Semolina Halwa (or Soji ka Halwa as it more commonly known) is a widely recognized dessert from the Indian subcontinent. This special halwa is quite often made in homes during times of celebration. It is frequently seen being distributed in Indian temples after being offered to religious idols during times of worship too.
Food for the gods is an expression that would be befitting for this delectable yet very simple to prepare dessert.
Halwa is traditionally made using a large quantity of sugar, clarified butter (ghee) and milk. It has a soft smooth creamy texture that melts in your mouth.
– 1 cup fine semolina flour
– 1/2 cup maple syrup
– 2 tbsp coconut oil
– 2.5 cups milk (fat free, low fat, almond or coconut milk all work well with this recipe)
– 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds crushed
– 4 or 5 strands of saffron
– 1 tsp crushed almonds or pistachio nuts
– 1/4 cup raisins or cranberries
NB: The semolina in this recipe can be easily substituted for another base ingredient such as millet flour or even amaranth flour.
1) Take a large sieve and sift the semolina flour to make sure it is clean and free from any small unwanted particles. Keep aside until later.
2) In a large saucepan heat the coconut oil under a low heat until it has melted completely.
3) Add the saffron to the coconut oil and then the sieved semolina flour.
4) On a medium flame continually stir the semolina in the pan until it starts to turn a pinkish brown color. (It is important to continually stir the mixture as the semolina will burn otherwise).
5) Once the semolina changes color, turn the heat off and add the milk slowly to the pan while stirring.
6) Once all the milk is in the pan switch the heat back on to low and add the maple syrup and the raisins/cranberries. Continue to stir slowly.
7) The semolina will start to thicken slowly as you stir it. If you find that the mixture is still too thick then add more milk as necessary.
8) The halwa is ready when the mixture is smooth, creamy and thick in the pan.
9) Transfer the halwa into a glass dish and garnish the top with crushed cardamom seeds and crushed or sliced almonds.