Friday, April 17, 2015

Pineapple Pudding(Pineapple Sheera/Kesari Bhaat)

Sheera or Rava Kesari as it is popularly called as in the Southern parts of India, is the most popular sweet dish made with Wheat Semolina or Bombay Rava. In the North it is known as Sooji Ka Halwa. It is popular in places like Bengaluru and Mysooru as Kesari Bhaat. Pineapple chunks are added to make Pineapple Sheera or Kesari Bhaat. In Mangaluru it is known as Pineapple Pudding. At weddings and other functions, caterers prepare Pineapple Pudding and serve that as grand finale to a  sumptuous feast. The flavour and taste of the dish is enhanced by adding pineapple to sheera. The popular combo breakfast staple in Bengaluru is 'Chow Chow Bhaat', a scoop of kesari bhaat and a scoop of khaara bhaat(Upma).
My mother used to make excellent sheera but as far as I remember, she made it with wheat rava. She used to make it, spread the hot sheera on a greased platter and cut it into diamond shaped pieces. That way sheera can be equally shared among guests. However, she had not made pineapple pudding any day. I am fond of this sweet dish and I have prepared it with Bombay rava and wheat semolina many times. Whole wheat semolina pudding is more delicious than the one made with Bombay rava. Pineapple pudding is rather difficult to remain intact if cut into pieces like we do in the case of sheera. Especially when we make it with right amount of sugar and ghee. To make a perfect pineapple pudding without adding loads of ghee or sugar, you need to follow the right method.

Here is a good recipe that I have come out with, based on how my mother used to make sheera, using my own idea to add par-boiled pineapple chunks. Now is the season for pineapple and we do get it in abundance at reasonable price in local markets. Make this and store it in the fridge for consumption over the next 3 days. All you need to do is to re-heat it in the microwave oven for a couple of minutes and serve it hot.
1. Wheat Semolina/Bombay Rava - 2 Cups
2. Sugar - 1 and 1/2 Cup
3. Clarified Butter/Ghee - 1 Cup
4. Pineapple bits - 1 and 1/2 cup
5. Raisins - A handful
6. Cashewnut Bits - A Handful
7. Green Cardamom - 6-8, peeled and seeds crushed
8. Saffron - A pinch dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water or milk

Keep 4 cups of water for boiling.
Add pineapple chunks in it and switch off the flame as soon as pineapple chunks start boiling.
Heat a thick bottomed pan and roast semolina(rava) till a nice smell emanates and the semolina leaves out ghee.
Add the hot water along with boiled pineapple bits. 
Mix well and allow to cook. 
Keep stirring gently and take care that the mass doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
When cooked and all the water has been absorbed, add the saffron and  Mix well. 
Now add sugar and mix.
Sugar starts to melt and the mass becomes wet again.
As the pudding starts to dry up and ghee oozes, switch off the flame.
Garnish with crushed cardamom and raisins.
Heat little ghee and fry the cashewnuts till golden.
Add the fried cashewnuts to the pudding and mix well.
Serve hot with upma for breakfast or just pineapple pudding as a dessert.

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