Crumbly, sweet, and delicious – that’s how you would describe sheera also known as suji ka halwa. Learn how to make this simple and traditional dessert in less than 30 minutes.
To make sheera, ghee roasted semolina is combined with milk (or water), sugar and cardamom powder. Folks from Karnataka know it as Sajjige, North Indians call it suji ka halwa, whereas it is popularly known as sheera in Maharashtra.
In fact, every country seems to have its own version. It goes by semolina pudding in Europe and USA whereas folks in the middle east have their own variant called Lekhmat Al Helwa.
Often served as prasad (an offering to god), sheera holds a very important place in Indian cuisine.
Is sheera good for you?
Before we answer the question, let’s have a little chat about semolina – the key ingredient in sheera.
What is semolina?
Semolina (rava / suji) is the coarse flour made from durum wheat and is usually golden or off-white in color. It is used for making a variety of dishes including porridge, bread, and even pasta. It is a high-gluten product that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates.
Is semolina healthier than white flour?
Though both semolina and white flour are made from wheat, semolina is considered to be healthier than white flour.
White flour is bleached with a whitening agent, does not have fiber or protein content in it, and is rich in carbohydrate.
Semolina, on the other hand, is made from durum wheat and is a good source of Vitamin E and B. It is slowly digested by the body, and hence you feel satiated after eating semolina.
Is semolina better than whole wheat?
When compared to whole wheat flour, semolina is considered less healthy as the carbohydrate concentration in it is higher. Whole wheat flour, on the other hand, contains the entire wheat kernel including bran, germ, and endosperm and therefore is rich in fiber, vitamin, and mineral.
To wrap it up, semolina offers the following benefits (source – Semolina for weight loss).
- Boosts energy level as it contains carbohydrates.
- It is rich in iron and helps in improving blood circulation in the body.
- Contains calcium and is good for your bone.
- It is good for the nervous system because of the presence of magnesium, zinc and phosphorous.
- Semolina has zero cholesterol.
This makes sheera a good candidate for breakfast, but make sure you don’t indulge in it more than once a week considering the amount of sugar that the recipe demands.
How do you make the perfect sheera?
While the process to make sheera is pretty simple, you have to be careful about how much liquid you use. After multiple failures, I realized the following:
- If the liquid content is less, it ends up being a dry mess.
- If you add more water or milk than required, then the end result will be soggy, sticky and clumpy.
Tips to make a perfect sheera recipe
- Roast semolina in ghee on a slow flame for a good 10-12 minutes. This ensures that the fine semolina grains don’t stick to each other. If you are using dry fruits, start by sauteing them in ghee and then add semolina.
- Add just the right amount of milk or water so that it quickly absorbs. Follow it with sugar and cardamom powder.
That’s it. Now there are a few variations to this recipe that I know of. For example, some people add either pineapple or banana (elaichi kela) to give it a delicious twist.
NOTE – Make sure you are not skimping on ghee. Ghee not only adds to the taste but ensures that your suji halwa doesn’t clump together.
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Sheera / Suji Halwa (Semolina Pudding)
- 3/4 cup ghee
- 1/4 cup dry fruits, halved cashews, almonds, raisins
- 1.5 cups fine semolina, suji
- 2 cups milk or water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds, ground
- Fry dry fruits: In a wok or kadhai, add ghee over medium heat and once it is hot, fry the dry fruits till they are golden brown.
- Roast sooji: Add sooji and roast it for about 10-12 minutes till it is evenly brown and fragrant.
- Boil milk/water: In a saucepan, add water or milk and let it come to a boil.
- Add milk/water: Carefully pour the water into the sooji mixture and stir it in. Let the halwa cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add sugar: Add sugar along with cardamom and continue to cook till the sugar has melted and absorbed.
- Serve hot.
- Use fine semolina for best results.
- You can substitute milk with water for increased shelf life
- Tastes great the next day as well. Store in the refrigerator for not more than 2-3 days.
Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist for accurate information.