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Friday, August 9, 2013

Sooji Ka Halwa - Semolina Halwa

Some people think I have an obsession with anything Indian.  Well, according to Webster's Online definition, they are absolutely correct! 

~ Definition of OBSESSION ~
1: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; broadly : compelling motivation obsession
with profits>
2: something that causes an obsession
~ Synonyms ~
Passion, enthusiasm, fascination, attraction, etc.
 
I would say that MOST people on this planet have an obsession of some kind.  Whether it's sports, cars, books, other people, fashion, religious conviction, and on, and on.  As a Christian, we believe that we are to have passion and zeal in loving and serving Jesus and people. 
 
So, yes, I have an obsession with India.  Want to know why?  Because God Himself put it there, and has verified it numerous times publicly and personally, to both my husband and I.  It goes beyond a cultural thing, even though it helps to know the many cultural aspects of the Indian subcontinent.  It's an unexplainable heart-wrenching, deep down inside, that when you see pictures of the people, when you hear of tragedies that beset them, both by default and design, or when you simply hear the speaking accent or the aroma of spices, you are instantly enraptured.  You choke up, tear up, take deep breaths so that you can gain composure, but no amount of mind-over-matter can truly cause this feeling to dissipate.  It's especially obvious, when only so many years previous, you can remember the times a relative took you to eat Indian food, of which you swore you'd never, ever eat again.  Or the times you'd call a customer service center, and demand the desperately-trying-to-speak-English Indian to connect you to someone that can speak English clearly and understandably!  And again, when you know beyond-the-shadow-of-a-doubt that you'd {previously} never give up wanting to own a happy American home, and would never leave the safety, comfort and cleanliness of American soil.  And here you have come full circle, wondering what life will be like in so many different circumstances, when you finally do go to that country, of which God has called you to (definitely NOT your original "white picket fence" plan).  Yes, I've been there once, and it definitely scared me and brought me to my knees!  But at the same time, I am still compelled to return.  I'll never forget the moment we (husband and I) were in the worship service of one of our sister churches in India, and the overwhelming voice of God telling me that these people needed someone to share His Gospel with them.  Other churches had closed down in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, and He reminded me of that.  "Who will reach them for Me?"  I broke down and told Him, "here am I, send me."  Recently, I was questioning how it would be possible for us to reach them, and God quickened to my heart that it would not be on mine or my husband's ability, but on His.  We will merely be His instruments, and it'll all come from Him.  Not my strength, but His. 
 
So, in my continual pursuit of widening my Indian cooking skills, and keeping the dream alive in our home, I have found a wonderfully tasty recipe, that just tonight I made successfully!  If you like Cream of Wheat or Malt-O-Meal, your sure to enjoy this treat!


Sooji Ka Halwa Recipe
By , About.com Guide
http://indianfood.about.com/od/sweetsanddesserts/r/Sooji-Ka-Halwa-Semolina-Halwa.htm

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 and a 1/2 cups sooji/ rawa (semolina)
  • 1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter - super easy to make at home, just google it!)
  • 3/4 cup mixture of cashews (coarsely chopped ) and whole raisins/ sultanas
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup whole/ full cream milk (half & half works splendidly)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 pods of green cardamom split open

Preparation:

  • Heat a deep pan on a medium heat and when hot add the ghee. When it melts, add the Sooji and mix well.
  • Roast the Sooji (stirring frequently) till it begins to turn a very light golden color and give off a faint aroma. The roasted Sooji will have the grainy consistency of wet sand. Now add the cashews and raisins to the Sooji and mix well.
  • While you are roasting the Sooji, in a separate pot and on medium heat, bring a mixture of the milk, water, sugar and cardamom to a boil, stirring often.
  • When the Sooji is roasted, gently add the water and milk mixture, stirring all the while to prevent lumps from forming. If any do form, make sure to break them with the back of the stirring spoon so you get a smooth paste-like consistency. Cook the mixture till it is thick and begins to come away from the sides of the pan.
  • Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool to a warm temperature. Serve now in individual bowls.

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