‘Pineapple Sheera’ is a rich and decadent pudding made out of rawa (semolina), ghee (clarified butter) and pieces of sweet, tangy Ananas (Pineapple). Dry fruits are toasted in the ghee before being added to the pudding, making it a perfect traditional treat that’s often relished in Goan households. The Sheera is too special to be made every day. Rather, it accompanies plenty of small celebrations with family and friends. This pudding always brings back childhood memories and is sure to be a treat with your loved ones as well.
Relatives coming over for evening tea? Marks well scored in an examination? Tinkling bells and colourful flowers accompanying a simple pooja (special prayer) at home? Or best of all, even a special birthday breakfast?! Over the years, Pineapple Sheera has always been the decadent treat of choice accompanying these little celebrations with our family and friends.
Sometimes the Sheera would be a simple one, perhaps flavoured with elaichi (cardamom) or fragrant cloves. On other days, it would be Banana Sheera, with a few ripe fruit pieces added to the delicious mixture. But a real treat would most definitely be the Pineapple Sheera with plenty of sweet dry fruits!
My husband, his brother and their gang of cousins and friends were quite a bundle of energy as children. They’d often play outside, squabbling over games of cricket. But soon, the aroma of rawa (semolina) being toasted in hot ghee (clarified butter) would waft out the windows, luring the boys into the house for their favourite evening snack. Bowlfuls of the sweet Sheera, filled with tangy pieces of fresh Pineapple, would be eaten hurriedly with second helpings to follow. Energy renewed, the boys would run out to continue playing until dinner time while Maa and our aunts would chat over cups of hot tea and platefuls of the delicious Sheera.
That’s the role childhood sweets play in our lives, serving as a means of bringing family and friends together. Even to this day, the aroma of Pineapple Sheera brings back all those wonderful memories. Relished warm or cold, this delicious halwa always helps us to feel a little bit closer to home!
Pineapple Sheera Recipe
- 1 cup finely chopped Pineapple pieces
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 1 1/2 cups Water
- 1/4 cup Mixed Dry Fruits
- 5 Cloves (Lavang)
- 1/2 cup Fine Semolina (Rawa)
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons Ghee (Clarified Butter)
In a large pan, add in the finely chopped pineapple pieces, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring the pineapple mixture to a boil, then lower the flame, cook for five minutes and keep aside.
Soak a pinch of saffron strands in 4 tablespoons of warm milk.
Melt the ghee in a wide, heavy-bottomed, non-stick pan. Add the mixed dry fruits and sauté on low flame until they turn fragrant. Drain the dry fruits on a sheet of kitchen roll and keep aside.
In the same pan, add cloves to the warm ghee and sauté for a minute. Add in the fine semolina and sauté on low flame, stirring often to prevent it from burning. Sauté the mixture until the semolina turns light reddish-brown and fragrant.
Meanwhile, heat 1 cup water so as to add it to the roasted semolina. If we were to add cold water to the semolina, the mixture would turn lumpy. Once the semolina has turned fragrant, pour in the warm water and stir well. Cover the pan and allow the semolina mixture to cook for 3-4 minutes on low flame.
Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the semolina mixture and stir well to combine. Add in the cooked pineapple mixture and keep stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Cover the pan and cook the mixture for five minutes on low flame.
Stir in the saffron milk and mix well. The saffron milk helps to enhance the flavour of the semolina mixture, while also imparting a lovely yellow colour to it (you could alternatively omit the saffron milk and add a few drops of natural yellow food colour to the semolina mixture).
Finally, add in the sautéed dry fruits and give the mixture a good stir. The Sheera is ready to serve!
Pineapple Sheera tastes best when warm. It can be cooled down and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Simply re-heat the Sheera in the Microwave whenever you’re ready to serve.
If you’d like a deeper yellow colour to your Sheera, you could add a few drops of yellow food colour. For a natural and more flavourful option, you could add some saffron milk to the recipe above. Simply omit the cloves from the recipe and use saffron as a flavouring instead. Soak a generous pinch of saffron in 3-4 tablespoons of warm milk and add it to the cooked Sheera mixture, cook for a further three-four minutes on low flame and then stir in the sautéed dry fruits.
If you prefer a more pronounced Pineapple flavour, you could add in a few drops of Pineapple Essence once the Sheera has cooked. If the Pineapple is very sour, you could add in a few more tablespoons of sugar, as required.