I must be feeling very nostalgic lately, since I keep making dishes that remind me of my childhood in India. This dish can easily be mistaken and served as a dessert to follow a nice curry, and it would probably go down well too. But my memory of Sooji Halwa, is eating it as a breakfast dish enveloped in soft deep fried puris. Think pancake like parcels with the sweet fragrant halwa inside. Sooji Halwa which is prepared with semolina is made very similary to porridge. In fact, I remember my dad making it on its own for breakfast and calling it a Sooji porridge. Since being in Australia, I don’t think I have seen it being served at any Indian take-aways and I do not know why – I think it would make a perfect cheap breakfast. In this version of it I have decreased the amount of liquid so that it is of a firmer consistency and I was able to put it into a plastic container, as a mould. It did get served as a dessert at a Nepalese friend’s house, since his name sounds a little like Sooji – and I told him I would make some for him some time. Hope you enjoyed it “Sooji Cracker”.
2 cups x Coarse Semolina
4 tbsp x Ghee, or 50g x Butter
1tsp x Ground Cardamom Seeds
1 stick x Cinnamon
¾ cup x Caster Sugar
2 cups x Water, boiling hot
1 cup x Milk, heated
½ cup x Thickened Cream
100g x Cashews/Almonds/Pistachios (your choice when it comes to the nuts, just chop them coarsely)
50g x Sultanas or Raisins (I didn’t use any in this recipe and found it wasn’t missed – by me anyway!)
Melt the ghee or butter on medium heat in a non-stick pan and add the cardamom and cinnamon
Fry for a few seconds then add the semolina and stir continuously so that it starts to roast the grains
After about 5 minutes the semolina will be nicely browned and very fragrant
Add the hot water and milk folding to combine into a thick porridge like consistency
Next add the chopped
Keep stirring for another 5 minutes then add the cream and mix well
At this point if you wanted to go the porridge way then add more milk or water to get it to the consistency you desire and serve immediately
If it is to be a dessert then remove the cinnamon stick and transfer to an appropriate mould
Cover and place in the fridge until firm and set
Turn the halwa out, onto a plate and cut into squares before serving
Garnish with an cashew or almond on each square for decoration
"Semolina is collected during the process of wheat milling. Wheat grains are processed by machinery that removes the bran and germ. The starch that covers the germ breaks up during the process and is filtered to form semolina and other grades of flour. It is very absorbent and can take on a lot of liquid when cooked."
"Halwa made from semolina can be found being made in many countries from Greece to the Middle East. This recipe hails from the North India region"