In its simplest form halwas (puddings or sweetmeats) are made with fine-grained semolina, clarified butter (ghee), sugar, saffron, raisins, slivered almonds, and ground cardamom.
Semolina Halwa (sooji ka halwa)
1 pound fine semolina
¼ cup hot milk
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
½ cup clarified butter (ghee)
½ cup unsalted blanched slivered almonds
¼ cup raisins
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
5 cups boiling water
Heat the wok over medium heat. Add the semolina and stir constantly until slightly roasted. Remove and set aside.
Soak the saffron threads in ¼ cup hot milk for 20 minutes.
Heat the ghee in a wok over medium heat. Add the almonds and raisins and roast, stirring for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown and the raisins swell. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add the semolina and ground cardamom, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Add the boiling water and sugar, and stir thoroughly until the halwa thickens. Add the saffron milk, almonds and raisins, and mix thoroughly for 1-2 minutes until moist. Transfer to a dessert bowl and serve hot.
Or, grease a medium baking pan with a little clarified butter. Spread the halwa evenly on the pan. Cool for an hour and cut into 1-inch squares before serving.
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