February 3rd, 2015
Saffron, Almond And Raisin Semolina Halva (Sheera) + An Announcement + A giveaway
Today, apart from this recipe, I have BIG news to share. Looking back, I started this website/blog in December 2008 when I was seven months pregnant with my son, Hari.
At that point in time, I needed a medium for publishing my recipes with the accompanying pictures and stories forming the connecting link. Creating and maintaining a website is a lot of work and it took me a while to find the right graphic designer and website developer to work with. There is a serious dearth of people in this area and only after I found Abhijit, who is now a dear friend as well, did divinetaste.com take off!
All the efforts put in seemed worthwhile, when thousands of visits, acknowledgements, comments and a lot of love started pouring in from across the globe. And soon after, divinetaste.com took off, leading to press attention, festival and workshop invitations, a T.V. debut and commissions from magazines, BBC Good Food India being one amongst them.
Television and other assignments started pouring in as well and I was in a state where in I was finding it difficult to choose the right path. In the latter part of 2014, I received a mail inviting me to partner with one of India’s leading digital studio.
Many of you have written to me asking me for videos of my recipes. I have been working hard with the wonderful guys at Rajshri Food and I’m very happy to announce that my show titled “Divine Taste With Anushruti” is all set to go live tomorrow. You can watch the promo to my show below.
Through this website, I have been able to reach out to thousands of people from across the world. And my recipes have been recreated in homes and professional kitchens; by college students and home-makers, for special occasions and in everyday cooking as well. Through this show, I invite all of you to come into my kitchen, where I will showcase much loved recipes from my site as well as new exciting ones, keeping the core principles of my cooking intact. In short, you will get to see me, my kitchen and my food live in action.
And coming to my halva, I must share with you that there are innumerable ways in which I make halva. With different kinds of nuts and dried fruit, different kinds of spices, plain, with different kinds of sweeteners, with very little fat or with loads of ghee in it.
At times, when I want a warm and comforting dish, I just make a plain halva with toasted semolina, with very little ghee and cardamom powder.
But, whenever there is a festive occasion or a treat to be made, I tread the entire path and add lots of luscious ghee in it. The ghee makes it rich, aromatic, comforting and gives it a regal touch.
Also known as sheera or rava kesari, this exotic delicacy is rich and filled with warm and comforting flavours.
If you want to go the traditional way of preparing this dish, then I would suggest not to skimp on the ghee.
And to celebrate my foray into the digital video space, the good guys at Coppre have decided to do a give away for the readers of divinetaste.com. Coppre is a social venture that sells handcrafted artisanal copper and metalware and does a phenomenal job of preserving a heritage craft. They ship throughout India and internationally as well. To know more, please visit their website www.coppre.in and their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/coppre
Here are the pointers to the giveaway!
- The giveaway includes
a. 2 copper dessert bowls (katories).
Material is hand-beaten copper, silver plated (in 99% silver, 10 microns thickness) from the inside only.
b. 2 dessert spoons
Material is hand-beaten stainless steel, with copper plated handles.
The total cost of the bowls and spoons is:
Silvered Copper Katori: Rs 2,700/ for 2
Dessert Spoons: Rs 240/ for 2
Total Rs 2,940/ for the set.
- The giveaway is open to residents of India only. Sorry about this 🙁
- You have to tell us which Divine Taste dessert you would like to serve in these bowls.
- You can also leave a comment on the Divine Taste website to increase your chances of winning.
- The contest is open till the 28th of February, after which the winner will be announced. So, keep the comments coming!
And last but not the least, I hope you will continue to support me and inspire me as you have been doing all these years! I say this, overcome with emotions that I wouldn’t have come this far, without your support and enthusiasm, my dear readers! See you soon!
Saffron, Almond And Raisin Semolina Halva (Sheera) Recipe
You can use cashews instead of almonds as well
1 cup= 250 ml
50 gm (1/4 cup) almonds, soaked overnight or in hot water for 30 minutes, peeled and slit lengthwise
1 tsp or 20 green cardamom pods with the seeds ground to give 1 tsp
½ tsp saffron strands soaked in 1 tbsp hot milk
250 ml (1 cup) milk
375 ml (1 ½ cups) water
200 gm (1 cup) ghee
175 gm (1 cup) rava or semolina
220 gm (1 cup) sugar
50 gm (1/4 cup) raisins or sultanas
Before you begin with the recipe, prepare the almonds, cardamom seeds and saffron and keep aside.
In a saucepan, combine the water and the milk. Crush the saffron lightly and put the saffron strands into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Once, it begins to boil, lower the heat.
While the water and the milk is heating, put the ghee into a kadhai and allow it to melt. Once the ghee melts, lower the heat, put in the semolina and roast on low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the semolina grains acquire a tan colour and turn aromatic.
Once the semolina grains release a lovely toasted aroma, pour the hot saffron milk into the semolina. It will splatter and splash, so move away from the pan a bit, while doing this. If you are doing this for the first time, you might want to take the pan off the heat while mixing the milk into the semolina.
Keep stirring until the liquid is absorbed by the semolina, at the same time making sure that it is not dry. Now stir in the sugar and the cardamom powder, stir well and cook until the sugar melts. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes until all the flavours are absorbed into the semolina grains.
After 5 minutes, remove the pan and allow to steam for a few minutes more.
Serve hot or warm.