I spent my childhood in frequent visits to my relatives in Durban and Newcastle and I have fond memories of eating with my family – both then and now. At every gathering, whether social, religious or a family meal shared at a relative’s home, it was marked by the introduction of sojee, a traditional Indian semolina-based dessert that cradles all the comfort in the world in just one bite. On cold or rainy days, my mother would often make a small pot of sojee– a rich, buttery semolina dessert made with cardamom, cinnamon and slivered almonds. The smell of the semolina browning in butter is heady and welcoming; an instant reminder of my mother’s kitchen and every occasion spent in celebration with family and friends.
- In a pot, add your butter and allow to melt. Toss in your cinnamon, cardamom pods and sultanas. Add the semolina and allow to braise till golden in colour.
- Take the pot off the heat and add in your water and mix well.
- While the pot is still off the heat, mix together your egg and milk in a jug with a fork till well beaten.
- When the contents of the pot are cool enough, pour in the egg mixture slowly and mix continuously till well combined.
- Put your pot back onto low heat and add in coconut.
- Raise the temperature to medium heat and add saffron.
- Continue mixing your sojee until it thickens and becomes semi-dry in texture. Add in your sugar at this stage and taste to adjust to your liking.
- Add in cream and mix through.
- Leave on low heat and mix occasionally to avoid sticking.
- Add in 1 tsp cardamom powder (or to taste) for extra flavour.
- Serve hot and garnish with chopped pistachios and almonds.
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