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Author Notes: This recipe is my mom's specialty, known in Gujarati as shiro. It's a classic Indian dessert made for celebrations, rich with saffron, nuts, raisins, and cardamom. It's warm and sweet and absolutely delicious!
The cream of wheat that you should use is readily available at Indian grocery stores under the name "soji" or "rava". Be sure to find the coarse variety, it will be the best! —Tanvi | The Hathi Cooks
- 1 cup coarse soji/ravo/cream of wheat
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 pinch ground saffron
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon slivered, unsalted pistachios
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground cardamom seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground cardamom seeds
- Place the milk in a large saucepan. Add the saffron to the milk and stir to blend. Place on the stove and heat over medium-high heat.
- At the same time, melt the ghee in another large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the raisins and stir. Cook until the raisins swell and seem to turn opaque. At this time, add the soji/rava, half of the whole cardamom seeds, and one pinch of the powdered cardamom to the ghee and raisin misture and continuously stir for 3-5 minutes. The soji should seem to feel lighter as you stir and will darken just a bit and start to smell warm and toasty. Once you are able to see a bit of the ghee separate from teh grains at the bottom of the pot, the soji is done. Do not let the soji turn too dark otherwise it will be unable to absorb the milk.
- By this time, your milk should be on the verge of boiling. Turn off the heat under the milk and carefully pour it into the soji pan. Add half of the almonds. Whisk to blend and make sure that there are no lumps. Once the mixture begins to thicken, switch to a spatula and continuously stir. It will continue to thicken and reduce. Cook until the mixture looks shiny and some ghee is visible at the bottom of the pan when the mixture is scraped away. (When stirring always go down to the bottom of the pan otherwise the milk may burn.)
- At this point, add the sugar and stir continuously. As soon as the sugar is added, the whole mixture will seem to melt and become more liquidy. This is normal and to be expected. Continue to stir for about one more minute and ensure that there are no lumps left and the sugar is fully incorporated into the soji mixture. Turn off the heat, cover with the lid ajar, and let sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes have passed, uncover carefully ensuring that no water drips into the pot from the condensation on the lid. Give the shiro a few brisk stirs and transfer it into a serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining cardamom, almonds, and pistachios, and serve. Enjoy!