Kesari or Indian semolina halwa
1 cup of fine wheat semolina*
100 g of ghee (or 50 g butter and 1/3 cup oil)
2 cups of milk
2/3 cup water
1 cup of sugar (½ cup was perfect for us)
1 teaspoon of ground cardamom (or 5 cloves)
6-8 saffron pistils
1 dose of ground saffron (for a stronger yellow color)
Slivered almonds or pistachios for serving
* Use the same cup of tea for all measurements. Mine is a mug of 280 ml
Bring the milk to a boil with the two types of saffron and let infuse for 10 minutes. Then put the milk back on the heat and add the cardamom and sugar. Stir. Boil the water and keep hot.
Melt the clarified butter (or regular butter and oil) in a separate saucepan. Dust the wheat semolina over it and stir vigorously until the latter is well buttered and golden. Do not overcook the semolina.
Then whisk in the flavored milk and cook until thick. If necessary (if the halwa is a bit like concrete), add the boiling water. I always do it.
Transfer the kesari into a rectangular ceramic dish, pre-oiled. Smooth the surface with the back of an oiled spoon lowering the halwa to 2 cm thick.
Cut the kesari into rectangular pieces and serve warm or hot, sprinkled with slivered almonds or crushed pistachios.