Do you live to eat? Or eat to live?
Well, quite honestly, the COVID-19 lockdown phase has got me wondering about whether it was to eat that one lived or otherwise. On the other hand, I thought, why not, as dish after delectable dish beckoned to be tried out. And as the lockdown got extended to beyond three weeks, the cooking progressed to sweeter levels; I mean literally sugary sweet ones. The best example came in the form of “sheero” which is a synonym for fluffy semolina on a cloud.
While on the subject of Goan sweets, I must accredit David D’Souza whose Goan recipes I tried for the most of the lockdown. That they were a surefire hit is evident in the outcome. His methods are described explicitly, and with high definition images, even a blind man couldn’t go wrong in its execution. In this sheera recipe, it’s not as much about the ingredients as much as it’s about how to prepare sheera.
Who is David?
David is the man behind this recipe and the administrator of a popular food group. His website offers a host of recipes spanning dishes from rice variations to fish gravies to meats to desserts. It was chiefly the Goan recipes that caught my interest and replication. That his recipes dominated the majority of my experiments during the lockdown, is proof enough of my loyalty to his food blog called Dusty’s Foodie Adventures. Cooking is but a passionate hobby, and it is this passion that is evident in his fond food memoirs. I saw a story being unfurled, ranging from “poderacho bol” to ‘hot cross buns’, fish caldine” to“crab xec xec” and thereon to the three highlights of Goa. They come in the form of three Ss – “sannas“, “sorportel“, “solantulem“ and now for the fourth S. Yes, it stands for “sheero” whose recipe is just below. With this Goan sheera recipe, I had come to the end of my search for a perfect one.
Goan Sheera Recipe:
- 1 cup fine semolina
- ½ cup grain sugar
- ½ cup pure ghee
- 1½ cups milk (I used the dudhwala dairy milk)
- 2 cups water (adjusted according to the quantity of milk)
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ⅓ cup white raisins
- A pinch of salt
- Heat ghee in a large pan.
- Add fine rava and roast it on a reduced flame, ensuring it doesn’t turn too brown/ burnt. You know when to move to the next step when the rava turns a golden brown.
- Pour in the milk, then add the grain sugar and mix them in.
- Follow this by raisins and cardamom. Give it a good mix with the spatula before adding the water and hint of salt. Let lumps stay away from the mixture.
- Cover and cook for ten minutes on a medium flame. It could take even less than ten minutes but in any case, check for a firm texture. Let sit till cool. (You may add cashew nuts, pistachios, banana, mango or pineapple embellishments of your fancy but the core recipe will take you in the right direction).
How to enjoy Sheero?
As suggested by David, sheero is best eaten out of a bowl with a piping hot cup of rose-flavoured tea popular to Goa. As for me, I just about held back from devouring the personification of divinity right out of the pan.
My journey with lockdown food experiments started with joining a group called Traditional Goan Foodies (or TGF). It is a 172K member Facebook group with David at the helm. As the name suggests, the group fosters Goan cuisine. The more the tradition, the better. I had a whirlwind of a romance with this group and continue to do so for good reason. It encourages the sharing of recipes and pictures of cooked fare churned out by its members. Each outdoing the other, propelling you to lustily engage with the exchange too. What better a time to indulge in food fantasies than this. Besides, with the cooks being on a sabbatical, now is the time to be your own cook.
More about the man behind TGF
David is a Senior Technical Support – IT Operations and is based in Toronto, Canada. He started his blog way back in 2015, chiefly to document recipes for his daughter. The recipes are quite a steal, literally worth stealing. When his group TGF picked up momentum, he gave it his undivided attention as TGF pulsates with a power of its own. Of course, he uses up all of his free time on this. What adds credibility to his blog are his images which only a photographer’s eye could capture. Yes, you guessed right – photography is a second hobby. What better a team than cooking and photography!
Eating is Believing
I always believe that angels do not strictly appear as heavenly bodies but can emerge in human form. If your belief is optimistic, angels will come with heavenly manna from heaven. As for me, my lockdown angels came in the form of cooks and food writers; hence I dedicate the month of July to my source of cooking inspiration.
Seeing is believing; eating is a superlative of the belief.
Looking for more Goan recipes? You can check them out here to try this lockdown.