Today is a special day because two of my really good friends A and M are having their respective Godh Bharai function (Baby shower) in India. I miss all the excitement and would have loved to be there with them during this special time of their lives. However, life often betrays us of certain joys but hey who’s complaining.
So I decided I would make something really special for them and their little ones and maybe my good wishes and prayers will reach them both today and they would feel my love too when pampered by loved ones today.
Godh bharai is a very auspicious and important ceremony for an expectant mother. Its actual meaning is to fill the lap. The mother to be is dressed up in all the finery and friends and relatives shower her with blessings and gifts. Traditionally it is done in the 7th month of the pregnancy and is usually hosted by the maternal side of the family. There would be food, singing and some dancing all in the anticipation of the beautiful little baby that will soon change everyone’s life.In India we make Desserts during special occasions as a good omen. Now I am not very good at making Indian Desserts but I felt that this occasion called for it. And I decided to give Sooji Halwa a try.
Sooji Halwa basically is sweetened Semolina topped with some choicest of dry fruits. Like any typical Indian preparation there are various variations to it.
I have taken the simple way and hoping that all my love for both A and M and their babies would make the Halwa taste great.
Here is the recipe: (Cooking time 30 mins)
2 tbsps Ghee (Clarified Butter)
1 cup fine Sooji Flour (Rava/Semolina)
1 ½ cup Sugar
3 cups Water (You can use Milk instead of Water. Milk elevates the taste of the Halwa however if you wish to make excess Halwa and relish it for a few days use Water)
½ Tsp Cardamom powder Or 3 Cardamoms split open
Raisins, Cashew nuts to decorate
A pinch of Salt
Heat the 3 cups Water/Milk in a Pan adding the Sugar in it till the Sugar completely dissolves. If using Cardamom pods instead of powder add the pods in this Syrup with the Sugar. Once the Sugar is dissolved put the Syrup aside. (You will notice the syrup I have made is dark brown in color that is because I have used Raw Sugar instead of the plain White one).
Take a heavy bottom pan and add a little Ghee to fry the Cashewnuts. Once the Cashews are roasted and a little brown put them aside for garnishing later.
In the same pan add the remaining Ghee and the Semolina and start roasting it on a slow flame. You need to be careful as Semolina burns easily, so be gentle and nice to get the best results. Add the pinch of Salt now as it will balance the Sugar if the Halwa gets too sweet.
You will know the Semolina is cooked when you see that it has turned a shade darker. (if you are using Cardamom Powder add it at this stage) Now add the water slowly step by step to the pan.
You have to be careful here as the minute the water hits the pan it will start to splutter all over. So make sure you are standing at a distance when doing it.
Keep stiring till the Semolina has soaked up all the water and you can see Ghee leaving the pan. Top it with Raisins and roasted cashewnuts and serve hot.
This halwa can be eaten with Puris and just on its own as well. It is laden with Ghee and Cashewnuts which are proven to be good for pregnant women. So while I eat 2 bowls of this amazing dish (one for both the babies) you guys enjoy the pictures.