I did not plan to do another semolina recipe right after my last one. It just happened. One of the reasons is that I got many requests for posting a traditional semolina halwa recipe. That also came up among the top searches listing on my WordPress dashboard. And the last but not least reason is that I was actually making the halwa this afternoon on mum’s special request.

The preparation of semolina halwa or sooji/ greo is a quick & easy stove top recipe. It’s even better if you have the semolina roasted beforehand. You can always roast the whole 500g packet [2 1/2 cup] and store in an airtight container for weeks. I had exactly 1 cup left from my lemon semolina cake which was what I needed for 4 hungry people.

SEMOLINA HALWA

Ingredients:

1 cup semolina

3 cups whole milk

3-4 tbs caster sugar

1 tbs butter/margarine/ghee

1/4 cup raisins

5 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup chopped almonds

Method:

  • Roast semolina over medium heat till it turns a few shades darker. This will take around 15-20 minutes.
  • Stir occasionally to give it a uniform colour.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Sift roasted semolina to remove any impurities.
  • In a pan, melt butter/ghee over low heat.
  • Add raisins and wait for them to become nice and plump.
  • Add cardamom and cinnamon and let cook for 1 minute.
  • Add milk and bring to the boil over medium heat. Stir in sugar and almonds.

  • Slowly add roasted semolina to boiling milk.
  • Be very careful at this point as the mixture will start to splatter uncontrollably. Switch off heat and stir vigorously to prevent lumps from forming in halwa.
  • Some ppl add another tbs of butter/ghee at this point.
  • Keep stirring mixture till semolina is well incorporated and not sticking to the botton of the pan.
  • The amount of semolina you add depends on the halwa consistency you wish to achieve. Add more if you prefer the dry lumpy type. I like mine moist but not runny.
  • You can shape it into balls or place in moulds for a fancy presentation. Serve warm or cold along with a cup of tea.

Someday I will post the recipe for the ISKCON [Hare Rama] style Sooji Halwa. A nice [long haired] guy from the local ISKCON group shared it with me when I was in high school. For now I have another recipe I’d like to share – Touffé de Brèdes, which translates as steamed leaf vegetables. I made it for lunch today as mum harvested young shoots of brède violette from our kitchen garden.

TOUFFé de BRèDES

Method:

  • Protect yourself by wearing a pair of disposable gloves if possible. Working with the leaves and stems make cause moderate to severe itching.
  • Select young shoots and wash well under tap water.
  • Shred the leaves and cut the stems into 1″ pieces.
  • In a pan, heat 1 tbs of vegetable oil under moderate heat.
  • Stir-fry a red onion and dried red chillies for 1 minute.
  • Add leaves and stems. Cover pan with a tight fitting lid.

  • Simmer for 10-15 min until it has turned into yucky dark glob. Add salt 1/2 to 1 tsp, according to taste.
  • Mash the stems as much as you can with a fork.
  • Add a chopped tomato to the steamed leaf vegetable.
  • Cover and let it cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve as a side dish along with hot faratas.

The basic method for touffé is the same for most types of leaf vegetables like brède songe, brède chouchou or chou. The word touffé is French for suffocating, with reference to the fact that food is cooked by smothering it with a tight fitting lid. I forgot to mention that the root or tuber is the other edible part of brède violette. The best way is to steam it and serve with a spicy chutney.

And yea, one last thing. What do you think?

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