With Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, right around the corner, Suvir Saran of Tapestry in NYC shares his recipe for halwa, a traditional Indian semolina pudding. Perfumed with cardamom, this creamy treat is super easy and quick to make. Thick like a porridge, it’s great with a dollop of crème fraîche or even vanilla ice cream. For an extra twist, we throw some rose petals on top.
You’ll want to be very mindful when stirring the pudding. If the heat is too high, it will bubble and pop—and trust us, hot semolina pudding will burn. Stir constantly, watch the flame and take care when making this delicious recipe.
Recipe adapted from Suvir Saran, Tapestry, New York, NY
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
16 green cardamom pods, divided
4 cups water
¾ cup sugar
1 cup ghee or clarified butter
1 cup semolina
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup golden raisins
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Crème fraîche, for garnish
1. Crush 10 of the cardamom pods, transferring the seeds to a mortar and pestle; reserve the other 6 pods. Grind the seeds into a fine powder and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the 6 reserved cardamom shells with the water and sugar, then bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low.
3. Meanwhile, in a 6-quart Dutch oven or wok, melt the ghee and the 6 remaining cardamom pods over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the semolina. Cook, stirring constantly until toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the almonds, raisins and salt, and stir until the almonds are golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Skim the cardamom shells from the simmering water and slowly add to the semolina, stirring constantly. Cook until the pudding is thick and the semolina is tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Divide the pudding between bowls and garnish each with a spoonful of crème fraîche and the reserved cardamom powder, then serve.