Tasting the Madurai Prema Vilas Halwa will make you forget the Original and Popular Iruttukadai Halwa from Tirunelveli.
Located near the Madurai Railway Station, Prema Vilas is famous for its Halwa and Mixture (snack).
Today, I will show you the beauty, texture and taste of Prema Vilas Halwa that will tingle your craving!
Let’s get started!
The Madurai Prema Vilas Halwa Shop
Started on 1954, Prema Vilas Halwa shop is a desserts and snacks stall based out of South-Indian city of Madurai. It is popular for:
- Halwa (a dessert)
- Mota Mixture or Thick sized Mixture (a spicy snack)
- Pepper Sevu (a spicy snack)
The Prema Vilas Shop is also famous for providing halwa in a stitched leaf (“thaiyal ilai”) made from mantharai/Dhonnai/Patravali.
Prema Vilas is known as “Halwa Chakkarawarthi” (which means emperor of halwa). As seen from the hoarding, it proclaims itself as “Tirunelveli Lala Mittai Kadai” (Tirunelveli Lala Sweet Stall).
What is Halwa?
Halwa is an Indian sweet dish. This sweet confection is usually dense and soft.
It is popular throughout India. Different regions of the country prepare it using different ingredients.
Vegetables like carrots, beetroot, ash gourd etc; nuts like cashews and almonds; whole wheat flour, semolina, gram flour; moong dal etc, are some of the base ingredients to prepare halwa.
Generally with these base ingredients, halwa is prepared using ghee, sugar and nuts and raisins to garnish.
What is Prema Vilas Halwa made up of?
Prema Vilas Halwa is made up of whole wheat flour, sugar for sweetness, and generous amount of pure ghee and some cashews to garnish.
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Our Journey to the Prema Vilas
My husband and I had to do a lot of shopping and eating in Madurai before catching train to Chennai.
We had the best Jigarthanda from the “Famous Jigarthanda” shop near Vilakuthoon . Then we caught an auto and got down near East Tower of Sri Meenakshiamman Temple – Puthumandapam area. This ancient place is famous for many small shops selling books, pooja (worshipping) items and most importantly – Cast Iron Cookwares. We shopped a few cast iron skillets for cooking purpose.
(You can feel the divine presence of Goddess Shri Meenkashiamman on almost all of the places in Madurai!)
And then we decided to have one of the best and softest idlys on the planet – Murugan Idli Shop. We devoured the podi idlis and 4 different varieties of chutney.
Then finally it was time for the last and the best hang-out place in Madurai – the Prema Vilas shop for desserts and snacks.
During my childhood till now, the practice of buying halwa and snacks from Prema Vilas and transporting it to Bangalore or Chennai or Coimbatore, remains the same.
Our friends, neighbors, and my husband’s colleagues make a beeline for Prema Vilas parcel, whenever we return back from Madurai! Actually, whenever they come to know that we are leaving for native, they come up with a list of:
- 100gms of Halwa – 10 Quantities (approx.)
- 250gms of Mota Mixture – 10 Quantities (approx.)
The above is just an example – sometimes the quantities are more and sometimes they are less, based on the demands! 🙂
On that particular day, we caught an auto and passed via Simmakkal. We crossed the “Meenakshi Bazaar” (a shopping area for elecronics). Then we crossed the famous Hotel Royal Court.
After sometime, we passed the Madurai Junction Railway Station.
As soon as the Railway station passed by, I spotted the Prema Vilas shop.
A busy place!
This place is the heart of Madurai because of many important places in the vicinity – Madurai Periyar Bus Stand, Madurai Railway Station, Madurai Sri Meenakshiamman Temple (a little distant from this place).
Exactly opposite to the Prema Vilas is the Thanga Regal Theatre which runs the latest movies.
Nearby to this shop is also the British bakery (snacks shop), Kumar Mess, Konar Mess branches (popular non-veg spots).
Anyone who has been to Prema Vilas, would have also noticed ladies on either side of the shop selling Jasmine flower garland (Madurai is famous for Jasmine Flower). This is a common sight throughout Tamil Nadu, especially near Temples, where people sell flower garland.
Prema Vilas Halwa Shop – Address
Town Hall Rd,
Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
Madurai Prema Vilas Halwa Price
- 100 grams of Prema Vilas Halwa costs Rs 15.
- 1 Kg costs Rs 252
Finally, it was time for the halwa!
I ordered 100 gms of halwa (while still drooling) and got the halwa in the stitched leaf (these leaves are also used as plates in temples for carrying prasadam).
The Halwa was sizzling hot! This is also one of the specialties of this place – you always get piping hot halwa.
You will have to interchange your hands (holding the leaf) from time to time till the halwa is less hot.
As soon as you place the halwa in your mouth, you feel its texture – smooth, juicy and tender. And importantly, it starts to melt and release the taste that it is famous for – A DELICIOUS, MOUTH-WATERING dessert!
The HOT and SWEET taste of the halwa and the resulting aroma, wins your heart. It is the best Halwa out there. Many would argue that this Prema Vilas Halwa is better than the Iruttukadai Halwa from Tirunelveli.
This halwa is also topped with cashew nuts, making it more lip-smacking!
The halwa just slides inside your mouth and slips away into the tummy!
The Ritual of Prema Vilas whenever one has the halwa there!
This shop is also known for giving few grams of mota mixture along with halwa, so that if one finds the halwa too sweet, they can compensate the taste with the spice of the mixture.
And also please keep in mind that since this Halwa is high on sugar, for health reasons, please eat the correct amount according to your needs and do not go overboard!
Moving on, we will see how Prema Vilas halwa is different from the ORIGINAL and POPULAR Halwa from Tirunelveli.
Madurai Prema Vilas Halwa Vs Tirunelveli Special Halwa
One major difference is the Thamirabarani river water used for soaking wheat and extracting milk during the preparation process of Tirunelveli halwa (Iruttukadai Halwa, Shanthi Sweets Halwa, etc)
Other notable difference is – In Prema Vilas Halwa, the milk extracted from wheat is added to sugar syrup, whereas in irruttukadai halwa, milk is directly added to sugar at once.
Making procedure of Prema Vilas Halwa:
- Whole Wheat is soaked in water for 6-12 hours.
- The soaked wheat is ground finely in large grinders with little water in order to extract the milk from wheat.
- In a large iron kadai, sugar is added and melted and is allowed to boil.
- Once the consistency has reached for the sugar syrup, the milk extracted from wheat is poured into it and mixed constantly for almost 30 minutes.
- Generous amount of Pure ghee is then added to it and mixed constantly for another 15-20 minutes until no lumps are formed and then final product is achieved.
- Cashews are finally added to the halwa and mixed well.
- It is then transferred to small containers in smaller batches and allowed to cool a little before packing.
Making procedure of Tirunelveli Special Halwa:
- Whole Wheat (Samba Gothumai) is imported all the way from Punjab.
- This Wheat is washed and soaked in water (Thamirabarani river water) for 12 hours.
- It is then crushed and ground using grinders to extract the milk from Wheat.
- The extracted milk is kept aside to ferment for about another 12 hours.
- In large mixers with burners below, sugar is added first.
- Then, milk extracted from Wheat, is added immediately and mixed together for about 30 minutes.
- As time passes, it turns into brown colour.
- At this stage, pure ghee is added and mixed together until the final consistency is achieved.
Apart from the differences, both the halwas almost look the same. No food colouring is added to make them brown.
(If you know any other differences, please let us know in the comments below!)
(Source – Irfan’s view and Sutralam Suvaikalam youtube videos)
From Madurai Railway Station
After tasting the yummy halwa, we parceled few quantities of halwa and mixture for our friends. We went to the Madurai Junction Railway station and waited for the train to arrive.
And then the train arrived and we left to Chennai.
Madurai Prema Vilas Halwa kadai will always delight you, because my husband and I have been tasting the halwa for many years (from our childhood). They maintain their signature taste without any compromise in the quality.
If you happen to be in Madurai in the future, NEVER ever miss this halwa and mixture. I can guarantee you that you will buy few parcels for your friends and family as well!
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