one recipe which should have been an older post by now… i don’t know what took me so long to post this recipe of saffron halwa… a regular at our homes especially during festive seasons.
this one is the north indian version of making saffron suji halwa at home. its not the south indian kesari halwa which has a different texture and taste. i have had both including the maharashtrian rava sheera and this recipe of saffron halwa is closer to the sheera recipe.
the difference in these recipes is due to the proportion of ghee, suji (semolina) and milk/water added to make the final dessert. for the suji halwa to taste good…. it should be roasted well enough without ghee and then with ghee. if even a slight rawness remains, the suji halwa does not taste good. you will know something is wrong with the halwa when you see it.
even though i like suji halwa, my personal favorite is kada prashad which is made with wheat flour and served as prashad in gurudwaras.
to make the saffron halwa i have used hot water with sugar, but if you want you could substitute milk with water. add your own choice of dry fruits like raisins, almonds, pine nuts. i have only added cashew nuts.
saffron is expensive. so to substitute saffron one could use cardamom/elaichi powder or rose water. this is the way halwa is made in many indian homes without saffron.
To get the yellow hue in the halwa, artificial yellow color can be added to the halwa. when choosing or buying any food color go for a good brand and check for the contents in the food color, whether they have been approved by the FDA or not. personally i avoid food colors and use natural ingredients to get the color in the food.
in this saffron halwa you could also add fruits like banana, mango, apple, pineapple. the fruits give their own flavors to the halwa and also make the halwa more nutritious.
so lets start with the step by step recipe of making saffron suji halwa.
heat a broad pan or kadai. add the semolina/suji to it.
we will start roasting the suji (semolina) till it becomes opaque and your whole kitchen smells of roasted semolina. this step takes around 12-15 minutes on a low flame. keep on stirring after every few minutes. this is how the suji looks after 6 minutes.
and this is how suji appears after 11 minutes. allow to cool.
warm water and add saffron to it. keep this mixture for 10-15 minutes.
heat ghee in another pan.
add the cashew nuts to the hot ghee.
fry the cashew nuts till they become light brown.
now add the roasted suji slowly to the ghee and cashew nuts.
start to mix the suji well with the ghee. mix everything uniformly.
after 2-3 minutes add crushed cardamom. i have also added the cardamom peel, as these too contribute to the fragrance. experience the fusion of the lovely fragrances of ghee, cardamom and suji all together in your kitchen.
let the fragrance continue and keep on frying the suji in ghee for about 12-15 minutes on a low to medium flame. meanwhile you take water with sugar and heat it. when it comes to a rolling bowl, close the fire. filter it to get rid of the sugar impurities and keep it aside.
this is how the suji mixture looks after 4 minutes.
and this is how suji appears after 7 minutes.
your hot sugary water is already ready. add it to the suji slowly. keep on mixing when you are adding it to the suji ghee mixture.
once all the water is added, mix the suji well so that no lumps are formed.
now comes in the saffron water… add this too…
the suji absorbs the water and swells.
thoroughly mix everything and let the whole mixture cook for 5-6 minutes more. keep on stirring in between so that the suji halwa does not stick to the pan. the saffron suji halwa is ready now…..
to be served…..
saffron halwa recipe details are below: