Sooji Halwa - A Sweet, Dense Semolina Confection
Sooji Halwa is a dessert recipe, where sooji is basically Semolina and a halwa is a sweet, dense confection. Its a universally loved dish, and translates well across all age groups. Made generally on festive occasions, you don't have to wait for one to make this delicious and timeless dish.
I have used pure ghee to make this halwa, but you can make this in any vegetable oil and tamper it with 2 tbsp of pure ghee. I have also used milk for this recipe, but instead, you could use simple water, or a proportion of half water and half milk - its not as rich as the recipe below but its still a really good halwa. I have also added a cup of sugar, but you can adjust that according to your own preference. For my proportion for the sooji and milk, its usually 1:3, but again, you can adjust the amount of milk you want to use. Also, I use cardamom and nutmeg powders which really flavor up this dish.
So, here's the recipe for this superb dessert.
- 1 1/2 cups sooji (semolina)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 1/2 cups milk
- 5 tbsp pure ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 2 or 3 pinches of nutmeg powder
- 1/4 cup almonds, cashew nuts and raisins
- 6 to7 strands of saffron (optional)
1. Halve some, and make smaller pieces of the rest of your cashews and almonds.
Instructions for cooking
1. Heat pure ghee in a pan and on a slow medium flame, roast the sooji till it turns to a light golden color.
2. Add milk along with raisins and keep stirring in all directions so that no lumps form. As the sooji starts cooking, slow the flame - you'll notice the sooji is getting well done and becoming of a solid-er consistency.
3. Add sugar and soon the sugar melts and the sooji turns a little liquid-y. Keep stirring and slowly, it turns thicker. Now, add cardamom and nutmeg powder. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5-7 minutes. Then, remove the lid and you'll notice the ghee has very slightly separated on all sides from the halwa, which is now cooked to the right consistency. Then switch the flame off.
4. Garnish with nuts.
5. Your delicious Sooji Halwa is ready.
There's another wonderful variation to this dish, the Kesari Halwa or Rawa Kesari. For this preparation, soak the saffron strands in 2 tbsp of milk for at least a half hour. Then, when you add milk along with raisins (Step 2 from above), add your saffron milk as well, and follow the rest of the steps, and your flavorful Kesari Halwa is ready.
The difference between the Sooji and Kesari halwa is the saffron really, which gives an amazing flavor (and color) to the halwa on the whole. While this obviously has a different taste compared with the Sooji Halwa, they're both just mind blowing.
No matter which one you're having, the Sooji or Kesari Halwa, they're both such winsome desserts that I had to let you guys in on it. While, often made on festive occasions, I make this whenever I feel like it as I love halwas. Its also quick and an easy dish to prepare.
So, I hope you make this, and enjoy.