Friday, June 27, 2008

Semolina Halva (Sooji ka halva) Review


4 stars (on a 5 star scale)
p. 226

Although the halva looked unappealing, it actually served as a fairly good light dessert or snack. My main complaint is that it could use a little more moisture. Water kind of does it, but not entirely. I think the source of the problem was that I cooked the recipe with three tablespoons of ghee (because that's all I had), not the five the recipe called for. (I decided not to make up the difference with vegetable oil, thinking they wouldn't mix correctly.)

I tried serving the halva with ice cream, but ice cream was too sweet for it. I also tried serving it with yogurt, but the yogurt I happened to have was too tangy.

Some notes on the preparation:
  • While the recipe calls for fine-grained semolina, I used something labeled semolina flour. After researching on the web, it appears these are the same thing.
  • The semolina didn't turn golden, even after 15 minutes. (The recipe said 8-10 minutes would be appropriate.)
  • I used ground cardamom seeds instead of finely crushed cardamom.
As for leftovers, I found I liked the leftover halva served chilled rather than at room temperature or warmed. Over time the semolina condenses into small balls. While I could easily break them up, I learned that I don't like the chewy nature of the ones I miss.

I found myself less excited about eating the leftovers, and so contemplated downgrading the recipe to 3.5 stars. But, I realized the main complaint was probably my fault, and the dish is really easy to prepare (a bonus!), and therefore left the recipe at 4 stars.