Semolina pudding with cranberries, cardamoms and pine nuts

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Also known as Sooji ka halwa in North India. I made this yummy dessert to celebrate an important and special day in our Hindu festival calendar. In India, this day is called Ashtami, the day we worship the Hindu goddess. On this day, we make special food and treats for young little girls, because it’s a special day for them! This particular pudding happens to be my little daughter’s favourite Indian dessert! Thus, I made it especially for her. Traditionally, it is made with raisins, almonds and pistachios. Ghee or clarified butter provides the richness in taste. In this recipe, I stepped it up a notch, by adding cranberries and pine nuts. It is easy to make and a big hit with kids and adults alike!

Ingredients:
1 cup semolina
1 cup granulated sugar( I used natural brown sugar/Turbinado sugar. Traditionally, it is made with white sugar)
Green cardamom- seeds of 4-5 pods, crushed with a mortar/pestle or rolling pin.

Pine nuts- 1/4 cupIMG_2242IMG_2243
Dried cranberries – 1/2 cup
3 cups water

IMG_2244IMG_22451/2 cup milk

11/2 tbsp. ghee clarifiedbutter

For the sugar syrup- In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Stir often. Reduce heat and remove from heat after a couple of minutes. Set aside.

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Heat a wok or large saucepan over medium heat. Add the semolina. Reduce heat to low and roast the semolina for 8-10 minutes, till it develops a light caramel colour. Keep stirring often. Add the cranberries and crushed cardamom seeds. Add the ghee and further roast on low heat for 5mins. Add the sugar syrup and milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-7 mins. Open the lid

IMG_2248and stir it around. Serve

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hot, garnished with pine nuts.

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