Karva Chauth is round the corner ladies. What are your plans? What are you wearing? Have you decided about the henna design? So much work isn’t it? I like karva chauth a lot. The beautiful saris, colourful bangles, glowing faces- wow is the word. Just like all the festivals this too is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country.
Karwa is another word for pot (a small earthen pot of water) and chauth means 'fourth' in Hindi. All married women fasts from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands without eating or drinking anything at all. They apply henna on their hands, wear good traditional clothes. In the afternoon prayers are read. Then the women await the rising of the moon. Once the moon is visible, she sees the moon with a sieve and then sees her husband. Water is offered to the moon to secure its blessings. We believe that "Like the gold necklace and the pearl bracelet, just like the moon may my husband’s life also always shine brightly."The husband then offers water and gives his wife her first sip and feeds her with the first morsel of the day (usually something sweet). The fast is now broken, and the woman has a complete meal.
Cool isn’t it? All these rituals add love to your life and you get a good change from the daily routine. My husband from past 4 years fasts with me to show his support and love for me. I just find this very sweet and comforting. Click HERE for sweet recipes that you must prepare in Indian festivals. Anyways, no festival or celebration is complete without dessert or something sweet and what can be better then hot scoops of Suji Ka Halwa.
Suji or rava halva is very famous sweet dish in India and is made in almost all happy occasions. Now everyone loves this sweet dish, but many are not able to make it to perfection and I even got requests to share any tips I know to prepare the prefect sooji ka halwa. So here are the tips-
- Measure everything- Do not just eye ball and mix ingredients. Trust me, just like baking, you need to measure every ingredients.
- Dry roast the suji first- Before adding ghee or anything else, just dry roast the suji in heavy bottom pan. Roast till suji changes its colour and you can smell the aroma.
- You do not need lot of ghee- surprised? Well yes, to make the perfect halwa you dont need buckets of ghee, you need just 1/4 cup of every 1 cup of suji.
- Water amount- First make sure that water is boiling hot and not just warm. The quantity of water should be exactly double of the suji quantity.
- Do not mix water and sugar- Yes please do not make syrup- just mix raw sugar.
Now when you know the secrets let me move on to the recipe.
1 cup suji/rava/semolina
¾ cup sugar
1/4 cup ghee
4 to 5 cardamoms, powdered in a mortar-pestle, husks discarded
10 to 12 cashews/kaju chopped roughly
2 tbsp raisins/kishmish
2 cups water
In a heavy bottom pan, on a slow heat, dry roast the suji till you see the change in the colour and aroma is noticeable.
Next mix in the ghee and keep mixing till ghee is separated and suji becomes more fragrant. Also throw in the cashews and raisins. Mix for 5 minutes.
Add sugar and mix again. Mix till sugar crystals are not visible. Also add cardamom.
Finally add in the water and stir. You will notice that suji has fluffed up. Keep mixing till you see ghee on sides and halva is not sticking to the pan.
Do not rush, make sure that you do the whole process on slow flame. If you are in hurry, you can dry roast the suji beforehand.
Feel free to add pistachios, almonds or any nuts of your choice.
You will know that halva is perfectly made, when it does not stick to spatula or spoon at all.
This keeps well in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Just reheat before serving.
Puri and halva is the best combination. Serve hot with any poori with any subji on side- like kala chana, aloo tamatar ki subji, gobi mutter or bharwa bhindi.
Halva is a huge hit among kids and adults both. This makes it perfect dessert for any parties.