In India we make this sheera for a special puja called Sathyanarayan puja. This puja is performed to mark any major occasion like marriage, birth of child, purchase of a new car or new house. However due to its popular nature this sheera is also made in maharashtrian homes for evening snack times. The quantity of ghee is reduced and the milk is increased in such cases.
In maharashtra we use the 'savva praman' ie measurements of 1 1/4 cup of everything - so sugar is 1 1/4 cup, rava is 1 1/4 cup, ghee is 1 1/4 cup and milk is 1 1/4 cup.This measurement is special for the sathyanarayan puja only. Some also use one mashed up banana *, and that tastes quite good actually, but since I did not have a banana that day I made it without that. Now this is the maharashtrian way, in other parts of India they do not follow this recipe, they use varied quantities of the various ingredients - some use twice the amount of milk to rava and some substitute the milk for water. In this recipe I did decrease the quantity of sugar and ghee a bit.
This recipe produces the best tasting sheera . It reminds me of my grandma's house and all the special occasions. If you are looking for a full flavored, non-mushy, open grained sheera than this is your recipe. The end result was this soft, fragrant sheera that will dissolve on your tongue once you put it in your mouth. Do try it and see, you will be pleased with the results. However, do remember to have it in small quantities due to its high calorie content.
1 1/4 cup sooji / semolina
1 1/4 cup whole milk ( can substitute with low fat milk)
1 1/4 cup sugar ( i used 3/4 cup)
1 1/4 cup ghee / clarified butter ( I used 1/2 cup)
1/4 tsp elachi powder / cardamom powder
2 tbsp cashew nuts
2 tbsp raisins
- Heat the ghee in a medium saucepan , to it add the semolina, cashew nuts and raisins. Fry this, on medium low heat, until the semolina / rava changes color to a very pale brown and is fully toasted
- Add to this the sugar and milk. Reduce to low heat and stir till it is mixed properly.
- Let this cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, till the milk gets evaporated. Remove from heat and sprinkle the elaichi powder / cardamom powder on it. Let it cool down and then serve.
Here is the photo of the mold I used to plate the sheera. I got these molds from India. However, if you do not have these molds you can get Tartlet molds and they serve the purpose well too. So pack the sheera well into the mold and then turn it upside down unto the serving plate, sometimes you need to hit it with a sharp rap against the plate to loosen the sheera from the mold.
*As mentioned earlier some like to add a banana to their sheera. This can be done in two ways, one is to mash the banana with a fork and add it to the sheera just 2 minutes before it is done and another way is to slice it (banana ) and place it on top of the done sheera. But in both cases it is important to note that banana turns black due to oxidation and thus one should use up the sheera as soon as possible . Doing otherwise might just make the sheera unsightly.