I am sure most of us walked into a dark room when we were kids and whispered, ‘There is no such thing as ghosts’. I still whisper that after I watch horror movies! Now that I am all grown up, I whisper at weddings, ‘There is no such thing as lite SOJI!!! I wish people would stop asking me for the low-fat version – there simply isn’t one! Eating a skinny version defeats the purpose…it’s all that buttery goodness that got you hooked in the first place.
Soji brings back lots of memories….for me, it’s mostly around weddings. Not the modern versions of weddings…I am talking about the ‘paper plate’ ones. Let me explain…this is when marriages were made to last unlike paper plates….no fancy stuff! The garlands were made with fresh yellow carnations…and burgundy Benares saries were the rage! So was Kruger coin jewellery and Bally shoes!
The Soji was served on the SAME paper plate as the breyani – little bits of curry spices would soak into the sweet butter semolina – Heavenly, I tell you! No cutlery in sight….I would just squish little bits into my mouth and feel the warm comfort of those calories in each bite. And then there were the ‘Rich People’s Weddings’ – in my tiny world that meant that the Soji had lots of almonds!
Soji is served at weddings, birthdays, tea time and even at funerals….let’s just say that you can tell how a person feels by what goes into a soji…funeral soji is generally the unhappy, lite version! Definitely not my favourite!
By the end of today, I am sure that someone is going to report me to the Heart Foundation for this recipe…but Diwali is just once a year! So, I will just have to take my chances…make up a batch of this Soji, dish up a luscious helping, and while you suck on a scoop of buttery decadence, think of your best memory….post your comments!
Here is the recipe:
This makes about 1,6kg
3 large cinnamon sticks
350g Taystee Wheat
200g dessert cream
250g evaporated milk
90g condensed milk
300ml cold water
2,5ml egg yellow food colouring
7ml ground cardamom
100g tinted almonds
Place the Taystee Wheat and cinnamon sticks into a 30cm AMC pot.
Toast the semolina on medium heat until the grains brown slightly.
Add the butter and continue stirring, until the semolina changes colour.
CAUTION – Take care when adding the liquid…it does splutter and can cause a nasty burn! Add the dessert cream, evaporated milk, condensed milk, milk and water to the pot.
Add egg yellow, add more colouring if necessary.
Stir the mixture until it thickens and starts to leave the sides of the pan.
Continue stirring and then add sugar.
Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
Once the butter start to ‘float’ around the side of the pan, remove from the heat.
Place in a serving dish and garnish with brightly tinted almonds.
Call the Heart Foundation or your nearest hospital if you have any problems!