mastered 'Godhumai Jira' from 'Ammayi, my husband's maternal Grandma. Years back, as a newly wed she amazed me each time she made this sweet in a jiffy for the unexpected guests who would simply admire the heavenly taste!
By typing 'mastered' I mean it! Many of my husband's relatives learnt the recipe from 'Ammayi' but were not able to come out like hers when they tried. I admit I'd failed at least half a dozen times ;) ;thanks to the inspiring spider and the king story which never let me surrender and propelled me for years until I made it perfect!
'Ammayi', on the other hand, claims to have learnt the recipe verbally from one of her family friends. Trying to source out the cuisine I had pestered her with all sorts of queries pertaining region, whether she was a Gujarathi, Marathi, Rajasthani etc. She continues to say "Vadakkathi" meaning North Indian!
So invariably this belongs to North India. Friends, any idea to which state this belongs, please? :)
My in-laws had named this 'Godhumai Jira 'which again confuses me, especially with the latter part. Why 'Jira'?
The speciality of this sweet is that it calls for just 4 ingredients, wheat flour, ghee, sugar and water with no added colours, flavours, dried fruits or nuts! Still it tastes Heaven!
I had made up my mind, ever posted, I should make it a real elaborate step by step post to make it as easiest as possible for my readers, It seems to be elaborate, take my words, the time span between the image no:1, just below and image no:19 with the final product is not more than 5 minutes!!
Ingredients for Wheat flour Halwa
Whole wheat flour/ Atta - 1/2 cup
Ghee- 1/2 cup (same amount as wheat flour...never compromise the quantity)
Sugar - 3/4 cup (slightly lesser than two parts of flour)
Water - 1 cup + about 1/4 cup ( 2 1/4 parts of flour)
So here we go.....you can never flaw with these anyway :)
Heat ghee / clarified butter in one of your non stick pans.
I used fresh homemade cow's ghee, amma had sent over :) ( Thanx girls, for tolerating a bit of bragging :))
I used a shallow nonstick pan and lesser ratio of ingredients for the pictorial and please go ahead with your wider deeper pans. For beginners I strongly suggest to start with minimum quantity, say, 1/4 cup of wheat flour and 1/4 cup of ghee like I am doing here!
Add wheat flour to the heated ghee
Ah! while you place the pan to heat ghee, place the pan of water (flour : water = 1 : 2 1/4) simultaneously on the adjacent stove over medium flame.
Blend ghee + atta well. It should be watery and not thicker than you see here. This is important!
Keeping flame to minimum, stir the mixture continuously.
You can see the colour changing while the flour gets cooked in ghee
This will take 2-3 minutes (if you have used 1/4 cup of flour and ghee) and you see the flour attaining a deeper brown hue with the distinct aroma of wheat + ghee all around you!
The water must have reached the rolling boiling stage now. Make sure you don't let it boil and evaporate as we might mess up with the ratio
Ah! seems now I am burning the mix!!
Yes, this is where you are supposed to reach with the wheat and ghee part. I removed it from fire and brought it under daylight to show you the actual colour.
You don't have to put off the stove as I did and can dump sugar..
..followed by the boiling water. Be careful as you see the mix rising up a bit with a hissing sound and settling down the next second, since you are using the boiling water. Be careful with the very hot water too.
This was the moment I was desperately in need of a third hand and envied our Hindu Gods.... was literally struggling with hot water, spatula and the camera set to auto shoot..
This stage reaches after 2 seconds from the previous. I had to put off the stove after my struggle to click a decent picture :)
The same stage for a closer shot. While you mix, ensure there are no lumps formed. It is safer to put off fire for a few seconds until you blend the mixture well.
Keep the flame low and stir.
Aw! Seems I had both the hood lamps on and the color is confusing!
Yes! Put off one and note the consistency and the colour. This stage is reached within a minute after you mix the flour, ghee and boiling water.
Within seconds you can see the whole thing forming into a smooth glossy mass, leaving sides of the pan with a wonderful aroma. Interesting, na? :)
Ah! there you go! heave a deep sigh of relief, you've made it!
Put off fire. Transfer to another bowl and leave it cool a bit. The halwa will be really hot!
Enjoy the warm bowl of sweet. There are no added colours . No added flavours either!
Ammayi, the greatest cook of our family, is almost bedridden with limited mobility. She can no more amaze her guests with godumai jira but still loves to have it in spite of her ever shooting blood-sugar levels :)
Hi Bharathy, this is what we Maharashtrians call Kankecha Shira meaning Wheat flour shira, probably "jira" is a mispronounced "shira". It is a rural specialty rustled up for surprise visitors. Me having grown up in Mumbai had never tasted this but a friend from Nagpur made it for me and said it is very common in the countryside. The golden roasting in ghee is the key to a good shira.
Thank you Anjali for your valuable info!
According to Kool Kitchen, Wheat Flour Sheera ( कणकेचा शीरा) is a traditional Maharashtrian sweet, usually served as ‘Prasad’ for Satyanarayanpuja.