Sooji Ka Halwa- Ashtami Prasad /Sooji ka Halwa/ Semolina pudding is a dessert prepared with semolina and sugar syrup and infused with the flavors of refreshing green cardamom and saffron. To add to its flavors you may add some toasted dry fruits and top it with fresh grated coconut.
Sooji ka halwa although prepared anytime of the year is truly Indian dessert.Prepared in all parts of the country. But its truly symbolic of pooja Prasad in India. Be it havan , pooja or any traditional ritual Sooji halwa is made as an offering /Prasad for the Pooja.Its simple and sacred and almost a ritual in most parts of the country.
One such pooja is Durga Ashtami. Marked by the End of 9 days of fasting popularly know as Navratri Fasting.
On this day we prepare Kala chana ,poori and sooji halwa to perform Kanjak /Kanjake.Prayers are offered to Godess durga and as a ritual little teenage girls under the age of 9 seen as an embodiment of Godess Durga are worshiped .Its called Kanjak pujan or kanya poojan.
Everyone who observes these Navratri fast celebrates Ashtami i.e the eighth or Navmi i.e the ninth day of Fasting and mark the closure of fasting with Ashtami poojan/Navmi Poojan.
It like a festival or the beginning of Festivals in India.
Kala chana/Black chickpeas – Sooji Halwa/Semolina pudding – Poori are prepared paired with a gift some money and offered to the little Goddesses which visit the house to accept our prayers, bless us and complete the auspicious puja.
People welcome the little girls in their house and traditionally first wash their feet and touch them to seek their blessings. We then make then sit in a row and then perform the following before serving them with Ashtami Prasad or Durga Bhog.
The Ashtami Prasad is a simple preparation of pooris made with whole wheat flour, sookha chana/dry black peas i.e soaked and boiled Kala chana tempered with spices and as a dessert Sooji ka Halwa/ Semolina pudding.
Black dry Masala Chana Recipe -click for recipe