Monday, September 18, 2017

Sujir Payesh with Dried Apricots - Semolina Pudding with Dried Apricots

Sujir Payesh with Dried Apricots
Soft and creamy, this adaptation of a childhood comfort food appeals to young and old alike. Semolina or cream of wheat or suji is a familiar food in the breakfast aisle of the grocery store. The breakfast cereal packages contain semolina in its instant form which is not what is used in this recipe because when it is cooked in this way, it turns to a mushy paste. So visit an Indian market and get unprocessed large grains of semolina in a bag. Kept in a cool, dark place, the bag will last several years if kept in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

The semolina is first toasted in a skillet with butter until golden brown and fragrant. Meanwhile, milk is scalded with raisins & sugar in another pan and the two are combined to produce a smooth and creamy pudding. Just to be different, I decided to use coconut milk instead of regular milk and replaced the raisins with minced, dried apricots. 

One gentleman who loved to have this with heated tortillas for breakfast once told me that the semolina, sugar and butter should be used in a 1:1 ratio and the milk to semolina ratio should be 2:1. I admit this tastes heavenly, but not so good for diabetics or people with high cholestrerol levels, so I toned it down significantly. A hint of cardamom powder gives this pudding a decadent touch.

1 cup semolina
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 (14 oz.) can of coconut milk + 1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 cup Splenda (or use 1 cup sugar)
1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
6-8 dried apricots, minced

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, add semolina and toast to a golden-brown.
  2. In a saucepan combine milk, water, apricots, sugar and simmer over medium heat until sugar dissolves and apricots soften.
  3. Stir in cardamom powder and pour over toasted semolina. 
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously.
  5. Lower heat to minimum setting and cook pudding until semolina absorbs all the liquid.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish and serve as a dessert course.
  7. Semolina acts as a sponge and absorbs more liquid the longer it sits.
  8. Store left-overs in the refrigerator.

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