It is Rakshabandhan tomorrow. Though we do not have this festival in Southindia, it started off as a craze when in school. Had never known the meaning or value of it during those days. But then now that i understand the value of it, i celebrate it with all my heart. It is a day when i celebrate those few relationships in my life which hold a very very special place in my heart. I celebrate those people who are a part of me and without them my life is incomplete.
Rakshabandhan to me is not just about brothers and sisters. It is about two people who at any cost will stay by your side; no matter what. I get carried away when i think of those few people in my life and i get a little emotional too. I am lucky to have them in my life and this post is a dedication to two such people, my brothers, my friends, my punching bags, my shoulder to cry on, my emotional support and lots more than words can describe.
A relationship that needs to be celebrated, should be celebrated with something that is sustainable. And these Rakhis that my friend makes are so so beautiful. Beautifully handcrafted by Craftsmen of Madhubani. And there is no other way i would want to keep my tradition alive.
Sajjige or Sooji ka Halwa is the most common dish in India. And sometimes the most common, most simple dishes are the best.
1 cup – Rava (Sooji/Semolina/Rawa)
4 tbsp – Ghee
1 cup – Milk
1 to 1.5 cup – Water
3/4 cup – Sugar
A pinch of Saffron
1 pinch – Cardamom Powder
1 no – Bay leaf
A handful of Raisins and Cashews
*Instead of Bay leaf you could also use edible camphor (Pacchakarpoora) or 1 no Mashed Banana. Do not use all of it together. Use any one for the flavouring
Soak saffron in warm milk and set aside for half an hour.
In a heavy bottom kadhai, roast semolina and 1 tbsp of ghee. Roast it till the semolina turns white and really light gold. Do not roast it till it turns brown. You will not get this beautiful gold halwa at the end. Transfer this roasted semolina to a plate.
In the same kadhai, take the remaining 3 tbsp ghee and add the dry fruits to it. Once the cashews turn gold and raisins swell, take them out into a bowl and set them aside.
To the same ghee add the bay leaf. Let it give out the aroma and then gradually and carefully add the milk and water to this. Add sugar and stir it to ensure the sugar dissolves. (Add mashed banana at this point if using )
Let this mixture boil.
Gradually and continuously add the roasted semolina while stirring continuously. Make sure there are no lumps.
Reduce the flame to low, cover it and cook till the mixture thickens. For about a minute.
Give it a good mix. ( Add elaichi or camphor at this stage if using ).
Add the roasted dry fruits, cover it again and cook till the ghee separates and the halwa leaves the bottom of the pan.
Serve sajjige / Sooji ka halwa hot or heat it just before serving.