Rajgira Sheera | Halwa
Event: Foodies_Redoing Old Posts
Recipe: Rajgira Sheera | Halwa
Rajgira Sheera | Halwa is a gluten free, delicious Indian sweet dish that is prepared from amaranth flour, ghee, sugar and milk. Mostly prepared during fasting days like Ekadashi, Navratri, Shravan, Ram Navmi, etc, it is an easy recipe. However, go and make it whenever you feel like. It tastes really good when served hot or warm.
I like preparing Rajgira Sheera or Halwa during Ekadashi fasting if I am not making Sabudana Kheer.
What is Devshayani Ekadashi?
Once in a while Ekadashi dates confuse all the Hindus. One such Ekadashi is the Devshayani Ekadashi which was on 8th and 9th July this year. Some observed the fasting on 8th and some on the 9th. Shayani literally means sleeping.
It is believed that on this Maha Ekadashi ( great eleventh), Devpodhi or Devshayani Ekadashi Lord Vishnu falls asleep on the Sheshnag (cosmic serpent) in the cosmic ocean of milk. Its believed that Lord Vishnu sleeps during the four holy months of Chaturmaas.
This holy period coincides with the rainy season. Also signifies the beginning of penance, rituals, poojas, parikramas and making a conscious effort to advance oneself in the religion aspect. That does not mean that during the rest of the year, one does not practice all this. More attention is given towards religious progress during religious festivals and months. To read more about this Ekadashi go to this site.
Advantages of Fasting
Fasting has recently become a fad in the health and weight loss world, but fasting actually existed centuries ago and is a part of many religions and cultures. One such tradition is followed by many Hindus world over and that is fasting every fortnight, also known as Ekadashi.
- Promotes control of sugar in the blood as it decrease insulin resistance
- Promotes better health and decreases levels of inflammation
- Reduces bad cholesterol therefore promotes good heart health
- Aids weight loss
- Boosts metabolism
- Helps to purify the mind and body
- Fasting on particular religious days or months helps one to follow and practice the religious rituals
- develops discipline
Fasting and Me
Fasting is a way to discipline the body and mind. It will take me a while to discipline both. I usually start off the Ekadashi morning with a promise to myself that I will not indulge in all the goodies, but the foodie in me gets the better hold on my mind.
By the time the day ends I probably have feasted more than usual. Well, till I do a fast without much indulgence, I will strive to try and try till I succeed. In that respect my hubby dear is a much more disciplined person than I am.
Discipline has to be constantly worked on and nothing should come in the way – excuses, weaknesses or the heart. However, Hinduism doesn’t require that one fasts till your suffer. There are many options when fasting, drink only water, eat only fruits, consume only one meal, do not certain groups of food, etc. Though, I feel hungry when I follow the Ekadashi fasting, I still do them and look forward to the next one.
Good Food and Fasting
I once asked my sister in law who is an ISKCON devotee, why do we cook so many varieties of delicious and tempting dishes when one is suppose to fast? Her answer was that we are not cooking it for us but as an offering to God. We have to feed Him just the way we would feed a guest, with lots of variety. The Prasadam is then shared with all. With that in mind made rajgira sheera |Halwa also known as rajagaro no sheero in Gujarati.
What is Rajgira?
Rajgira is the Hindi word for amaranth. Amaranth seeds can be used to prepare kheer or pudding and the flour is used in a variety of dishes, especially ones made during the fasting days. Amaranth is a gluten free, protein rich seed. The seeds are ground into flour and used in bread, cookies, cereals, pasta etc. The seeds can be popped and eaten. I’ve made some Fig and Amaranth Cookies and not only are they totally gluten free but taste awesome. Amaranth Flatbreads with a bit of wheat flour make an unusual starter dish when served with a salsa. Serve Amaranth Kheer or Pudding with some fruit as a healthy breakfast or dessert. Did you know that amaranth leaves are healthy? How about making a healthy Callaloo Fried Rice?
THE GROUP – FOODIES_REDOING OLD POSTS
This group started by Renu who blogs at Cook With Renu, helps us to redo old posts, be it with photos, writing or even updated versions of the recipe. And some I update them with videos.
This Janmashtami, I made rajgira sheera | halwa which gave me the opportunity to update this recipe with better images.
First published on 09/07/2014 updated on 20/08/2022
Ingredients Required For Rajgira Sheera | Halwa
- Rajgira Flour – also known as ram dana atta, rajagaro no lot, amaranth flour. Easily available in all Indian Stores, Health Stores or Online.
- Ghee – is clarified butter. This too is easily available in all Indian Stores or online. Measure out the solid part and not the liquid part. Don’t skimp on the amount required if you want the flour to roast well.
- Sugar – I like to use brown sugar or powdered jaggery. It adds a lovely brown colour to the halwa. I also add 2 tbsp white sugar for added sweetness.
- Fennel Seeds – optional. I like to add them for added flavour.
- Cardamom Powder – add according to your taste.
- Ginger Powder – I like to add it for the flavour. Omit if you don’t want to add it.
- Milk – use full fat milk, semi fat, whatever you want to use. Heat the milk till it becomes hot.
- Saffron – for flavour. Add it to the hot milk so the flavour gets infused well.
- Nuts – cut into slivers or chopped. Use almond, pistachio, cashew nuts.
- Satvik friendly
- Gluten free
- For a vegan option replace dairy milk with almond or coconut milk and replace ghee with vegan butter or coconut oil.
Watch How To Make Rajgira Sheera | Halwa
RAJGIRA SHEERA | HALWA | AMARANTH FLOUR HALWA
- ½ cup rajgira rajagro or amaranth flour
- 1-1¼ cup milk full fat
- ⅓ cup brown sugar or powdered jaggery
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- ⅛ tsp saffron about a pinch
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 2 tbsp almond and pistachio slices
- 4 tbsp ghee, clarified butter solid part
- Add milk in a pan and bring it to a boil.
- Add saffron to it and keep it on the side till required.
- Heat the ghee in a pan over low heat. Allow it to melt and become a bit hot.
- Add fennel seeds. As soon as they begin to sizzle, add the flour.
- Roast the flour, stirring all the time, till it becomes dark brown. The flour should roast and not burn so make sure the heat is low.
- At first the mixture will appear dry but once the flour gets roasted properly, the mixture will become a bit liquidy.
- Add the milk while stirring the flour. Be careful as a lot of steam will be generated and the mixture will bubble too.
- Keep on stirring till the sheera becomes thick.
- Add the brown and white sugar or jaggery. Mix till it melts.
- The sheera or halwa will come away from the sides of the pan when it is ready.
- Add the cardamom and ginger powders and mix well.
- Garnish with the nut slices or slivers and serve hot.
- Be careful when you add the hot milk to the flour mixture. Lot of steam will be released. Its best to pour the milk at the edge of the pan instead of the middle.
- I added ginger powder and aniseed to give this sheera a different taste. You can add only cardamom of you wish.
- Roast the flour over low heat.
- Don't get tempted to add more ghee if the flour appears dry. Once it cooks, the flour mixture will become runny.
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