Sheera,is one of the desserts made during festivities at GSB homes as an offering to the God/Goddess and the most common one as well.
Tomorrow, the most auspicious month of the hindu calendar “sravana masa” begins.During this month the married ladies of our community perform a Choodi Pooja to the Thulsi and the Lord every Friday and Sunday .The Choodi, in itself is a very colorful bunch of flowers and herbs which grows during the end of monsoons ,each with its own significance to individual gods.It’s made fresh for every pooja and offered to the gods and the husband “the lord of the household ” 😉 .We also make a sweet dish as an offering ,which in most cases would be SHEERA .More details of this tradition can be read here
In its simplest form it is made of semolina,sugar and ghee/oil to apeace the human souls and pepped up with ghee in place of oil,milk in place of water,banana along with sugar and a generous helping of assorted dry fruits to bribe the ALMIGHTY!!
This Desserts also goes all through the Indian subcontinent with different variations and names like Kesari bath in Karnataka-where Pineapple is also used & Sooji Halwa in North.
My MIL makes awesome Sheera!.This must have been the reason why I never picked up this recipe from her.I was happily contended with waiting for her to make Sheera, right after which she would come & tell me to eat it.Apart from my Mom and Aunt,she was the only other person who knew that I liked Sheera, fresh and pipping hot to the cold and cake form which most people prefer.
To me ,making any dish out of Semolina seems a litte risky since one does not ever know if its cooked enough.So today I started out making Sheera with a pinch of salt.The outcome was simply delicious,much to my surprise,later to my husbands too!!!
- 1 Cup Semolina
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 Cup water
- 5-6 Cardamom pods-seeds removed and crushed to powder.
- 5-6 tsp Ghee/Clarified butter
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp almonds
- 1 tbsp Cashew(optional-I have avoided this).
- Few strands of saffron dissolved in 1 tsp of milk(optional-I avoided)
- In a pan heat ghee and fry the Almonds and raisins.Keep them aside.
- Fry the Semolina ,in the remaining ghee on low flame.Constantly move a ladle in it so that it does not burn .
- Meanwhile in another vessel bring water to a boil.
- When the semolina emits a light frying fragrance,add the boiling water all over the semolina,whilst moving the ladle to avoid lumping..all this on medium flame till the semolina is cooked.
- To this add the sugar,the sugar will start dissolving giving you a window to smoothen out any lumps that might have been formed in the previous step.(if using saffron in milk this is the stage to add)
- Also add the cardamom powder,and half of the almonds raisins and continue to cook for the next couple of mts avoid lumping.
- Remove from flame and remove the sheera on to bakeware immediately and start spreading uniformly(since this will start setting in to the shape of the container when it starts cooling.)
- PS:I prefer simply scooping the hot sheera into a bowl and eating it while still warm.
- Now spread remaining almonds & raisins.Once cool cut into squares-which is the most common way of serving this dessert.
- Sheera is now ready to be served.