Sooji Ka Halwa {Semolina Sweet Confections}

by Kiran on August 18, 2011 · 29 comments

in Celebration, Desserts, Indian

Happy Thursday!

It was Raksha Bandhan last Saturday and India’s Independence Day on Monday. Coupled that with me feeling ill just a touch and gloomy weather. But that was not an excuse not to whip up delicious halwa to commemorate those celebrations.

What is Halwa?

Halwa is basically “sweet confections” in Hindi. It’s consistency can be from creamy to dense, depends on how you love eating halwa. Growing up, my favorite halwa has always been sooji which simply means semolina. The regular recipe can be boring at times. Adding water just doesn’t cut it for me. Plain ole’ suji, no way! I love eating halwa straight up hot and steamy from the skillet. Well, that’s just me :D

What is Raksha Bandhan?

… directly translated as, “the bond of protection”, Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is a festival primarily observed in India, which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. The central ceremony involves the tying of a rakhi (sacred thread) by a sister on her brother’s wrist. This symbolizes the sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being, and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her. Source: Wikipedia

Apologies for the under-focused photos. Blame it on my “under the weather” plus poor weather conditions.

For Ken – my brother

I was only 3 years old when you were born

A pride and joy of the family

Mommy’s favorite child without a doubt

Who used to hide my toys to irritate me

Nonetheless, you still do

With all my heart, I miss you.

You grew up way too fast

I am still your friend, no matter what …

This one is for you little brother. Happy Raksha Bandhan! And don’t forget my gift(s). I might be far away for now, but I’ll be visiting you soon :D

To India & Indians from all across the world, hope you had a very Happy Independence Day with your loved ones.

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Semolina Sweet Confections

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1.5 cup whole milk
  • a few saffron threads
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp agave or sugar
  • 1/2 shredded coconut
  • 2 heaping tbsp ghee
  • toasted cashews for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat a non-stick heavy bottomed skillet on low to medium heat. Add semolina flour and roast, stirring occasionally to avoid burn. Yup, burnt semolina is no good.
  2. Heat milk in a separate pot on medium heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as bubbles appears on the sides, remove milk from heat. Add sugar, vanilla essence and saffron threads. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Once semolina flour is slightly fragrant, add shredded coconut and roast till lightly browned.
  4. Spoon in ghee and keep stirring to avoid lumps.
  5. Add milk and remove semolina before it spatters vigorously!
  6. Continue stirring to avoid lumps.
  7. Evenly spread the mixture into a 8×8 dish and allow to cool completely.
  8. Slice and serve with a few cashews.

What is your favorite “Halwa” or Sweet Confections?


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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sush August 18, 2011 at 1:30 PM

pictures look yummy too……..
sush recently posted..Religion & Science- Fast and Food in Ramadan

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2 Kiran August 25, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Sush,
Thanks a lot dear :)

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3 Anne John August 18, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Lovely pics, yummy sweet and a nice write up!
But one small correction- I think you meant Monday was Independence Day, not Republic Day, right?
Anne John recently posted..To Have And To Hold

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4 Kiran August 25, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Anne,
Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the correction. I’ve amended it :)

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5 Reem August 18, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Oh Kiran, Such a beautiful pictures of rakhi, you reminded me of home…..
Lovely write up and ofcourse delicious looking sooji halwa!!!!
Love it…..

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6 Kiran August 25, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Reem,
I am so glad you loved this recipe and it reminded all of us, our home :)

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7 kankana August 18, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Nice .. very nice Kiran:) That sooji halwa is looking pretty and sounds so delicious.
kankana recently posted..Scallops with Corn and Pepper Sauce

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8 Kiran August 25, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Kankana,
Thanks a lot honey. I’ve had sooji ka halwa ever since childhood and am glad to add a twist to this recipe by using coconut instead. Heck, I am a huge coconutty fan :D

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9 Radhika @ foodfor7stages August 19, 2011 at 12:18 AM

That is one of the prettiest Rakhi I have ever seen. Love Suji halwa on any day.
Radhika @ foodfor7stages recently posted..Corn on the cob Korma

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10 Kiran August 25, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Radhika,
Thanks for the Rakhi compliments honey. I love eating sooji hot from the pan during a rainy cold day. With a cuppa tea!

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11 Sanjeeta kk August 19, 2011 at 12:26 AM

I like how you made the halwa set in to make squares out of it! and lovely info about rakhi, Kiran.
Sanjeeta kk recently posted..A Tale of Two Delightful Desserts – Mango & Nutty Rose Firni

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12 Kiran August 25, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Sanjeeta,
Thank you dear. I guess halwa’s are best served set in and cool down to cut. It looks a little prettier and least messy :D

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13 Parita August 19, 2011 at 10:03 AM

What a lovely post! Halwa looks delicious
Parita recently posted..Eggless Tiramisu Cake

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14 Kiran August 25, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Parita,
Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the compliments :)

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15 Simply Life August 20, 2011 at 8:07 AM

oh this is so good to know – thanks for the info!
Simply Life recently posted..The Power of Words: Summer Squash Tart with WW Crust

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16 Kiran August 25, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Simply Life,
Thanks dear :)

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17 Ellie | Gourmand Recipes August 20, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Halwa is one of my favorite Indian sweets. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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18 Kiran August 25, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Ellie,
I am so glad you love halwa! I’ve never came across any one who doesn’t. Not yet :)

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19 Sunil Deepak August 21, 2011 at 2:30 AM

During dieting, reading yummy recipes is such fun!

The pictures are beautiful.

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20 Kiran August 25, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Sunil,
Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the compliments. I salute you about having fun in reading yummy recipes while dieting. I don’t have such willpower :D

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21 carolinaheartstrings August 22, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Great pictures and post. Thanks for sharing your traditions. I love to read about them.
carolinaheartstrings recently posted..TOMATO PIE

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22 Kiran August 25, 2011 at 1:09 PM

CHS,
Thanks a lot dear. I am glad to be able to share our traditions with everyone. Blogging is such a fun tool in exchanging knowledge :)

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23 Gayatri August 22, 2011 at 3:52 PM

What a lovely post. I love Sooji ka Halwa but usually stick to making the easier “Atte ka Halwa”. But I think the time has come to try your recipe!

Gayatri

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24 Kiran August 25, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Gayatri,
Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for your comments :)
Atte ka Halwa is great too! Try this recipe and let me know how it tastes.

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25 wizzythestick August 27, 2011 at 10:14 PM

I think this is such a lovely tradition.

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26 Kiran August 30, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Wizzy,
Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for commenting :) I am glad to share some of my traditions and learn others as well.

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27 mycookinghut August 30, 2011 at 1:16 PM

This is a very interesting recipe. Thanks for sharing! :)
mycookinghut recently posted..Caprese Salad – Insalata Caprese

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28 Andrea Brooks December 11, 2011 at 10:58 AM

I love Sooji ka Halwa but usually stick to making the easier “Atte ka Halwa”. Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for commenting I am glad to share some of my traditions and learn others as well. I salute you about having fun in reading yummy recipes while dieting. I think this is such a lovely tradition.
Andrea Brooks recently posted..Cancer Tattoos Tumblr

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