Parsi Ravo/Rava, made from semolina, is one of those traditional dishes that is a staple is every Parsi household for a very simple reason - it is fast, easy and delicious!
Ravo is a sweet dish traditionally eaten in Parsi households for breakfast on special occasions and celebratory days, as is Parsi Sev - another delicious delicacy made from vermicelli (which I highly recommend you try too! August is a special time for all Parsis/Zoroastrians as we celebrate both our "New Year" called Navroze and Khordad Sal the birthday of our prophet Zarathustra/Zoroaster during this month - so if there is ever time to try this easy recipe - it's now!
Personally, I prefer my ravo not too sweet, so this recipe uses less sugar than most, but I add a secret little ingredient which is not traditional - mixed peel, which perfectly compliments the smooth ravo, crunchy nuts and roasted charoli perfectly! Charoli can be found in most Indian supermarkets. Fun fact: these small and delicious dried seeds are from a bush known as the Buchanania Ianzan or Almondette Tree found in India. If for whatever reason you can't find charoli, you can easily substiute it with a few more of your favorite chopped nuts - it's all good!
TIPS & TRICKS
The trick to ensuring your ravo comes out smooth is to use a whisk and stir consistently, this will ensure a smooth, lump-free texture - the sign of the perfect ravo!
While the nuts, sultanas and mixed peel are optional they do add lovely texture and flavor to this dish
If your ravo becomes too thick, just add a little more milk and a touch more sugar if needed (add a 1/4 cup of milk at time and stir in until desired consistency is achieved)
Add a pinch of saffron when you add the milk for a more indulgent ravo!
If your ravo happens to become too lumpy despite your best efforts, use a stick blender to remove any lumps - no one will ever know!
This recipe reheats well in the microwave and can be served hot or cold - be aware that ravo will always become thicker as it cools.
Some people like a thinner ravo while others like it thicker so there is really no right or wrong way - just experiment until you find a consistency you like and be aware you may need to add a bit more sugar, nutmeg and cardamom to get the flavor balance right.
YOU WILL NEED
130g / 4.5 ounces fine semolina
2 tablespoons butter or ghee
170g / 6 ounces sugar (but you can add more or less to your preferred taste)
850-900 ml / 29-30 ounces low-fat or regular milk (depending on how thick you want your ravo)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
Topping - (All optional but do taste amazing you can use what you wish)
1-2 tablespoons mixed peel (I love this stuff so for me more is more!)
2 teaspoons charoli seeds (add more nuts if you can't find these)
6-7 cashews chopped
6-7 pistachios chopped
1-2 tablespoon of sultanas/raisins
1-2 tablespoons flaked almonds
Extra sprinkle of cardamom and nutmeg powder (use a light hand - not too much)
In a medium sized pot over medium heat, add the butter/ghee and semolina and roast together until the semolina is golden and fragrant and resemble beach sand in texture.
Add the sugar and stir it in.
Using a whisk, gently pour in some of the milk and ensure you have get a nice "smooth paste" and continue whisking and adding the milk until it is all combined and add the vanilla essence, nutmeg and cardamom powders.
Continue stirring over low-medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken (think of porridge/oatmeal consistency and take it off the stove. As it cools it will thicken further so don't allow to get too thick. (Refer to to Tips & Tricks above).
In a small frying pan add a little oil to cover the base of your pan and add your charoli, chopped cashews, chopped pistachios and sultanas and gently fry on low-medium heat until just colored and fragrant, then add the flaked almonds for a minute to become golden and then take off the stove.
Pour the ravo into your serving dish, top with the charoli/nut mixture and mixed peel if using. Sprinkle with a touch more cardamom and nutmeg and serve.
Can be served warm or cold