Sooji ka halwa is one of the easiest and quickest of Indian dessert puddings to make. Fine semolina is first roasted in butter and then cooked with a sugar solution till the semolina is cooked.
The very basic halwa recipe is only 3 ingredients — semolina, sugar, and ghee. Cardamom powder adds in delicious aroma and flavor. You can also add some saffron for a light kesari colour. Sooji is also known as rava in parts of India, and sooji halwa is also known as rava sheera.
From start to finish the halwa takes just about 10-15 mins. In fact, Sooji ka halwa was Mummy’s answer for instant desserts when we were kids. I don’t remember seeing any shop bought packs of dessert puddings ever in our home. I don’t even think that except for jelly, there were any sorts of instant dessert packs in the market back then. Made with real ingredients, it is so much healthier than those packet desserts.
I’ve sort of continued that tradition. Whenever I am asked for something nice, something sweet without much notice, I resort to sooji halwa. Sometimes I make it with jaggery instead of regular sugar. I have recently started using jaggery in place of sugar in many desserts like the broken wheat pudding (lapsi) and the peanut laddus. The steps remain the same and instead of a sugar solution, you mix jaggery in water before adding to roasted semolina. Jaggery lends the halwa a much deeper color and an earthy taste.
Sooji ka halwa is also part of the prasad made on the 8th day of Navratri festival. During the 9-day Hindu Navratri festival, on the 8th day called Ashtami, is Kanjak puja when girls are worshipped and celebrated as they represent the divine. The food offered is simple and yet so delicious as it cooked and offered with a lot of love — sooji ka halwa, black chickpeas, and poori.
Today, I am writing this recipe post as soon as the halwa is off the stove top. Last night we had a get together at Neha’s place who stays just two blocks away. Another friend was visiting from Bangalore and he asked about the blog and Neha complained that they hardly get to taste anything even though they stay the closest. He told her to follow the blog and the moment a recipe is on it, go to the house! Normally, however, a recipe goes up after the dish has been consumed! So I thought this time I’ll give Neha a fair chance to show up before it gets over 🙂
Once cooled the halwa sets firmly in whichever container you put it in when hot. So you can also set it in small silicone muffin cups and removed from it, they will be like little cupcakes.
If you like this recipe, please take a moment to rate it and/or leave your comments at the end of the blog. It will really encourage me to keep exploring, learning and improving.
- 3 cups water
- ¾ cup sugar , organic brown
- 1 cup sooji , (semolina)
- ½ cup ghee , (clarified butter)
- 2 tsp green cardamom powder
- 6-8 almonds , slivered
- Heat water in a sauce pan and add sugar. Cook until sugar dissolves. Keep aside.
- In a non-sticky pan or kadhai, dry roast semolina (without ghee) until brown (~5-6 minutes on medium-low flame)
- Add ghee and roast till golden brown
Reduce the heat to lowest and slowly and carefully add in the sugar solution while stirring the roasted semolina continuously. The water will sputter so be very careful in this step.
- Cook with continuous stirring until the water is absorbed and the halwa starts to leave ghee. The ghee will come out on the sides of the pan.
- Add cardamom powder. Mix and cook for another minute
- Garnish with slivered almonds and serve hot.
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