On the occasion of my sons second birthday, I made Narayan Sheera, a halwa that is rich, nutritious and gives a feeling of satiety to the tummy and soul. It is made for Satyanarayan Puja or any religious ceremony as prasad (food offering to God).
Post Partum diet: I have the book Ayurvedic Garbha Sanskar by pioneering Ayurvedic physician and spiritual master Dr. Shri Balaji Tambe that my mother and I used as a guide during my pregnancies. It is an excellent book for those who are pro natural living and inclined to Ayurveda. Along with all the great information, the DOs and DON’Ts, the book has some recipes, including this Narayan shira / sheera that makes a rich but healthy dessert for one and all, especially beneficial during postpartum care. It is quite potent and so also recommended for women just before going into labor, as it provides the energy to sustain the mother through (and the only food before) the arduous hours of labor, childbirth and immediate recovery period.
This recipe is adapted from the book. Note how the characteristic proportion of suji to ghee to sugar is 1:1:1.
1/2 cup rava / suji / semolina
1/2 cup ghee / Indian clarified butter
1/2 cup sugar*
2 cups milk
2 tbsp almonds (or more/less, per you wish), chopped
2 tbsp cashews (or more/less, per your wish), halved
1 tsp elaichi powder (cardamom)
1/4 tsp kesar powder (saffron)
1 ripe banana
1. In a thick bottomed pan, heat ghee and fry almonds and cashews. Set aside.
2. Add the suji in the ghee and fry it on low flame until it changes color to a dull pinkish and fragrant. Heat milk in the mean time.
3. Add the hot milk slowly while stirring so as to not let it form into lumps. After adding all the milk, stir well and cover to let it cook for about 5 minutes on very low heat. Make sure it doesn’t get burnt at the bottom (Put another griddle between your stove and the pan, if you need to).
4. Add sugar, almonds, cashews, saffron, cardamom powder, stir well, and cover for a minute or two. In the end, stir in the ripe banana pieces and cover for another minute or two before turing off the stove.
*The Indian sugar somehow seems sweeter than the one in the US. That said, you could add a couple more teaspoons of sugar if you wish. But again, most people like it not “too sweet” too. So adjust sweetness to your taste.