Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sweet Semolina with a Touch of Saffron (Food Fit for the Gods)

Its amazing how sometimes the most obvious choice of food is right in front of you and you are racking your brains to come up with a good idea. This happened to me when I read about the Festive Food Fair hosted by the lovely Anna of Morsels and Musings. When I first read the word Festive it conjured up in my mind all the food that we Indians make at Diwali, but then I thought " Oh! but everyone has already blogged about it very recently. So it won't be anything new" In the last few days while cooking at home my thoughts often strayed to what I would make for the Festive Food Fair but kept drawing a blank. Another small problem was that there is no upcoming special occasion or festival that my family and I celebrate atleast till coming January.

But the solution came to me through a very cute request made by my 4 yr old son. He has a major sweet-tooth and makes such requests now and then which I sometimes fulfil and sometimes ignore . He asked me to make this Sweet Semolina preparation which we call Sheera. Its one of his favourites. (Actually its one of my favourites too). Thats when I realised that this was the perfect entry as this is what we make as an offering to the Gods on all religious occasions. Its quite simple to make and tastes delicious. When it is made as an offering at a Pooja we make it richer than normal, flavouring it with bananas, almonds and.. saffron and just ignore the calories.But thats because it is eaten in very small quantities. The recipe below is for a less richer version.

Food fit for the Gods, originally uploaded by Anupama 72.
1 cup fine semolina,
1 cup granulated sugar,
3 tblspns clarified butter (ghee),
1 banana mashed,
2 cups whole milk
1 cup water,
1/2 tspn cardammom powder,
1 generous pinch saffron strands,
1 tiny pinch salt,
roasted almond slivers to decorate (optional)
  • In a heavy bottom wok or flat pan , heat the ghee and add to that the semolina. Mix the two and roast the semolina on a very gentle heat to a golden colour. Mash the banana and add it to the semolina The aroma of the roasted semolina with ghee and banana is very tantalising.
  • While you are roasting the semolina, gently bring the milk and water together to a boil in a saucepan. Switch off the gas once it comes to a boil.
  • After the semolina is nice and golden add the hot mixture of milk and water very gradually into it. Be careful as hot steam rises as soon as you pour the milk into the semolina. Mix it all very well and cover the pan with a heat proof (steel) plate for a few mins so the semolina ccoks by the steam . (Note the heat should be gentle at all times as it is very easy to burn the semolina.)
  • Remove the plate and next add the sugar. Mix again. As the sugar dissolves the entire mixture will change in consistency and become very loose. But it comes back to normal as soon as all the sugar is dissolved. Again cover with a plate and let cook for a few mins.
  • Now remove the plate again ,switch off the gas and add the cardammom powder and the saffron strands. Stir these in gently. Your Sheera is ready to eat.
  • This is a great snack for everybody as well as a good sweet dish to accompany the rest of a festive meal.

For all my readers who wanted to know how I moulded the semolina. Its is this mould that I used. It is easily available in India.

Good Food 2 016


Nabeela said...

wow, what a delicious looking treat...I don't care if its rich...I say bring on the sugar! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Anupama, that looks so delicious and the way you presented them is simply superb.

shilpa said...

You are posting some of the best recipes these days. This sweet looks absolutely awesome.

Manisha said...

Pharach chaan! Truly! And then to make sanghori with the leftovers! Yum!

Linda said...

This looks just stunning Anupama. Lovely!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anupama

Nice recipe. Infact, I made the same recipe for thanksgiving except that I cut them into squares and topped with chopped nuts. Where did you get this shape from? Which mould did you use?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo Anupama, yummy Kesari Bhath! Love the way you moulded it.Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yummy yummy !! The sheera looks absolutely delicious Anupama, and the way you have shaped them is just too hard to resist trying to grab one !! I tasted this for the first time when my frnd here who is a Maharastrian made it for one of the festivals. I just loved it, its time to remind her to make it again ;-)

Anupama said...

Nabeela, do you have a strong sweet strong tooth too?

Lakshmi, thank you very much.

Shilpa, thats one of the best comments I have got.Its encouragement like this that keeps us bloggers cooking better and better food

Manisha, you just gave me a great idea.

Linda, Thank yo so much.

Lakshmik, The mould is easily available in India. It is particularly used for this Sheera, or rice or upma.

Thank you Asha.

Priya, wish I could send you some.

Vcuisine said...

Dear Anupama. Very creative and looks great. I like the way you presented it. Thanks for sharing. Viji

Anonymous said...

my mouth is watering just looking at it! those saffron strands look so elegant.

Indira said...

What a beautiful presentation of this very traditional recipe. Loved those small domes. I am curious to know about the moulds you used for this shape. Thanks Anupama.

Anonymous said...

very sweet presentation in keeping with ur write up. Sheera is indeed a comfort food as well as festive food.

Manju Bansal said...

Hi ! I liked your presentation.

Anupama said...

Thank You Viji.

I loved the Round-up Anna. When are you hosting the next event.

Indira, I have posted a picture now of the mould I used.

Shaheen, Are you a Sheera fan too?

Manju, Thanks for dropping by .

Priya S&S said...

YUMMMM ! Beautiful presentation. Have bookmarked this recipe. Will try this soon and let u know.

Bhargavi said...

Looks soooooo delicious.
Thx for sharing!

Anonymous said...

What more is left to say, Anupama? Everybody else has said everything that I had to say and more. Maybe I should just tell you that I am gonna buy this 'mudaal' on my next trip to Tulshi Baug. :)
Also, I like the cloth that you have spread below the plate. It's pretty.

jayakarthik said...

looks wonderful
especially the shape is sooo appealing

Anupama said...

Priya s&s: Thank you very much and do let me know how it turned out.

Bhargavi, Thanx a ton

Vaishali, Its been like 500 years since you came over to my blog and yes I was pleased as punch to see a comment from you. By the way buy me one too. This one I borrowed from a friend.

Jayashree: Thank you.

Snehal said...

ummm i love seera!! what an interesting and beautiful way to present it!! Love the pics!

Anonymous said...


Rajashree said...

Hi Anupama,

Thanks to you I made Sheera today and It turned out to be very tasty....but I need to reduce the amount of sugar the next time cause I made it very sweet.
Thanks a lot for posting such great recepies.I am a big fan.

Chetana Suvarna Ganatra said...

Dear Anupama, first time here, liked te addition of bannana in de sheera... And tat mould is too cute....