Shakarkandi-Sooji Halwa (Indian Sweet Potato & Semolina Pudding)

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Shakarkandi-Sooji Halwa (Indian Sweet Potato & Semolina Pudding)

Sooji halwa or kesari is a kind of sweet semolina pudding, commonly eaten on auspicious occasions like Indian festivals and other holidays. Okay, who am I kidding? We eat it every time we crave something sweet and that should tell you how simple it is to make.
I gave it an American twist adding a mashed sweet potato to it. Combined with the semolina, the mashed sweet potatoes play a more-than-willing supporting role, adding a welcome smoothness and subtle flavor. I like to think it also makes the halwa healthier, obviously because it is a vegetable, and also because you need to use lesser sugar.
Make this one to impress an Indian friend or make it for Thanksgiving in place of a traditional sweet potato casserole.

Ingredients:

Sweet potato – 1 large, boiled and mashed to make roughly 1 cup
Ghee – 5 tbsp, divided
Cashew nuts – 12
Golden raisins – 12
Semolina – ¾ cup
Water – 3 cups
Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp
Salt – a fat pinch
Sugar – ½ cup plus 2 tbsp

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