Sheera also known as suji halwa is a traditional Indian pudding made with semolina, ghee, sugar, cashews and raisins. This simple delicious dessert has a fluffy & soft texture with delicate flavors of cardamom & ghee. Suji halwa is made in many regions of India with more or less the same ingredients & similar method.
It is known as Sheera in Maharashtra, Karnataka and some parts of Andhra Pradesh. The same is known as Suji halwa in North India. South Indian rava kesari or kesari bath is a variation of this which is made much the same way but with an addition of kesari color.
Sheera is most commonly offered to the deities/Gods as Prasad or Naivedya during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Varalakshmi Pooja & Navratri. Some people even prepare this for their special weekly Pooja. Sheera is also distributed in temples as Prasad.
Most people make this often at home as it is very quick to prepare. It is eaten for breakfast, snack or as a dessert in a meal.
At home we usually make this for Pooja and then it is shared with friends & family. Sheera or suji halwa is the richer version of rava kesari.
How to Make Sheera (Stepwise Photos)
1. Heat ghee in a kadai. I used half cup ghee. You can also reduce it to 6 tbsps if you prefer less ghee.
2. When the ghee melts, add 15 cashews (30 split) and fry until light golden. Add 15 raisins and fry all of them together until the raisins turn plump. I didn’t have raisins in stock so I used chopped apricots.
3. Remove them to a plate immediately.
4. Meanwhile pour two and half cups water to a pot and begin to heat.
5. Add 1 cup fine rava to the hot ghee.
6. On a medium flame fry the rava stirring constantly.
7. If you stop stirring even for a few seconds the rava can get burnt. So be cautious and fry until the rava turns golden in color. Some people like to deep roast it. If you like you can roast it further for 1 to 2 mins. But do this on a low flame.
8. Meanwhile the water should come to a rolling boil.
9. Just be careful as the water splashes. Pour the hot water to the hot rava pan & keep stirring continuously until the water is absorbed completely.
10. Suji absorbs water and turns thick. Make sure there are no lumps of rava.
11. Lower the flame and cook covered for 1 to 2 mins.
12. You will see the rava is cooked to fluffy texture. Give a good stir and then add 1 cup sugar and ½ teaspoon cardamom powder.
13. Sheera turns gooey as the sugar dissolves. Continue stirring until the sheera leaves the sides of the pan.
14. Turn off and keep covered. Add the ghee fried dry fruits and nuts before serving.
When it cools down fluff up with a spatula or fork and transfer sheera to serving bowls.
Ratio: The ratio of rava:ghee:water is very important to get fluffy and non-sticky sheera. For every cup of rava or suji we use half cup of ghee and 2 ½ cups water. If the sooji is not very fine then we increase the water to 2 ¾ to 3 cups.
Rava or Suji: There are different kinds of semolina or suji available in the stores. To get fluffy and soft sheera use fine rava.
Roasting suji is the key step to make non sticky sheera. Roast the suji on a medium flame stirring continuously until it reaches a light golden color. If you like your halwa to have a deep golden color, you can roast it further for 1 to 2 mins. This deep roasting will bring a nutty aroma to the suji halwa.
Ghee: Using good quality ghee is very important as it completely elevates the flavor of sheera. Traditionally desi cow ghee was used especially if made for naivedya or prashad.
Half cup ghee to 1 cup rava is the ratio we use for festive occasions. You can reduce the ghee to 5 to 6 tbsps.
Water or Milk: Sheera can be made even with milk for a richer taste. You can also use half milk & half water.
Sweetener: Sugar is the most common sweetener used to make this. But some temples use jaggery along with edible camphor (pacha karpuram).
This recipe can be directly doubled or tripled. You need to be careful when making sheera in larger quantities as it can splatter a lot while pouring hot water.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup suji (fine rava / semolina)
- 1 cup sugar (prefer organic)
- ½ cup ghee (can reduce to 6 tbsps)
- 2½ cup water (or milk)
- ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder (elaichi powder)
- 15 cashew nuts (adjust as needed)
- 15 raisins (adjust as needed)
- Pour 2½ cups water to a pot & begin to heat it.
- Meanwhile on another burner heat ghee in a pot. When the ghee turns hot, add cashews and fry until light golden.
- Then add the raisins and fry until they swell. Remove to a plate.
- Now add rava to the ghee and begin to fry on a medium heat stirring constantly.
- Fry until the rava turns golden. If you prefer deep roasted suji halwa, then continue to fry for few more minutes.
- Bring the water to a rolling boil.
How to Make Sheera
- Pour the hot water to the hot rava pan stirring constantly. Be careful as it splatters.
- Keep the flame to medium and keep stirring until all the water is absorbed. Sheera is thick at this stage.
- Cover and cook on a low flame for 1 to 2 mins.
- Next add the sugar and cardamom powder. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. It dissolves & makes the entire sheera gooey.
- Within a minute the gooey sheera turns thick again. Keep stirring until it begins to leave the pan.
- When it cools down fluff up with the spatula. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with cashews and raisins.
- You can also press it down in a small bowl and invert on serving plates.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Sheera Recipe first published in August 2016. Updated and republished in August 2019.