There are a ton of soji recipes out there, trust me, I have googled it.
Each recipe is very different from each other, some ask or food colouring to be added, others ask for saffron threads, some even ask for evaporated milk.
Not only are there different recipes, but recipes are also made according to culture. Muslims, make it different from South Indians, who make it different from North Indians and me, well I make all types of soji.
And none, I mean none of them have come close to the soji that we serve in temple. Both my parents have tried all the different types of soji I make, and they have had an opinion about every single dish, they keep comparing it to the soji we all know.
That soji is more the drier version, where the soji recipes that I get off the internet is more the wetter, congealed version, which there are not used to.
Since my dad used to cook in the temple, I thought he would be the best person to admit defeat to and ask his assistance with the recipe. Of course, he was hopeless and when he tried to explain the recipe for me, he kept getting stuck at the roasting part. To me all his recipe seemed like it involved was toasting the tasty wheat and hey presto you had soji.
When I asked him, what the wet ingredients were, he simply stated butter. I told him he was useless, and I would be asking the head chef at the temple herself. That Aunty was more reliable than he was. Within 5 minutes of asking for her assistance, I had the recipe, and it was soo easy.
The trick to making the perfect soji was to first roast the tasty wheat and to make a simple sugar syrup and then combine everything together. All the other internet recipes don’t mention this trick, hence the glutenous congealed soji I normally make.
When I got up this morning, I decided that come rain or shine. I was going to make that soji and I was going to master it, even if it took me the entire day. There was going to be soji on that table and it was going to be temple soji.
Verdict, that Temple chef is good, first try and hey presto, I had temple soji and she was right, her recipe was flop proof. My mother loved it. My sulking dad’s verdict, it tasted burnt. Nasty nasty nasty, just because I didn’t want to use his recipe .
- 500g x tasty wheat.
- 250g x butter.
- 2 x cups castor sugar.
- 4 x cups water.
- 1 x cup milk.
- 2 x tsp elachi powder.
- 2 x pieces cinnamon sticks.
- 2 x elachi pods.
- Handful of sliced almonds.
- Handful of sultanas.
- Spread the tasty wheat in an even layer on a baking tray.
- Pop into a preheated oven and roast for 10 – 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a sauce pan, add the sugar and water and boil till the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and pour in the milk.
- Over a medium heat, melt the butter in a pot.
- Add the cinnamon stick and elachi pods and toss to coat.
- Add the roasted tasty wheat and elachi powder.
- Give it a good mix and add the liquid ingredients.
- Add the almonds and sultanas.
- Stir occasionally to prevent from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Allow the mixture to cook on a medium to low heat for 30 – 35 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.