Chickoo Khajoor Sheera / Sapota Dates Sheera topped with roasted cashew and melon seeds ...... for Naivedyam .......
I have prepared many real fruit flavoured sheera to date. Some of them are pomegranate, mango, saffron etc. This one is another one in similar lines. Chickoo or Sapota is a very sweet fruit and addition of khajoor / dates which is also sweet gives you the advantage of reducing sugar in the sheera. I have hardly added any sugar in this recipe, which otherwise become a must for both taste and texture. The sheera really turned out sweet and soft and was a pleasure to have as it is. You can serve it with some thekha meetha poori too. It goes great with it.
Peel the outer skin of 5-6 large sized ripe chickoos / sapota with a sharp knife, cut them into half, remove the center white pith and the seeds and discard them. Cut the ripe portions into small pieces. Put it in mixer with ½ - 1 cup of water and blend well to a fine puree. Remove and keep it aside ready to be used..
Roast togethe 1/2 cup each of cashew pieces and melon seeds for topping and keep aside.
In a thick bottomed Kadai heat 1 cup of ghee, when the ghee melts and becomes thin add one cup of Bombay Rava (Not the very fine one used for chiroti) and fry for some time on medium heat till the rawness goes and you get a nice aroma. This takes about 10 minutes. Keep stirring with a spatula so that the rava does not get burnt. While stirring the rava keep 2 Cups of water to boil, when it comes to a good boil add it to the kadai in which the rava is being fried. Keep the heat low. Mix well so that there are no lumps. The rava cooks fast so you should stir it really well quickly.
Once the rava has cooked and the water has almost dried up add in ¼ - ½ cup of sugar and stir well, add more or less as keeping in mind sweetness of both chickoo and dates. Mix well and let the sugar and rava both get cooked together till done and there is not moisture left.At this point, add in the chickoo puree and 1 cup of dates syrup and mix well. I have added readymade dates syrup available in the market. If not available just soak 1 cup of dates cut into small pieces in 1 cup of hot water for 15 minutes and then grind to a smooth paste with the water in which it is soaked. Do not add more water; you should get a thick smooth dates syrup. Keep stirring on low heat till the chickoo dates sheera leaves the sides of the kadai.
Pour the mixture into a plate / tray to which ghee has been applied all over from inside. Spread evenly with the spatula and level the sheera nicely. Sprinkle some roasted cashew and melon seeds on top of the sheera and roll with a rolling pin so that they stick to the sheera in a even layer. Let the sheera cool a bit. With a blunt knife put cuts on the sheera to make them into square shape (or any shape you desire. Once completely cooled you can gently remove the pieces by inserting the blunt knife and loosening it to remove it from the plate. Serve Chickoo Dates Sheera Hot or Cold as per your liking. You can also serve sheera with poori, the combo is very much to children’s liking