Monday, January 21, 2008

Sweet Nothing

The reason I chose to title this piece thus is because when it comes to this dessert, there is literally “nothing” to it. A delightful medley of rava, sugar and water with a sprinkling of nuts and saffron strands, every mouthful is sheer ambrosia. My early attempts saw this dish turning out flat, till my mom tasted it and figured out one vital missing ingredient – a pinch of salt. That’s it. Mom also gave me a surefire simple way of remembering the precise proportions in which the ingredients are to be used. That’s the trick folks – get the measurements right, and you’re home free.

This recipe is one of the most common desserts made in Indian homes and what I would whole heartedly recommend for someone planning a full course, home-cooked meal for the very first time (the voice of experience speaketh!)


Sheera
(serves four)

Ingredients

Rava (aka semolina) – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Water – 2 ½ glasses
Saffron – a few strands (soaked in 1 tbsp water)
Cardamom – 3-4 pods (peeled and crushed fine)
Salt – a pinch
Chopped nuts, raisins – a few
Ghee – 2 tbsp


Method

1. Heat ghee and fry rava till the raw smell disappears and it starts browning
2. Keep stirring continuously
3. Simultaneously, on another burner, heat water till it boils
4. Slowly, add the hot water to the rava, stirring all the time. Be careful not to scald yourself here
5. Add sugar, dry fruits, cardamom powder and salt
6. Stir for a bit
7. Add saffron strands and cook till it reaches the required consistency
8. Serve warm

My tips :

1. To remember the proportion of key ingredients, just keep this rule in mind – rava and sugar are to be used in equal measure. Water is to be measured as half plus double of the amount of rava / sugar used. For eg. if you are using one cup of rava, the amount of sugar will also be one cup, and water needed will be 2 ½ glasses (half of 1 = ½, double of 1 = 2)

2. Cooling the dish to room temperature will give it a wonderful, grainy texture. Warm slightly just before serving

1 comment:

the-write-stuff said...

nice! i liked the tip on how to remember the proportions :) for a change, you could also try adding tiny bits of chopped banana to the mix at the end.