Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sheera / Sooji Ka Halwa

Sheera is one of a delicious sweet which can be prepared in matter of minutes. When people celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune, they make this sheera as it is considered a favorite of Lord Ganesha. This sheera can be made with or without banana. It is usually served with spicy chana sabzi.

Ingredients
1 cup coarse semolina or rava
2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
1 banana (optional)
8 cardamom pods
pinch of kesar
2 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
dry fruits (raisins, almonds, cashewnuts)

Method

Fry semolina on a low flame in a pan till light brown and smells good. Boil or heat milk in microwave milk and keep aside. Separate the cardamom from pods and powder it with a tablespoon of sugar and mix with the semolina. Heat 2 tablespoon milk and add kesar and keep aside. Heat ghee in a pan and add the chopped nuts and fry till golden brown. Keep the heat at medium-low or medium. Add the semolina and fry for a minute. Add milk and stir continuously till no lumps are formed. Add sugar to the sheera. Addwell mashed banana to the sheera. Keep flame on low and cook covered for 5 minutes till the semolina is soft. Add keshar and stir well. Cook till the milk has evaporated. Stir well with a wooden ladle till the sheer turns into a big lump. Serve hot.
If you want a round shape as in the photo, grease a small bowl with ghee and press the sheera into the bowl. Then tilt the bowl upside down to gently slide the sheera into a plate.

Tips: The secret of making sheera without lumps is to keep the heat low when adding milk to the semolina. and stirring it continuously. Stirring it well with a ladle once it is cooked gives it a smooth consistency.