Cooling Texas temperatures around us, herald the beginning of autumn and the cozy feeling that comes with it; while the month of October also means it’s time to start planning the upcoming festive season, with Halloween followed by Diwali and Thanksgiving, ending in December with the entertaining frenzy of holiday season.
Parsi homes celebrate the start of auspicious days and special occasions with sweet servings (you’ve probably heard that before.) Growing up, it often meant a delightful breakfast of ‘Ravo’, a roasted semolina and milk pudding, or Parsi ‘Sev-dahi’ which is sweetened fragrant vermicelli topped with cardamom vanilla yogurt.
Today, as I re-create mom’s mouthwatering recipe for classic Parsi Ravo with sweetened semolina, eggs and milk; the aromas of nutmeg, cardamom and vanilla essence wafting towards me, bring back happy memories of times gone by, of birthdays and special childhood celebrations.
As with many Parsi dishes, a variety of dried fruits and nuts find their way into a Parsi ‘Ravo’, the most common ones being raisins, almond and cashew. I’ve strayed a bit from norm and added a personal favorite, chopped pitted date to the Parsi Ravo, giving this delicious treat an extra special touch.
This versatile Parsi preparation best served warm in a bowl is ideal for breakfast or brunch, high tea snack or mouthwatering dessert.
- ¼ cup semolina (see notes)
- 2 cups (500ml) milk
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4-5 pitted dates, chopped; raisins or cranberries can also be used
- In a bowl, whisk the egg, cold milk and vanilla essence together. Leave aside till required.
- Melt butter in a saucepan on a medium flame and add the semolina, roasting for a minute or two. Make sure the semolina grains don't turn brown by stirring intermittently.
- Stir in the sugar and cook till sugar has melted but not caramelized, it should take a couple of minutes.
- Next pour the milk and egg mixture, and also add the chopped dates, ground nutmeg and cardamom to the semolina, stirring continuously for 3-5 minutes till the pudding reaches desired consistency. Keep in mind that puddings thicken upon standing.
- Serve a bowl of warm fragrant Parsi 'Ravo' for breakfast or brunch, as a high tea snack or a mouthwatering dessert.
- • Semolina flour is available in western countries as pasta flour or durum wheat semolina. In the Indian subcontinent, semolina appears as 'rava'; use the fine variety for this dish.
- • The best way to reheat leftover Parsi 'Ravo' is to warm it with a splash of milk, on the stovetop or microwave oven.