Sheera or semolina halwa is really a spiced up version of cream of wheat. It is one of India’s most enduring desserts served to man and God, on sad and happy occasions. It is comfort home cooking at its best. I don’t make mine with ghee which is the norm and I use less sugar and butter than the standard recipe. I prefer a slightly salty butter. The combination of sweet and salty is irresistible.

Serves 6

2 cups fine semolina

1 cup butter (if using unsalted add a pinch of salt)

3/4-1 cup castor sugar (as per your taste)

1 teaspoon green cardamom seeds powder

8-10 crushed saffron strands

1/2 cup slivered almonds or cashew pieces or both (1 tsp reserved for garnish)

4.5 cups boiling hot water


Roast the raw or semolina in a large non stick skillet on high heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the cashews and almonds and stir again. Add the butter and stir it into the nuts and semolina and roast another 4-5 minutes. Add the saffron and cardamom and stir well. Add sugar and stir quickly and immediately add the boiling hot water.

The mixture will splutter and steam so keep stirring vigorously until the water evaporates and the halwa/sheera thickens to a consistency you like.

Cool for a few minutes and serve. You can garnish with a few more almonds and cashews.