Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Sheera & Halvah

Sheera is a Maharashtrian dessert that is often served as prasad. It's a sweet preparation made by roasting coarse semolina in ghee and cooking it with milk. It is sweetened with sugar and flavoured with cardamom, saffron and dry fruits ( cashew nuts, pistachios, raisins etc.). You can add ripe bananas to sheera or even replace the sugar in the recipe with jaggery. Sheera is usually served warm, sometimes shaped into a mound (मूद).

Halvah is a very similar Greek delicacy. It is made by roasting a mixture of coarse and fine semolina in oil and cooking it with water. It is sweetened with sugar and flavoured with orange zest, cinnamon and cloves. While Sheera is shaped just before serving, halvah is 'set' into a mould immediately after cooking. It is then cut into portions, like a cake. Thus, while a serving of sheera is mound shaped, that of Halvah is shaped like a terrine.

Fun fact: In Northern India, cooked and sweetened preparations are called halva (हलवा ). When made with carrots, it's called Gajar ka Halvah and Sheera in Hindi is called Sooji ka Halva!

Check out Akis's Halvah recipe here.

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