For the March Daring Cooks’ challenge, Ruth from Makey Cakey invited us to start the day with something filling, warm and nutritious. We got to experiment with different techniques and flavorings to create our own perfect personal porridge.
As I said in my previous post about Sooji Kheer (an Indian semolina porridge), I am no porridge expert… as we had to make 2 versions of porridge for the challenge, I thought of making a thicker version of Sooji Kheer, that is called Sooji Halwa (or Rava Sheera). Unlike kheer, this is considered more of a dessert than a “porridge” and it is often served as Prasad during festivals and poojas in India. The method for making Sooji Halwa is very similar to the one for Sooji Kheer, even though while Kheer is made with milk, this is mainly made using water. Also, there is more semolina and less liquid in this Halwa… which makes it thicker. It is delicious with plenty of nuts, raisins and cardamom and when eaten warm, it is pure comfort food. Try it out and let me know!
Sooji Halwa – Rava Sheera
Sooji Halwa – also known as Rava Sheera - is a semolina-based dessert that t is often served as Prasad during festivals and poojas in India.
- 1 cup sooji/rava – fine semolina
- ½ cup ghee
- ½ cup milk hot
- 2 ½ cups water
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cashewnuts
- 1 tbsp sliced almonds
- 2 tbsp raisins
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder
Heat the ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Add the sooji/semolina and roast it on a low flame, while stirring, for about 8 minutes (you will see the ghee separate from the semolina). After 5 minutes, add the cashew nuts, almonds and raisins and roast them too. Add the cardamom powder and mix.
In the meantime, heat the water and sugar in a separate pot and bring it to a boil.
Then slowly pour this boiling sugar solution in the ghee-sooji mixture, while continuously stirring. Do this carefully, as the mixture sizzles and splutters. Add the hot milk too and mix well.
The sooji will begin to absorb the liquid and swell and it will start thickening. Keep stirring, until all the water is absorbed and the ghee separates from the semolina.
Serve the sooji ka halwa hot, warm or at room temperature.