Fruits are redundant in the ‘Rudra’ household; my father isn’t a fan, my mother isn’t a fan….so how do you expect me to be a fan? But then I do like a fewwww fruits, and I don’t mind them in smoothies or desserts.. 😛 (obviously). Apples, sweet limes, bananas, oranges, limes are usually the fruits you’ll find in my pantry.
But this time, it was a pineapple. A nice, fat, juicy pineapple…that was sacrificed…and definitely not in vain 😉 for making a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. I made two batches and still had a few slices left. So what could I do with it? Surely not have the mushy slices by themselves!! Sacrilege! And then, my friend came up with an idea… Make Pineapple Sheera……..and so.. I did 😉
Now Pineapple Sheera, or Halwa, is a popular south-Indian delicacy, often called Pineapple Kesari; Kesari because saffron is used liberally, imparting the dessert its iconic yellow colour. Some times, yellow food colour is used as well.
I obviously had neither…so while I can’t call this “Kesari”…it tastes pretty much like Pineapple Kesari does.
The semolina or sooji you use for this could be pre-roasted, or you could roast it before use as well. A major oomph factor of this dessert is the use of ghee; the ghee gives the sheera its richness, and while many people cringe at the thought of ghee…ghee is actually being brought under ‘super foods’ and is truly much healthier than refined oil…but we shall not go there, because this isn’t a health blog 😉
You may, however, reduce the ghee and use oil if you wish. Whatever floats your boat, maaate 😉
- Roasted Sooji/Semolina – 1 cup (I used roasted, large grain semolina)
- Pineapple – 3 slices, chopped into tiny pieces
- Sugar – 1 cup (or a little less, depending on your sweet preference)
- Ghee – 3 tbsp
- Almond flakes
- Cashew nuts
- Milk – 1/2 cup
- Water – 1 cup
- Heat a large vessel, and put the water and milk in to boil.
- Once it starts to bubble from the sides, add the pineapple and sugar, and let the pineapple cook for 2 to 4 mins.
- In another pan, add the ghee (if using normal semolina, dry roast it first and let cool).
- Once ghee is melted, roast the almond flakes and cashews and when golden, take out and keep aside.
- Add the sooji to the same ghee mixture and on a low flame, fry until bhunoed well, and it gives off a nice roasty fragrance.
- Meanwhile, turn off the flame and take the pineapple syrup off the heat, and gently, pour it into the semolina.
- Be careful, it will splutter, and pour slowly or use a ladle.
- Keep stirring so the sheera doesn’t stick to the bottom, and let it come together.
- Once the sheera begins to form a lump and leave the sides of the pan and ghee starts to separate, it is almost done.
- Sprinkle the roasted almonds, give a final mix, and switch off flame.
- Serve pineapple sheera in individual bowls, or set in a greased tray and allow to set.
- Cut into shapes, garnish with fried cashews and serve hot or cold.