Every change of season brings with it the onset of viral infections that are much more pronounced when fall turns to winter. That’s when warm drinks – green teas, turmeric milk, hot chai, lemon-ginger-honey- come really handy.
Calm An Irritated Throat
Growing up in the desert state of Rajasthan in India, where night-time temperatures would often dip to freezing (on the celsius scale), a soothing night time drink was always welcome. Most often though the only time our mother made sheera was when we had a cough, an itchy throat or even a mild fever. She knew, as a science teacher, that this wasn’t a foolproof cure for an infection. But, it was soothing, warm and calming for an irritated throat.
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Hot besan ka sheera to soothe scratchy throats. During winter months families across northern India, especially Punjab, make some kind of sheera to warm up. It’s a sweet pudding style drink that’s really helpful when children or adults catch a cold or get sore throats. ☃️❄️The cold in North America has given us a reason to drink sheera! ☕️ To make two cups – warm 2 tbsp of ghee in a saucepan, Add 2 tbsp of besan aka chickpea flour. Cook until the flour releases its aroma and turns a mustard yellow. Then add two cups of milk and simmer. Finally add 2 heaped tbsps of sugar and stir. You could also add green cardamom powder and a teaspoon of turmeric for its healthful qualities. Savour sheera’s warmth! . . . . . #winter #food #foodporn #everydaygourmet #homeremedies #traditional #coldremedies #foodie #food52 #turmeric #india #punjab #northindiancuisine #besan #drinks #love #wanderlust #expat #indian #india #boston #dubai #delhi
As an adult, I often recall those desert nights when temperatures dip here in north America craving a warm cup of sheera, just to sleep better. Sheera in our home has always been made with ghee, gram flour (besan), milk and sugar. In north India there are other variants. Some make a wetter version of the Rich Aata Halwa with a bit more water, so that one can scoop it spoonful at a time from a mug. The key is that these same ingredients when cooked enough to dry out the water lead to a halwa. So, you could tweak any halwa to make a sheera. I like the besan version best.
Here’s our household recipe for besan ka sheera, a home remedy and warm drink for kids and, adults who like being kids 🙂
For two helping you’ll need:
2 tbsp ghee,
2 tbsp besan,
1 green cardamom,
1 1/2 cup milk,
2 tbsp of sugar (adjust according to taste),
1 tsp of turmeric powder.
1/4 cup of sliced nuts- almonds or cashews (or both!)
1/4 cup raisins (soaked in warm water)
Take a heavy bottom saucepan and put it on the stove on medium heat.
Now add ghee to it and let it melt. If you have molten ghee then use that and saute cardamom in it until you can smell its aroma. I cooked a nut free sheera but, if you are using dry nuts such as almonds, cashews or both, then add them now. Saute and proceed to the next step. Also now would be the time to soak raisin in warm water to add later. I do not add dry fruits or nuts, but for a dessert style post meal drink use what you like. 🙂
Next, measure besan and add to ghee. Cook until it is fragrant and starts changing color to a deeper mustard. Be careful not to overcook. Besan takes time to start cooking but once on its way it can burn easily too. Always maintain medium or low heat while cooking gram flour (besan).
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Stirring away to a happy cup of besan ka sheera. After the arctic blast that froze the US came on new year’s eve, a hot cup of this warm and sultry drink is what we all need! Add to it the goodness of turmeric for a punch of natural antiseptics. 🤞 you are warm 🧣and don’t need this remedy. Use it just as well for dessert. 😋 R-E-C-I-P-E on the blog! Link in profile ☝️ . . #food #foodporn #foodblogger #homeremedy #dadimaakenuskhe #indian #india #besan #gramflour #ghee #sweet #dessert #organic #healthyfood #turmeric #turmericmilk #antiseptic #naturalcures #homecures #saveurmag #nytfood #nytcooking #huffposttaste #foodstagram #food52 #bostonfoodies #bostonmouthful #dubai #bbcgoodfood
When this pasty mix is bubbling add milk. Be careful, the mix of hot and cold liquid will result in some spluttering. Mix well until the sheera starts thickening.
Finally, add sugar and turmeric powder; stir well. Drain water from soaked raisins, if using, and add now. Turn off the heat and pour into cups to enjoy the soothing feel of this hot and creamy home remedy. Your throat will feel warm (duh) and calm as long as the effect lasts.
***This is not a medicine. I really hope you don’t need a doctor but persistent coughs could be serious.
If you are well and need something sweet – just make this dessert in a cup!
Updated Jan 4th, 2018.
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