped
  • rose petals
  • 2 tbsp milk for saffron
  • 1 pinch saffron generous pinch for more flavor

Instructions
 

Prep

  • In two tablespoons of milk crush saffron strands and let sit a few minutes to bloom
  • Melt ghee

Make Ice Halwa

  • First place pan on stove on low-medium heat. Add flour to the pan then add milk, melted ghee and saffron milk. Whisk to combine and ensure it is lump free. Then add in sugar and whisk to combine.
  • Next, keep stirring. It will take about 15-16 minutes on low-medium flame. Don't try to speed it up by increasing the heat, you may overcook the mixture.
  • As you stir you will notice the mixture begin to thicken. At first, the mixture will come back together quickly as you run the spatula through it. As you get to the right point you will notice the mixture easily come off the pan and take longer to cover up the areas you just stirred through.
  • Then, on a 26X13 inches parchment paper or butter paper,turn the mixture out. Spread it with a silicon spatula.
  • Place another parchment paper on top of the ice halwa mixture. Roll out the mixture to make it smooth and spread out to the ends.
  • Sprinkle cardamom powder, pistachios and rose petals on top.Cover with the same parchment paper and lightly roll all over with a rolling pin to help the toppings stick.

Cutting and Drying

  • Let halwa sit 2-3 hours. Then use a pizza cutter or knife to draw lines/cut marks for the pieces. Then, use clean kitchen scissors to cutout the pieces along with the parchment paper. The parchment paper will be always stuck to the bottom until you eat it.
  • Let it dry for at least one day. Depending on where you live and the climate, it may take less or more time. You can slightly peel the parchment and try one to check. I like to cover with a cheesecloth and leave on the countertop. Another option is to place it in the oven uncovered (don't turn on the oven) and let it set to dry in there.

Nutrition

Calories: 164kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 1gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 5mgPotassium: 38mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 26IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




Scroll to Top