HALWA dessert September 06 2013
Satyanarayan Puja is a house-blessing ceremony that is performed in Indian households (usually Hindus) to maintain the energy balance in the house and invoke positive energies. Food for this ceremony plays an important role, dependent on your budget and cooking abilities, it depends on what you would like to make. I usually cook a lot of food for this ceremony.
1) Food must be all vegetarian.
2) Food must be prepared after taking shower/ bath that very same morning, barefeet.
3) Food must not be eaten/ tasted while cooking, you can have any other food but not the food that you are cooking for the ceremony.
4) Food should be served to God first, once the ceremony is over.
5) A Hindu priest usually is invited to perform the ceremony.
6) You should not consume meat/ fish/ eggs on that day.
Sheera/ Halwa - Prasad can be the dessert for the ceremony. It is usually a semolina sweet with nuts, cooked in ghee (Indian clarified butter) and sugar. It is a pretty heavy dessert, but usually, one eats a couple of tablespoons, in terms of 'Prasad' which is offering that is first given to God and then shared with others.
1 cup semolina
3/4 cup ghee
3/4 cup sugar
2.5 cups whole milk
Handful of rains and cashew nuts
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
In a 5 qt sauce pan, over medium heat, add ghee, and when ghee is hot, add nuts and saute for 3 minutes.
Add semolina, saute for about 20 minutes (5 minutes on medium heat and 15 minutes on low heat), stir constantly, until semolina turns light pink in color and you can smell the fragrance of semolina. This is a process to cook semolina.
Add warm milk slowly (heat milk in the microwave for 2 minutes prior to adding), and stir gently yet constantly. Make sure that there are no lumps.
Add sugar and cardamom powder and keep stirring until all sugar has been absorbed by semolina. This will take 5 minutes. HAVE A LID HANDY BECAUSE SEMOLINA MIXTURE WILL SPIT / SPLUTTER WHEN COOKING, AND THE HEAT SHOULD BE SET TO LOW
Cook for 10 minutes, keep stirring the mixture and when ghee starts coming out of semolina, stop. Serve!