Sooji halwa is one of the most common and popular traditional Indian desserts. Sooji or Rava halwa is prepared on various festive occasions in India. This is my Mom's favorite dessert as it has a very aromatic scent (because of 2 wonderful spices: cardamom and saffron). Dipping saffron strands in milk helps the saffron to release its beautiful colour. I have turned this into be-jeweled bangle !!!
Serves: 6-8 people Preparation time: 30 minutes
2 1/2 cups Water
1 1/4 cups Sugar
3/4 cup Ghee or Clarified Butter
1 1/4 cups Semolina (sooji/suji) coarse grained
2-3 Green Cardamom, coarsely powdered
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 tsp Saffron strand
2 tsp sliced Almonds
2 tsp split Cashews
1 tsp sliced Pistachios (optional)
Soak the saffron strands in 1/2 cup boiling hot milk. Keep aside.
To Prepare Syrup:
Mix water, sugar and cardamom in a saucepan. Stir continuously over low flame and bring it to a boil. Now add the milk that contains saffron strands. After 5 minutes turn off the gas. Cover the saucepan for few minutes so that the aroma infuses in the syrup.
In a skillet (kadai) pour ghee and put it on medium heat. Once the ghee is hot, add sooji and stir fry constantly over medium heat for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown (a good halwa's texture is light golden brown not dark brown). Now add cashew, pistachios, almonds and roast the dry fruits for 5 minutes. Pour the syrup over the semolina while mixing vigorously. It may splutter a little but will quickly stop as soon as the syrup is fully absorbed (this may take 10 minutes). Once the ghee starts to exude, remove from heat. Serve hot or at room temperature.
User comments & Tips: This halwa can be stored in the refrigerator for a week and can also be frozen in deep fridge.
This post is dedicated to my very dear friend Sunanda whose b'day is on 24 March. Happy Birthday to you my dear friend. May all your wishes come true!!!!
Picture card courtesy to :99galleries.com