Saturday, February 28, 2009

Celebratory Weekend Dinner - Part 2

Have I kept you waiting long? Please don't pout, sweet readers, because I'm going to make it up to you right now. My gift to you for being so patient is this: I'm NOT going to ramble on & on in this post. Today I will just let my food do the talking.

Oh .. er .. just one teensy-weensy monologue before I clam up. To recap, this is my follow-up to the intensely delicious Resham Kabab I had posted about last time. This Sooji Halwa (Semolina Pudding) is what you should have with it. These two dishes go together like Ross and Rachel, Lucy and Desi, that King of Queens guy and his hot wife, Ron and Hermoine (props to my Harry Potter fans) - a bit bizarre but somehow successful! Meant to be together!

The protagonist - semolina.

Sooji Halwa (Semolina Pudding)
Serves 4-6

1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter) or canola/vegetable oil
1 cup semolina (sooji)
3/4 cup sugar
1.5 cups water
4 small green cardamon (lightly crushed)
1 medium pinch saffron (about 1 tsp)
1/8 tsp yellow food color (small pinch if you're using the powder) - optional


1. Dissolve the water and sugar, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the green cardamom, saffron and food color (if using). Let it simmer for 2-3 mins, then take it off the heat and let the mixture steep.

The saffron ties that bind us

2. In the meantime, warm up the ghee in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the semolina all at once and keep stirring it till it starts to change color through the toasting process (the greyish-white starts to take on a reddish or golden tinge) - about 5-8 mins. Don't let it burn!

Adding ghee to anything is like adding sunshine ... and it smells fantastic!

3. After the light toasting, add the water mixture all at once - stand back! It may splatter!

4. Turn the heat down. Stir well, then cover with a lid, letting it slowly absorb the liquid. Keep stirring it every 2 mins. You can always add more water or ghee if you think it needs more cooking time to soften. It should be done in about 10-15 mins.

(Note: There are two signs you need to look out for to know it's ready: a) the mixture coagulates after absorbing all the liquid, and comes away from the sides of the pan when you stir it; b) the semolina grains will become completely soft, so that you can barely distinguish one kernel from the next.)

5. There are several ways to serve this. Obviously with your favorite kabab dish, or with your hot pooris and potato bhaji. You can have it purely as dessert, still warm with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream, or just plain. Hot or cold, it's an amazingly comforting dessert.

See how you can barely see the individual semolina grains? And the shine comes from the ghee - so don't be afraid to add more of it!

Such pretty colors here - I wonder if Gayathri will likey for her Magnificent Click Contest 2009? Only one way to find out ... I'm sending this in G!


Anonymous said...

This pudding looks so luscious and yummy! I love that you can serve it as a side and as a dessert. And I *love* saffron!

Yasmeen said...

luscious kheer,feel like making it right now;just need to stock up on ghee.I bet the sweet kheer pairs perfectly with the spicy resham kababs.You have a flavorsome collection of recipes,Muneeba:)

Varsha Vipins said... loving this..The saffron pic is so fab..fiery red..:)
First time here n loved ur space..:)

Varsha Vipins said...

Thanks for those sweet comments dear..:).I deeply appreciate them..Pls come back,u can follow my space..Im gona be regular here too..:)

Gayathri said...

Wonderful entry for my contest, i am glad that i get such charming pics daily.. Thank you so much for the entry..

Rico said...

wonderful really is beautiful to look at and I bet tasty too. :D xxx

Sabinah Rafiq said...

This looks so yummy! Do you have a recipe for poori's and for cholay (to serve a traditional pakistani breakfast)? I was looking for a search tool on your blog to easily search for recipes but I can't see one. Thanks!!