Diwali. The most wonderful time of the year for a Hindu home. Filled with lights, colours and fancy clothing, its one festival I really look forward to every year.
The one thing I don’t get excited about though is the sweets. Growing up, my sister would always jump for joy because of all the boxes of pedas and ladoos that every home much be stocked up with during the days leading up to Diwali. I on the other hand, being the non-sweet tooth-always-pick-spice kinda gal, always felt left out. Especially because I’ve always found most Indian sweets are TOO sweet, making it not so fun for me!
This put an additional task on my poor mother’s already very long “get ready for Diwali” to-do list – to have a sweet on the table at Diwali that I might actually eat. The answer was already pretty simple. Sooji ka halwa. Delicious, warm, freshly-made semolina. Nothing screams Kamath tradition and religious festivals like sooji ka halwa does. I don’t think it is the most traditional Diwali sweet in most homes however, it has long been a big part of my family’s holidays and now slowly, my friends as well. If there is word that there is some being made at home, there is an unsaid expectation that they will be receiving a box in the near future.
So as we get ready and prep for Diwali this year, I thought to share this super easy, 5-ingredient delicacy with you (6 if you want to make it fancy). All you need is sooji (semolina), ghee, sugar, water and cashews as a topping, if you like. If you want to take it up a notch, you can add a little bit of saffron.
Oh beautiful saffron! Considered as one of the most precious spices in the world, saffron is an Indian mothers treasure in the kitchen. So expensive, so precious, so worth it! A few strands goes a long way.
Super easy to make and so delicious to eat – I hope you give this one a go. If you do, let us know your thoughts!
Sooji ka halwa
1/2 cup sooji (semolina)
4 tbs ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 cup sugar (this can be to taste however, depending on how sweet you like your sheera)
1 cup water
saffron to taste
Add ghee and sooji in a saucepan and roast well until the grains begin to change colour.
Add sugar and continue roasting.
Add water and stir well. Make sure to continuously stir till the sooji starts to thicken and leaves the edges of the saucepan.
Crush the saffron (my mom always just uses her palms) and sprinkle into the cooked halwa and give it one more stir.
Top with cashews (optional)