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Saturday, April 08, 2006 

Sooji (Semolina) Ka Halwa

Search for 'Sooji Ka Halwa' on Google and it throws up hundreds and hundreds of recipes..all are basically the same, just playing around with the measures of Sooji, Water and Sugar and the types of nuts that one can add to it! I've added my notes and learnings in brackets with each step. Though I've made it quite a few times, but I decided to do my homework and research properly once again and then go about making this Halwa!

Heat around 3 tbsp Ghee in a kadhai and fry the nuts that you are going to add to the Halwa. I used around 10 Raisins, 10 Almonds slivered, 10 Cashswenuts cut into halves. One can avoid roasting the nuts in ghee and just add it later, but frying them does make the Halwa taste good :). So, one can indulge occasionally. Take them out and reserve them to be used later.

Mix, 1 cup Sugar, 2 cups Milk, 2 cups of Water with 4 Chotti Illaichi (skinned and crushed and bring to a boil. Keep aside. (The proportion of water and sugar is equally critical. Sooji:Sugar:Water ratio is usually 1:1:2. However, Nita Mehta's Everyday Cooking cookbook states that the liquid should be four times that of Sooji and that too, half of it should be milk and half water. So, I decided to follow her version and see how the Halwa turns out to be. What I observed was that the Halwa was a more gooey mass with 4 cups of Milk-Water, in comparison to the usual 2 cups of water and the addition of Milk also lightened the colour of the Halwa...it should have looked a li'l more browner! This was the first time that I used milk along with water to make this Halwa. Usually, its just water. Even the sugar proportion can be reduced - use half a cup if you want to enjoy a guilt-free treat of this Halwa, or increase it to 3/4th of a cup, though it tastes best with 1 cup!)

Heat 1/2 Cup of Ghee in the same kadhai and then add 1 cup Sooji to it. Roast it on low heat till it just changes colour.(This is the most important step in making this Halwa - this is what can 'make or break' this delicious Halwa. Each time I've tried my hand at making this, I've achieved a different colour for the final product - dark brown to golden-ish to sandy brown! I guess something in between is ideal - if it is undercooked then the rawness of the Sooji remains and if it becomes too dark, it is overcooked and doesn't taste great. As they say, practice makes a man perfect! When will I become perfect???!! The proportion of Sooji:Ghee is ideally 4:3 but then again once can vary it to as low as 4:1 - I adopted the middle path of 2:1!)

The rest is just simple - putting together of everything. Add the milk mixture, fried nuts to the roasted Sooji and stir on low heat continuously making sure that no limps are fomred, till it leaves the sides of the kadhai. Mould them into any shape and serve decorated with some nuts.

This is a beautiful blog.
Thank you.

Hi Shili, that is one detailed recipe writing. I like your approach.

I also prepare suji halwa in the proportions you mentioned. After moving to US, I've started adding the milk along with water to make it more rich. Friends influence.:)

Some, like my husband, Vijay, prefer a more gooey suji halwa. The cookbook recipe proportions of 4 cups water+milk may be geared towards them, I guess.

Hi Paco...thanks for stopping by...but I am curious to know how you found your way here...just one of those random Internet 'surfings' ??!!

Hey Indira..it feels so good to see that you had been on my blog :)..as I'm on your website almost everyday to see what's going on in your kitchen :)...and have to tell you this that you have been one of the 'inspirations' behind this blog :)!!

this is the first time i'm visiting this blog...all u people put in so much effort...just a small addition to your sooji halwa, shilpi...a little saffron dissolved in the milk gives it a nice color...n if thrs no milk it absorbs the color even better...
u know thrs this restaurant next 2 my home bak in kerala which serves this really yummy sooji halwa...in kannada they call it sheera...its jst amazing...but i have never seen any1 make it to that standard!!!

Hi Shipli,

Thanks for the detailed recipe. I tried the recipe earlier today and it turned out great. The halwa brought back childhood memories :)

Hey Shilpi,

I luved your description...just that u mentioned so many combinations to prepare the halwa, gave me a choice of making it my way..or actually I must say my way was ur way, the middle path :)..totally luved it..thanks gurl!!

i tried ur recipe, and it was great!!! thanks a lot!!!
hey , i know it was a typing error...but could u correct limps to lumps..

Thanks Shilpi,

Came across this post while searching for sooji recipes, duhh. But thank you so much for writing it out this way in ingredient ratios and proportions.

It makes cooking so easy and not dependant on the volume one wants to cook.

It was a great help. Thanks again,

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