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Ashtami Prasad – Sooji Halwa

DessertIndian

The recipe that’s passed on to generations. The recipe which brings back a lot of childhood memories. It is my version of Navratri Special Sooji Halwa Recipe. Enjoy this happy meal every Navratri season 🙂

STORY TIME

When I say that this recipe brings back a lot of childhood memories, I really mean it. We both have grown up eating the same meal – dry kala chana (black chickpeas), sooji halwa, and poori – every Navratri season. This Indian vegetarian recipe is so addictive that we literally crave it even today. Obviously, you can make it anytime you want but somehow some recipes are meant to be made on occasion. They hit a different spot when made on that particular festival. Isn’t it?

Before marriage, I knew how to make gajar halwa or kheer or lauki ki barfi but I was bad at making sooji or atte ka halwa. There is a tradition in India that when you get married, you need to make halwa at in-laws’ place. That is the first thing that the newlywed brides are supposed to cook. I always thought that I will make kheer or some other sweet but not halwa. I was that bad at it. But when I got married, everyone asked me to make sooji ka halwa. And when you are new, you try to do what others are saying. So, I made halwa after looking at some recipes on youtube. I was saved.

After that, once I made halwa for Navratri and took it to my office. Everyone just loved it and asking for the recipe. It was unbelievable for me. So, this time I thought of documenting my own recipe and sharing it with all of you too. Do try this happy meal of halwa, chana, and poori on this ashtami or navami of Navratri.

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TIPS TO MAKE IT RIGHT

1 – Dry Roasting

This is a new technique that I learned from the Bharatzkitchen youtube channel. Generally, sooji is roasted with ghee till it turns slightly brown in color. But dry roasting makes the grains slightly bigger in size. This way the texture of halwa becomes much better. If you roast in ghee directly, it gelatinizes and becomes more paste-like. That also tastes good but dry roasting first improves the texture and hence the taste too.

2 – Stirring Continuously

This job needs a lot of patience and elbow grease. You can’t keep your eyes away while roasting sooji otherwise it will burn. You can’t even keep the flame high to speed up the process. You need to stay calm and keep roasting for 15 minutes till it turns slightly brown. Some people make it white in color. You can save some time and make it like that but roasting it well improves the texture and the taste too.

3 – Amount of Water

This is one recipe where measurement is very important. For water, keep it three times the amount of sooji you are taking. I took 1/2 cup of sooji. So the water is 1.5 cups. Also, add sugar to the water itself and heat it only till the sugar dissolves. Somehow, it tastes much better than directly adding water and sugar in sooji after roasting is done.

navratri special kala chana

WHAT TO DO IF THE HALWA GETS DRY?

The leftover sooji halwa gets dry. I simply add a little water and let it cook well for a few minutes till the water is all absorber or evaporated and I get the right consistency of halwa. Cooking for a little while at this stage is important otherwise you will get the taste of water in the halwa. And don’t worry. It is not rocket science. It is very simple.

IS THIS RECIPE VEGAN?

No. I am afraid.

This recipe is made using ghee. It doesn’t taste as good when you make halwa with cooking oil. But I am going to try the same recipe with coconut butter. Let’s see how it turns out.

Vegan Recipes for you to try – Fudgy Chocolate Brownie, Banana Walnut Muffins, Thai Green Curry.

That’s it, my dear friend. You are all ready to make this sooji halwa recipe at home. It is one of the best Indian vegetarian sweet recipes. It is perfect whenever you crave something sweet because it needs very simple ingredients that are easily available in our kitchen. So, grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make a delicious happy meal for yourself.

If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Happy Cooking.

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Recipe

Ashtami Prasad – Sooji Halwa

Recipe that reminds the childhood.

Servings

2

Prep Time

5 min

Cook Time

45 min

Rest Time

0 min

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Sooji
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Ghee
  • 1.5 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Cashews roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp Almonds roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1 tbsp Desiccated Coconut
  • 2 tbsp Raisins

Steps

Dry Roasting

  1. Add sooji to a pan and continuously stir it on low flame for 15 minutes or till it turns slightly brown. It needs to be well roasted.
  2. Once done, take it out in a bowl otherwise it will turn dark or may burn because of the heated pan.

Sugar Solution

  1. In a saucepan, add water and sugar. Stir and heat only till the sugar dissolves.
  2. Once the sugar is dissolved, switch off the flame and add cardamom powder. Mix and keep it aside.

Making Halwa

  1. In a pan, add ghee and let it melt. 
  2. Add chopped cashews and almonds and roast on low flame for 2 minutes.
  3. Add raisins and stir for 5 seconds. Then, immediately add roasted sooji otherwise raisins will burn and become bitter in taste.
  4. Keep roasting for another 15 minutes. Keep the flame low at all times.
  5. Add sugar solution and keep stirring. Mix till it starts leaving the sides and water is well absorbed. 
  6. Switch off the flame and add desiccated coconut. Mix well and serve right away with Kala chana and poori. Enjoy this happy meal with your family :)
frequently asked questions

FAQs

Is sooji halwa healthy?
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This is a tricky question. Anything can be healthy or unhealthy depending on your relationship with the food. For example, Dry Fruits are healthy but of not consumed moderately, they can be equally unhealthy for your body. The burger is not healthy but not eating it and getting disappointed because of that is not mentally healthy for you. So, eat everything but eat them moderately. Sooji halwa is a once in a while food. You don’t eat it every day. It won’t harm your body if consumer moderately and conciously.


Is semolina, sooji and rawa same?
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All three are the granulated forms of wheat only but they vary a little on their texture or coarseness. Sooji is the most refined one. If you see closely, you will see that sooji is much finer than rawa. Semolina is less refined than the other two and has a much hard texture.


What can we make using sooji?
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There are many recipes that can be made using sooji:

  1. Instant Sooji Dosa
  2. Instant Idli
  3. Sooji Halwa
  4. Upma
  5. Appe or Paniyaram
  6. Uttapam
  7. Cake
  8. Nankhatai
  9. Bhatura

What is Ashtami or Navami Prasad?
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In North India, dry kala chana, sooji halwa, and poori are served on Ashtami or Navami during the Navratri season. It is the most addictive meal combo. You must try it if you haven’t.


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