Suji Ka Halwa (Sheera)
With festivals around the corner, it’s time to delve in the goodness of sweet delights. While every region has its traditional specialty, one of the easiest and quickest dessert to make is Suji ka Halwa. This crumbly, sweet, and delicious dessert is usually made with semolina (rava or suji) roasted in Ghee (clarified butter), spiced with cardamom, saffron and loaded with nuts and raisins.
Suji ka halwa is called by various names such Sheera in Maharashtra, Sajjige / Rava Kesari in Karnataka. Extremely simple to make, this comforting dessert is often served as an offering to God in many Indian households during festivals. But you don’t really need an occasion to relish this. Also, one those desserts that can be rustled up in a jiffy and stores well up to a week in the refrigerator. Warm it up whenever needed and you have a comforting snack ready in a jiffy.
Over the years, with my travel, I have seen similarities to this Halwa in many countries and in Turkey it is usually served with ice cream. So delicious!! It is a combination worth trying. But the most divine tasting halwa is served in the holy temples of India – nothing beats how heavenly and different this simple dessert tastes in temple kitchens.
Here is my attempt to make Suji ka halwa, temple style – the taste is closest to what you get in the temples adding two very special ingredients. To achieve this perfect non-sticky texture, the trick is in the proportions. I use a ratio of 2:1:1 for milk, semolina and sugar. Since I add banana to this dish, I reduce the amount of sugar. You are welcome to add almonds and raisins to the dish, but we prefer it only with cashewnuts.
Here is how to make Suji ka Halwa or Sheera, temple style. Enjoy!
¼ cup ghee (clarified butter)
½ cup suji (semolina)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp cardamom powder
½ tsp saffron strands
½ ripe banana, mashed
Pinch of edible camphor
- In a small saucepan, bring milk to boil along with saffron strands over medium flame. You can replace milk with water instead or do a ratio of half water and half milk as per your liking.
- In another heavy bottom pan, add ghee and roast nuts until slightly golden
- Remove nuts and in the same pan add semolina / suji and roast it until it is lightly toasted without browning it over medium flame. It is important to stir continuously
- It will take approx. 5-6 minutes and you will know it is ready when the raw smell disappears
- Now reduce flame to low; slowly add boiled milk while stirring continuously to avoid spluttering and forming any lumps
- Once combined well, increase flame to medium and cook until all milk gets absorbed
- At this point, add mashed banana, sugar and cardamom powder
- Stir until sugar dissolves and it has a semi-solid consistency. The halwa will leave the sides of the pan at this point. Let it cook for another 2 mins approx
- Add roasted nuts and reserve some for garnish
- Lastly add a pinch of edible camphor and mix well. Remember not to add more, a little goes a long way here
- Garnish with nuts and Suji halwa is now ready for serving. You can eat this warm or at room temperature 🙂
Enjoy! If you like semolina in desserts try Basbousa/ Revani – a baked semolina dessert. Sure you will love it too.
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Love & Hugs,