Sheera is a Popular dessert or an Indian Mithai that has a significant part in a Maharashtrian cuisine. It also has an important role in Cuisines of neighboring states like Karnataka, Gujarat and several other Indian states where it is known by different names.
Sheera though a dessert is also eaten in breakfast and snacks by those who like to begin their day by satisfying their sweet tooth.
I have many fond memories associated with this dish, one of the memory in particular that I often like to talk about is about my trips to my native in Konkan as a kid. Summers were the time when all cousins would come together at my maternal great grandmother’s home. My mother’s aunt would dotingly make Sheera for us several times during our summer vacation and serve us while it was hot. We would sit down neatly in a queue as she would serve luscious, ghee laden Sheera to all of us in small bowls made with Banana leaf. I can now easily rate it as one of the best Halwas that I had in my lifetime, something that I have been trying hard to replicate in my own kitchen. My mother’s aunt who is in her 80s now laughs in her quivered voice when I talk to her sometimes remembering those old days.
The next best Sheera that I tasted was in my own home which was cooked by my mother. This Sheera was a far too common preparation in our home during the era of nineties when our relatives would often unexpectedly drop in on us. In those days, mobile phones were absent from the Indian communication scene, telephones were a luxury and relatives dropping in for a visit was not considered impolite. On the contrary, we would be thrilled and delighted when we had someone coming in unannounced. My mother would prepare herself for such situations by stocking her pantry with several ingredients that would be required for making snacks. Quick snack like Bhel, Chivda, Idli and Sheera made of Rava were some of the common dishes made in my Mom’s kitchen. Guests would love the Sheera made by Mom and would often rave about the soft, lacy textured, perfectly sweet, loaded with nuts Sheera that would just melt in their mouth.
In the past, on several occasions I tried making Sheera on my own without consulting my Mom and failed miserably each time. The Sheera would become hard, dry and be almost unpalatable. It would seem quite strange to me how my mother’s Sheera preparation would be exactly opposite to mine. On one such occasion, I had to cook 1.25kg of Suji Ka Halwa, a requirement for Puja that was being performed for my house warming (Griha Pravesh). Panditji had asked me to prepare 1.25 kg of Suji Ka Halwa and I was totally terrified. Here I was miserably failing in making 2 portions of Halwa, and now I had to make such a large quantity of Halwa. The thought of ruined Sheera and how badly it would dent my image in front of those attending Puja was a scare in itself. Fortunately, my mother came to my rescue. She reached Pune by 8 AM in the morning from Mumbai and began overseeing the preparation. She guided me with her tips and tricks which resulted into I making one of the finest Suji Ka Halwa for the Prasad which was appreciated by one and all.
Let me share those tips here in this post:
In order to make Sheera for a Prasad (Satyanarayan Prasad), we must use all the ingredients in same measures, measuring these ingredients with same cup or bowl. So if the recipe calls for 1 cup Rava, it must have 1 cup Ghee, 1 cup Sugar, 1 cup, water and 1 cup Milk. Flavorings like Banana and Cardamom powder must be added as per taste (of course don’t adhere to 1 cup measurement for these two)
Here are some tips:
- Never add sugar at the beginning as it makes Sheera dry and hard. Always add it at the end.
- Mix milk and water and boil. While adding make sure its lukewarm and not boiling hot.
- Roast Rawa till it gets evenly browned. It loses its moisture and gains it back when we add milk & water.
- Add ripe banana to incorporate smoothness and flavor. Do not add too many, as it would quickly over power the taste of other ingredients.
and finally, When you serve it for Naivedyam or Prasad, then don’t forget to add Holy Basil (Tulsipatra or Tulsi Patta ) 😊
Make this lovely preparation for your Pooja Prasad, or if you don’t mind a sweet preparation for your morning breakfast then make it for your breakfast. Share your feedback with us in comment section below.
- 1 Cup=200gms Suji/Rava/Bombay Rava
- 1 Cup=200gms Sugar
- 1 Cup=200ml Milk
- 1 Cup=200ml Water
- 1 Cup=200gms Ghee-Clarified Butter
- 2 Ripe Banana
- 1-tbsp Almonds-thinly sliced
- 1-tbsp Cashew nuts- cut into halves
- 1-tbsp Chironji/Charoli
- 1-tbsp Raisins/Kishmish
- ½-tsp Cardamom Powder
- Put a Pan on heat. We will roast Rava in this Pan. We are going to dry roast Rava. Keep stirring it on low-medium heat. If you lose sight and do not pay attention, then rava may get burnt and this may ruin the taste and texture of Halwa. So keep stirring the Rava
- We have roasted Rava for 10 mins on low-medium heat. Rava has become slightly brown in color and you can smell the pleasant aroma from the Pan. Remove the Rava from the pan, and spread it in a large plate. If you leave the rava in the pan, it may become more brown because of the heat, so remove it from the pan.
- In a saucepan, mix water and milk. Let the mixture come to boil. As it boils, take it off the heat and keep it covered. Let's start making Sheera now.
- Heat 2-3 tbsp Ghee in a Pan. In the Ghee, add Almonds and Cashewnuts and fry until it becomes light brown in color. After Cashew becomes light brown, add Chironji and raisins. Raisins becomes puffed soon and Chironji also does not need to be fried for long. As raisins becomes puffed, remove all the ingredients from the pan.
- In the same pan, now add remaining Ghee. The quantity of Ghee may seem large but trust me it's because of Ghee that Halwa gets its melt in mouth texture. Let the Ghee melt.
- Now, add roasted Rava in melted Ghee. Cook Rava with Ghee for 2-3 mins until it gets nicely coated with Ghee. Rava is already roasted so we don't need to cook it for long. Cook for 2-3 mins.
- Rava has become little more brown after 2-3 mins. Add mixture of Milk and water on medium heat. Be careful while adding water and milk as Rava starts to sizzle and can cause burns.
- Rava has soaked all Ghee, water and Milk. Rava has become soft. Cover and Cook on low heat.
- Uncover after 2-3 mins. Sheera/Halwa looks so soft and luscious.
- Add Sugar and mix well. Now add chopped Bananas. I am using 1 and ½ Bananas.
- We have cooked for 2 more mins on low heat. Now, add fried nuts and raisins. Add Cardamom Powder and mix well. Remember, we are cooking on low heat.
- Sheera/Halwa is now ready. Remove from heat. Cover until served
Click to watch recipe video