The very basics in any maharashtrian household are 3 things – Shira, Pohe and Upma. With playing “Shira Puri – pudhchya ghari” as kids to making it as the Satyanarayan Pooja Prasad, Shira is without doubt one of the most popular desserts in maharashtrian homes.
Shira, or Sooji ka halwa, as they call it in Hindi, has always been a favourite of mine. Not just for its wonderful taste and texture, but also for how easy it is to make with minimal ingredients; Of course, there have been many successful experiments with the Shira just to take it up another level – The Pineapple Shira, Banana Shira (I love it).
As a pre-preparation, Dry roast your Rava/Sooji/Semolina in a kadai on medium heat. Remember to keep stirring as rava tends to burn quickly. You will know it is done with it feels light to stir and almost smells like the shira itself. This step is important in terms of taste as well as preservation. Your roasted Semolina will stay fresh and clean longer when stored.
Now lets get down to actually making it.
Servings : 2
- Semolina/Rava/Sooji (Roasted) : 1 1/2 cup
- Ghee/Clarified Butter : 3 tbsp
- Sugar : 3 tbsp
- a pinch of elaichi/cardamom powder
- few cashews and raisins (Optional)
- Add the semolina and the ghee to a pan and put this on a low flame. Keep stirring constantly.
- You will see the ghee melts down and the mixture starts to boil.
- Keep stirring till the semolina starts to brown slightly. You will also notice crisp aromas of roasted ghee and semolina.
- Now add the milk. If you like, you can also add the cashewnuts and raisins at this point. The mixture boils and liquifies and then starts to come together. Keep stirring.
- Add a pinch of cardamom and stir.
- Add in the sugar. The mixture again liquifies as the sugar melts in.
- Keep stirring till it solidifies. And done.