The single delicacy of Tamil Nadu has been propelled to extreme fame throughout the globe. People’s tongues have been enslaved by the sweet. Just like devotees queuing up in the temples, so is the sight of people queuing up in Tirunelveli shops for the Tirunelveli Halwa.

The sweet has carved its own legacy and has been the epitome of the other delicacies in Tamilnadu. It’s quite clear Tirunelveli is a notable place for historical pilgrimages and the Thamarabarani river, but it’s globally recognized for Tirunelveli Halwa.

Halwa was then sold on the street by walkers. However, Mr. Jegan Singh, who is regarded as the father of the halwa, made the initiative to start a shop in Tirunelveli in 1882, which is when the halwa first appeared. “Tirunelveli Halwa” was the name of the first halwa shop.

Rajput cooks were initially hired by the zamindar of Chokkampatti, a village close to Tirunelveli, to prepare the halwa. After falling in love with the dishes in Kasi, the zamindar asked Jegan Singh’s family to prepare them at his palace. Later, Singh moved to Tirunelveli and established Lakshmi Vilas, honoring a female relative who, by coincidence, was the first to sell halwa on the city’s streets.



  • Wheat (samba): 1kg
  • Sugar: 4 kg
  • Ghee: 3 kg
  • Cashew nuts: if required


Soak wheat for six hours if it is young, and 12 hours if it is matured. Grind wheat. Add water and strain with a sieve to extract milk from wheat. Repeat the process with a cloth to filter out wheat granules. Ferment milk overnight. Stir sugar with fermented milk on the stove for half an hour till the sugar thickens. Add ghee little by little and keep stirring. Continue till halwa collects in the middle of the pan/ vat without sticking to the sides of the vessels. Cool for a few hours and serve. If consumed after a day, heat in a microwave oven or on a pan before serving.

The unpleasant truth about Tirunelveli halwa, though, is that you cannot find the real deal anyplace else but Tirunelveli. Only a few Tirunelveli sell authentic halwa; most are processed or replicated. There are many stores advertising Tirunelveli halwa with enticing banners.

Since Tirunelveli halwa is popular among Tamils, Great Indian Sweets handpicks the halwa from the region’s original native kitchen before bringing it fresh to your door in tasteful packaging. They have expanded their reach by creating various other traditional Tamil dishes. To find out more and to place an order, go to their website.