Sooji ka Halwa is a very popular Indian snack made of cream of wheat (sooji). This non-traditional version uses Cream of Rice for my gluten free lady friend. It’s served warm and is especially comforting on crisp fall days. Normally halwa is made with quite a bit of sugar and ghee. This recipe is a bit lighter so keep that in mind depending on how rich you like it.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: <5 minutes
½ cup cream of rice
1 cinnamon stick
½ t cinnamon powder
1 bay leaf
3 whole cardamom pods
2 cardamom pods worth of seeds crushed
sugar (alternatives brown sugar, maple or honey) to taste
1 T smart balance (or butter or ghee)
2 oz milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
handful of crushed almonds, pistachios or cashews
Turn on a pan to medium. Add a little smart balance then your whole cardamom pods, cinnamon, and bay leaf. Roast for a 2 minutes or so. You should start to get the aroma. Now add in the cream of rice and toast for 5-7 minutes. This will help the grains from clumping too much. Next add in the crushed nuts, raisin, crushed cardamom and 1 ¾ cup water and ¼ cup milk. Mix everything well.
The cream of rice will plump up quickly. It will thicken within 1-2 minutes. All liquid should be absorbed. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve it hot.