I found Rava/ Sooji/ Semolina placed on the racks of most Dutch supermarkets. I found Sooji is one of the very traditional ingredient in Dutch cooking, primarily there is this very traditional grandma’s semolina pudding recipe. My Nani used to make this very yummy rava payasam.
Today I will share both these recipes. The traditional “griesmeel pudding” & our very own Rava payasam.
For the pudding:
1 cup of grits/Sooji/rava
4 cups of milk
3/4 cup of sugar
1 slice of lemon peel, no pith
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
For the sauce:
a small jar of berry jam
1 cup of apple juice
1/2 cinnamon stick
- Bring the milk to a slow boil, add the lemon peel and the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add in the grits/ Sooji, bring back to a boil but keep stirring to prevent the milk from burning. Lower the heat and cook for about six to seven minutes or until the grits are gorged, but stir every so often to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn. Stir in the vanilla.
- Rinse the pudding mould with cold water and, after removing the lemon peel, pour the grits into the form.
- Set it in the fridge to cool. It will take a good five hour to set: even better if you can leave it overnight.
Before serving prepare fruit compote or berry sauce by one of the following ways:
Berry Jam Sauce / reduction
Add the contents of the cranberry sauce or the berry jam or strawberry jam to a small saucepan, add the apple juice or water to thin the sauce and the cinnamon stick. Stir well, bring to a boil, then simmer for a good twenty minutes. Thicken with cornstarch if needed. I decided to put my sauce through a sieve in order to remove all the seeds, but that’s optional.
(1 1/4 cups) frozen raspberries (not in syrup)(1 1/4 cups) frozen strawberries (not in syrup)
1/3 cup sugar
Heat raspberries, strawberries, and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until fruit is hot and sugar is dissolved.
Purée mixture in a blender (use caution with hot liquids), then force through a large fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding seeds. Let cool to room temperature.
A Pune twist to the sauce
Strawberries are available in abundance in Pune during the season. They are majorly grown in Panchgani & Mahableshwar, the most popular being Mapro.
A cup of strawberries crush with fruit
A handful of fresh strawberries
Heat the crush in a pan with a bit of water & the fresh strawberries. Stir to a smooth chunky sauce. Ready to serve.
Pour some warm water over the outside of the pudding form, lightly loosen the sides of the pudding and invert the whole thing onto a plate. Pour the thick berry sauce on top and on the sides, and enjoy! Garnish with a few fresh berries or berries cooked in the sauce.
Now is the turn of our very own Rava Payasam. I was not a big fan of this but now I swear by this Payasam. Master DSK does not like Sooji but rava Payasam is the only Sooji thing that he eats, so Jai Ho Rava Payasam ki!
3 tablespoon sooji (rava or semolina)
3 cups milk or 750 ml milk
4 green cardamoms (choti elachi) – crushed to a powder in a mortar-pestle or small grinder, Or ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
2 tablespoon cashews (kaju)
1 tablespoon almonds
4 to 4.5 tablespoon sugar or add as required
1 tablespoon cow’s ghee – reduce the amount of ghee to ½ or ¼ tablespoon if you prefer.
- heat ghee in a pan. then add cashews and saute for about a minute on a low flame.
- add sooji and fry till the sooji becomes fragrant.
stir continuously so that the sooji gets fried evenly. this takes about 3 to 4 minutes on a low flame. the cashews would also become golden by then.
- add milk and stir.
- add sugar.
- stir and bring the sooji kheer to a gentle simmer. you can thicken the kheer more if you prefer.
- lastly add cardamom powder, and seeds.
- stir the sooji kheer and switch off the flame. Add a tablespoon or two of condensed milk for richer taste.
- serve sooji kheer hot or warm or refrigerate. you can also have the kheer with pooris.