Sooji halwa or suji halwa is a delicious Indian dessert, recipe easy to make with semolina (sooji), almonds, sultanas, cardamom and saffron…

Serves: 10 people


1 ½ l water
400 g sugar
1 teaspoon saffron strands, soaked in 1 tablespoon boiling hot milk
230 g unsalted butter
330 g semolina (coarse grained)
35 g sliced almonds
1½ teaspoons ground cardamom
55 g sultanas



Combine the water, sugar and soaked saffron in a 2 liter saucepan. Place over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to very low and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
Melt the butter in a 2 or 3 liter saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the semolina, and slowly and rhythmically stir-fry the grains for about 20 minutes, or until they darken to a tan colour and become aromatic.
Add the sliced almonds to the grains towards the end of the toasting process.
Raise the heat under the syrup, add the cardamom and the sultanas, and bring it to a rolling boil.
Raise the heat under the semolina for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
Remove the saucepan of semolina from the heat, and slowly pour the hot syrup into the semolina, stirring steadily.
The grains may spatter at first but will quickly cease as the liquid is absorbed.
Return the halwa to the stove and stir steadily over very low heat until the grains fully absorb the liquid, start to form into a pudding-like consistency, and pull away from the sides of the pan.
Place a tight-fitting lid on the saucepan and cook over the lowest possible heat for 5 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the halwa to steam for an additional 5 minutes. Serve hot.