Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mohonbhog (Bengali style Semolina Halwa)

I always seem to act on inspiration. There are some days when I don’t feel like doing anything and drag myself through the daily chores and there are days when I feel like a feather and almost glide on my feet to run the errands. Though am not sure what inspires me but certainly they are not very big. A bunch of bright yellow sunflowers or a fresh whip of moist summer breeze is enough to get back my spirit. Some days I feel so inspired that I finish a whole lot of work which even  puzzles me.

Take for instance today. I was literally bogged up and was tired of doing a lot of work. But after I fed the baby and put him to bed for his afternoon nap don’t know what got me and I wanted to make something special for Eid. Suddenly remembered all those time when as a student we used to visit a friend’s place and tucked in all those gorgeous sheer khurma and pulao her mother used to make. Even last year, a dear friend of ours sent us the yummiest sewai (vermicelli) and biriyani. I wanted to make something rich that will make this day special. Immediate desire was to make sheer khurma but dint have vermicelli in stock. so after a lot of deliberation I decided upon Mohonbhog, a Delicious and rich semolina halwa with nuts and raisins. A taste from childhood , a dish made iconic by Tagore. He has mentioned about this ghee soaked, dry fruits laden semolina based dessert in many of his books. And the combo that he talked about is Luchi-Mohonbhog, a true Bengali delicacy of fried flatbread and semolina halwa.
This dessert is primarily prepared as an offering to Lord Krishna or Mohan as he is fondly called. Thus it got its name. When we were kids we loved to savour this after a scrumptious meal. Dida used to always make it with our favourite breakfast of luchi-alur charchari. we preferred to have this wrapped in a luchi and biting into this sinfully good treat was a delight. Later when I grew up and went to other people’s home from different regions I discovered that this is a very popular dessert that almost everyone cook in their home. As Shakespeare once said "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Whether you call it kesaribhat or sheera or mohonbhog or suji ka halwa, this simple delight never fails to please us.
I cook it in a different way than my Mom. She fries the semolina in ghee till brown and then adds the liquid and sugar. But I prefer to soak dry roasted semolina for sometime to make it soft and to give the dessert a melting in the mouth texture. Also traditionally this is cooked in lots of ghee. Generally ½ cup ghee is used to cook 1 cup semolina. I could not make myself to do that and used ¼ cup instead. Here is how I did it.
Read More...


Mohonbhog
7-8 servings
Ingredients:
Semolina: 1 cup (I used the finer variety)
Milk: 3 cups
Sugar: ¾ cup
Milkmaid: 3 tbsp (optional. If you are not using this increase the suagr quantity by 3-4 tbsp)
White oil: 3 tbsp (I used Canola oil)
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Cashews and almonds: handful
Raisins: 2 tbsp
Bay leaf: 1
Clove: 2
Green cardamom: 3-4
Chopped pista and almonds to garnish
Method:
On very low flame dry roast the semolina till couple of shades darker. Approx. 7-8 mnts. (This is very good for storing semolina. Dry roasting will keep the ants and insects at bay.)
Soak the raisins in water and dry roast the nuts till golden. Chop it coarsely.
Take this out in a big bowl and add the milk. Mix well and let it soak for at-least 30 minutes.(if you have pre roasted semolina then warm the milk. The idea here is to fasten the soaking process.)
Once the semolina is soft and lump free, heat the oil and ghee in a non-stick pan. Lightly crush the cloves and bay leaf and add to the hot oil. Cook for a few seconds and then add the sugar and 2 tbsp water.
Keep stirring this and when the sugar almost melts add the soaked suji. If there is any liquid it will evaporate during cooking. On low flame keep on stirring this. In a minute or two the texture and colour would start to change.
Pour in the milkmaid, dry fruits and raisins. Stir and mix well. Check if the semolina is done or add more milk.
Cook for 3-4 more minutes. Finally sprinkle cardamom powder, mix and serve warm or at room temperature.
A Homemaker’s Notes:
This does not taste as good when cold. So make fresh batches for immediate consumption.
If you want to store, use the original ratio of ½ cup oil for 1-cup semolina. The oil will coat the semolina grains and will keep it moist.
Store in covered container.
You can also add chopped anjeer or dried fig to this.
For extra rich Mohonbhog add ¼ cup grated khoya along with the milkmaid.


Events:
Diwali Special Sending this to Tickling Palates diwali sweets and savouries.
WISH ALL MY FRIENDS A VERY HAPPY EID. EID MUBARAK.



Tags
suji, Sooji, Soji, Semolina, cream of wheat, rava, rawa, kesribath, kesaribhat, suji ka halwa, halua, halooa, halva, semolina pudding, indian semolina dessert, Bengali styled semolina dessert, rich semolina pudding, dry fruits in pudding, East Indian dessert, breakfast dessert, neivedyam, neibedya, prosad recipe, prasad recipe, offerings to lord Krishna, how to cook suji, best rava halwa recipe, shira, sheera, how to cook sheera, luchi mohonbhog, mohanbhog, mohan bhog, dry fruit studded dessert, rich Indian sweet, sujir mishti, mishti, how to cook mishti, sujir payes, 

47 comments:

jeyashrisuresh said...

very rich and yummy sweet.nice combo of ingredients

Priya said...

Very rich looking halwa, super tempting..

Hari Chandana said...

Wowww... very delicious and traditional recipe.. looks awesome :)
Indian Cuisine

alpana said...

Very creative......I like the idea of adding condensed milk. Bookmarked.

Vimitha Anand said...

Rich n yummy sweet. Nice texture

soujanya said...

Nice combo....halwa looks grt!!!

Rachana said...

I love bengali style semolina halwa. The pics are stunning :-)

Suja said...

This sounds real yummy,can't wait to try this..super yum

Archana said...

Absolutely delicious. Stunning pictures.

Akila said...

halwa looks great... more than that pictures are superb...
Dish Name Starts with J
Learning-to-cook
Regards,
Akila

Shilpi Bose said...

Khub shundor dekhte hoyche and I am sure it tastes good too, ma used to make delicious mohan bhog but now....

simply.food said...

I am drooling at the clicks .Looks amazing and I am sure it tastes super too.

kitchen queen said...

lovely mouth watering halwa.

Nitha said...

delicious ... Loved the shape of the halwa

Vidhya said...

Sounds delicious and healthier compared to Keasri.

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Mohanbhog looks to be so rich and delicious to look at. Excellent recipe.

Deepa
Hamaree Rasoi

Sharmila said...

Chotobelaye eta amar jethima shondhe belar jolkhabar e banato. Ki shundor kore shajiyecho Sayantani! :-)

Sayantani said...

Thanks to all my buddies. your comments always bring happiness to me.

@Sharmila, majhe majhe tomar comment pai ar khub bhalo lage. kamon acho?

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious looking halwa looks wonderful

julie said...

Wow.. Very cute semolina pudding..
Thanx for visiting my blog n leaving your sweet comments!!!

Gopika Ram said...

Wow..this looks yum.. Never tried this :D

ANU said...

awesome halwa and love your presentation and pictorials...

Chk out my DIWALI Event
September - ALMONDS Event & GIVEAWAY'
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Pushpa said...

Looks delicious..

manhattan said...

looks pretty amazing .. sounds delicious .. thanks for sharing .. nice shots ..

Kalpana Sareesh said...

wow too good yummy yumm halwa..

Chandrani Banerjee said...

Mohanbhog looks yumm..

jayasree said...

Never knew Bengalis too had their own version of this. Loved the addition different spices here and I have seen only cardamom added. And the soaking technique also sounds good.

Anjali said...

Sayantani, This ubiquitous sweet is by far the most loved in pan Indian homes I guess, in all its variations :)I love the name, all mishti in Bengali becomes extra sweet due to the lovely exotic names!

Viki's Kitchen said...

Halwa looks super delicious dear. Love the way you presented it...that table cover is also gorgeous:)

kankana said...

Beautifully presented and who can say No to that yummy rich halwa.

divya said...

looks excellent and fabulous...

purabi naha said...

I loved reading your post and the mohonbhog pictures are so tempting! The recipe is awesome!!!

Sanctified Spaces said...

Yummy and rich indian sweet.Cute shape of the halwa. Lovely clicks.

Sanjeeta kk said...

What a lovely presentation, Sayantini! And like the milkmaid addition in the halwa. Really tempting me to make my own...off I go to my kitchen ;)

Now Serving said...

That looks wonderful - love the mold you've used too :)

Ramya said...

Ultra tempting halwa:-) Lovely combination of nuts and dried fruits!!

aipi said...

A classic n how beautifully you have presented it! Love the shape, texture everything.
USMasala

Miri said...

I dont even bother making rava kesari because of my stinginess with the ghee - I ask my mom or MIL to make it when they visit and that way I dont have to know whats in it and yet enjoy the deliciousness of a decadent dessert! Your version looks superb!

Swathi said...

Semolina halwa looks delicious.

Kaveri said...

I love my Kesari...and this is a very yum and rich version of it...nice presentations...will definitely try this

Deepika said...

My first time here Sayantani, and I loved your blog. Great pics. My North Indian Sooji ka Halwa is very different from yours, and is my favorite. But this looks very tempting too.

Kadhyaa... said...

First time here and very nice space...its very diffrent way of preparing the semolina halwa..loved ur way ..bookmarked..

Dr Sonia S V said...

How nicely you have presented it
Cheers from Bangalore ,India
Dr Sonia S V
http://cardsandschoolprojects.blogspot.com

Soma said...

my girls LOVE LOVE LOVE this. yes great with luchi :)

Nisha said...

That halwa looks so delicious and beautiful clicks.

Hassin said...

i prepared this mohonbhog at home myself. came out delicious! everyone in my family enjoyed. thanks a lot for all of your heard work putting this online.

Sayantani said...

@Hassin, thanks for trying my recipe. so glad to know that your family liked it.