Monday, March 2, 2015

Suji Halwa - Semolina pudding

If you are from the Indian subcontinent, you certainly know about suji Halwa. This pudding is served on many occasions. From festive to religious events, it is one of the most recognized sweet dishes in South Asia. While there are many ways of making suji halwa, I have found my own method and the result is a moist, melt in your mouth suji halwa. If you are a fan of the drier version which is more common in Mauritius, this might not be the recipe you are looking for I am afraid.

2 Cups of Suji (semolina)
1 Cup of sugar
3/4 cup of excellent quality ghee also known as clarified butter
1 tsp Cardamom powder
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp Saffron strands
31/2 Cups of hot water
Chopped nuts (pistachios and almonds)


Add saffron strands to hot water and let stand
Heat ghee in a thick bottom pan
Add Cinnamon stick and suji and fry while stirring constantly until suji turns light golden brown in colour and starts to give a very nice aroma (Do not move away from stove during this process as semolina can burn very easily)
Add cardamom powder and keep stirring
Now pour hot saffron water slowly while mixing continuously (Careful ! when pouring hot water to suji it can splatter , use caution !!!!!) add sugar and mix well on low heat until all water is absorbed (this might take 5- 10 mins)
Adjust sugar according to taste - some people might like it slightly sweeter, in that case increase quantity to 1 and 1/2 cups
Remove from heat , add nuts and serve hot

Notes: Adjust water if necessary , you might need a little more or less depending on how coarse or fine your semolina is .

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sopa de platanos - Plantain soup Puerto Rican style

One of the great things about travelling is you get to learn new cuisines and dishes you could never have imagined were possible by using certain ingredients. During my visit to Puerto Rico, I had the opportunity of meeting amazing people and introduced to great food. One dish that stayed with me was the plantain soup. I have had plantain in Mauritius in many different ways , in curries, fried, as chips but never as a soup and it was delicious ! I promised myself to make it at home and share the recipe with all of you. I added a little twist in it with turmeric as well as scotch bonnet pepper. Try it, it is very easy to make and you will certainly impress many .


4 plantains (make sure they are green as ripe plantains cannot be used in this recipe)
3 cloves of garlic
1 large onion chopped finely
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp of finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper
chopped coriander leaves
2 TBS of oil


Peel and chop plantains in big chunks
Keep around half plantain and using a sharp knife slice finely (add salt pepper and fry in oil for the plantain chips as decoration- see picture below - this is optional)
Chop onion and garlic cloves finely
Heat oil in pan
Add onion and garlic and fry until onion is transparent
Add plantain as well as scotch bonnet pepper , turmeric and paprika
Fry for a bit and add chicken stock and allow to boil for 25 mins
Using a blender , puree the coup until smooth
Adjust salt ad add pepper
Simmer for another 5 mins
Serve hot with plantain chips and coriander leaves