"Everything in moderation, including moderation." --Julia Child
This is my favorite quote from one of my favorite chefs, and pretty much sums up my attitude towards food. Yes, I know that moderation is the key to staying healthy and still being able to enjoy rich foods and sweet desserts, and I'm all for it. But sometimes a girl (and by girl I mean me), just needs to sit down and pig out on dessert, and not feel like she's committed a sin. I know they say to eat until you are just satisfied, but sometimes I'm not satisfied until I know I'm over-satisfied. Sometimes I'm not full until I'm over-full. Sometimes moderation just does not cut it.
Sooji halwa is a very popular Indian dessert, often translated as 'semolina pudding'. It is the kind of dessert that you can eat a whole lot of without feeling the need to throw up or run a marathon afterward. It is light but extremely satisfying, sweet but not overly so, creamy but not too rich - all in all, the perfect dessert for assuaging all those sweet cravings that beg for more than just a few little bites.
Sooji Halwa (Semolina Pudding)
*1/4 cup butter
*1 cup semolina (cream of wheat)
*2 bay leaves
*1 cup sugar
*pinch of salt
*1/2 cup water
*1 cup milk
*1/8 teaspoon ground cardamon
*1/2 cup raisins
*1/2 cup chopped walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or cashews (or a combination)
1. In a large skillet (cast iron works well), melt the butter over medium heat.
2. Add the semolina and bay leaves, and cook for about 7-8 minutes until the semolina is reddish-brown in color but not burnt! Stir constantly, being careful not to burn it.
3. Add the sugar, and stir for about 15-20 seconds. Add the salt, water, milk, cardamom, raisins, and nuts, and stir for about 2 minutes. The mixture should still be somewhat wet.
4. Remove from heat and serve.