This is a no fail recipe for sooji halwa. If I can make it so can you. I know, I know … you think I can do it all. But if there is a dish that made me sweat – this is it. If there is a dish that made me shudder because I knew I would never be able to get it right – this IS the one. I tried so many recipes for this from all over. NOTHING WORKED! Until I tried this one!
My lil sister shared her recipe and her secret proportions for making it and does it Rock!! I made the most perfect halwa for the first time in my life and I was thrilled. Sometimes the attention to detail in simple sounding recipes is important. And that is exactly what I was missing.
What makes a good Sooji Halwa you ask ?
The cream of wheat / Semolina is toasted to perfection. It’s almost nutty is taste. Then it gets a little ghee and more toasting love. It’s one of those Indian sweets that is made in every house with varied recipes and each one is so different from the other. The ratio of semolina: ghee : water: sugar are important. Most importantly the order in which you add these ingredients makes or breaks a halwa.
My mom used to make this as part of any pooja at home. It was especially made during Diwali Pooja with some sweet pooris to make a prasad. The semolina halwa also known as rava sheera in India is a quick go to dessert. But you know what, in some parts of India, it makes a for a leisurely breakfast too. And in all of India, it is associated with celebration. It is one of those earthy things that rich and poor can make with equal devotion and offer to the Gods!
Some other things you might like to make for Diwali or a nice celebratory meal :
Kachori : Deep fried, crisp globes of Happiness
Slow roasted semolina in ghee and infused with cardamom is cooked to a nutty perfection.
- 1 C coarse semolina
- 1 C melted ghee
- 1 C sugar
- 4 C water
- 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
- 2 tbs slivered almonds
- 2 tbs raisins
Dry roast the sooji ( semolina) on medium heat until it turns a nice golden color.
Make sure to keep stirring while it roasts.
When the sooji turns a nice golden color, add the ghee and roast for a minute or so. And yes, continue the constant stirring.
Add the water. Be careful while doing this – the water bubbles up & creates a whole lot of steam. And hey, continue the stirring.
As you stir the halwa, the water will begin to get absorbed in the semolina.
But it does require a good bit of stirring. In about 3-4 minutes, the halwa will begin to thicken and there will be no traces of the water.
Now add the sugar. And Stir.
The sugar will release moisture in the halwa and it will look watery again . This is normal and expected.
Add the cardamom, almonds and raisins and keep stirring until the mix comes all together and begins to leave the sides of the pan.
Serve warm. Topped with some more nuts
The serving size is an indicator only. This is on the sweeter side of things so serve as much or as little as you want.