Is there anything such as a cleaning geek?
Then I would love to call myself one. I brag to be a spotlessness freak, running around the house with my fancy blue feather duster. Gosh every now and then I go overboard and find myself cleaning the same stuff again and again. Down the memory lane, at one point I remember my Jr?s naughty friends would not dare enter my house, only to find myself curiously staring at them all at once as they were blissfully tossing my silk cushions. But as time passed by, I made-up weird and wonderful relations and befriend one and all, luring them with peanut butter sandwiches, home-made cookies and candies...think the age had bought some sensibility in me. And in no time we were all friends, not the huggy kissy kinds, but we all found comfort in each other?s company and a cute smile from them said it all. Every evening at sharp 5 o?clock the Jr?s friends would excitedly knock my door; in addition, every cutie had a curious twinkle in their starry eye, speculating what goody they will dig in today. I enjoyed every single moment baking, surfing new food ideas and making new healthy dishes....and loved to see it disappear quickly.
Now after nearly a decade, I learnt to let go and enjoy the moment, not forgetting to mention the frequent cleaning bouts. What?s more, I love to see that giggle and mirth when we all get into pillow fight and fool around with sheets. It is so much fun and brings along childhood memories. On a second thought I feel my mum was excessively tolerant with me as a child but come what may I couldn?t see that. Whereas when the Jr did the same, I often used to get upset...I believe history repeats and it is at all times wise to make improvements when you know you are wrong.
Why am I writing all this today? It is August and the holy Hindu month of Shravan has started, and so all the habitual cleaning along with the memories. Although I am not a hardcore religious adherent like my extended family but would like to confess that this is the only month in the whole Hindu calendar that I pursue consistently, only for one reason that it is followed by the most commonly loved festival of Ganesh Chaturthi- the ritual of bringing the elephant headed idol to ones house. Despite the fact that this month has a lot of self imposed eating restrictions, I reckon it gives the much needed break to my dietary system and enjoy every moment of pure satvik/sattavic (simple, digestible foods) foods.
Monday?s are considered to be an auspicious day and I pursue it religiously, from fasting the whole day to offering my prayers to Lord Shiva. And no auspicious day in a Hindu household is complete without a Mithai/dessert and so this monday morning I tossed a very familiar Indian sweet called Sheera/Kesaribhaat/Suji ka Halwa/Sheero/Semolina Porridge.
This is a very common dessert made all through the Hindu rituals and every household have their own variations. I usually make it with equal quantities of semolina, ghee (clarified butter) and sugar and double of milk. But once during a visit back home, I tasted the Maharastrian version of Sheera with the adding up of banana, and boy it tasted so good...yummy. I came across the recipe here and admit it is beyond doubt the best.
Information courtesy The Art Of Living foundation Hindupad.com http://www.hindu-blog.com/ Aayi's Recipes
Semolina fine 1 cup
Banana 1 (ripe and diced)
Organic Sugar 3/4 cup (or any kind of white sugar)
Ghee/Clarified butter 3/4 cup
Milk 2 cups
Almond/Badam and Cashew/Kaju a handful each (lightly tossed in warm ghee until fragrant)
Saffron/Kesar a pinch (soaked in 1 tbspn of warm milk)
Cardomam/Elaichi powder a pinch
Heat a deep pan/kadhai. Add the ghee and stand till it melts.
Add the semolina and saute on a low flame gently until fragrant. Do not color the semolina.
Add the sugar and banana and mix gently.
Put a lid n let it mingle for a minute.
Add the milk and saffron soaked in warm milk and mix. Again place the lid and let it cook for more 8-10 mins until the semolina has absorbed all the milk.
Lastly sprinkle the cardomam powder, cashew and almonds.
Serve warm or cold as you like.
If you do not like banana, skip it and the recipe still remains the same.
My recipe calls for 3/4 cups of sugar n ghee since I like it less sweet and fatty. But you can make the semolina, ghee and sugar ratio 1:1:1
This sheera can also be moulded into fancy shapes using silicone moulds to make it more interesting.