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Saaya | Sai

Namita Tiwari
300 minutes
Prep Time
120 minutes
Cook Time
4 People
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Saaya is a delicacy laced with love. The sweetness and deliciousness comes from slow cooking for a long time. It requires a lot of patience and labour. My grandmother used to plan out in advance, arrange for the ingredients and make Saaya with a lot of other eatables for her brothers on Bhitoli (Bhitoli is a Kumaoni festival observed in monsoons where sisters apply tikka to brothers and pray for their good health and happiness) made with so much love and efforts Saaya, is uniquely delicious. Saaya is made during festivities in Kumaon.

Recipe Tags

  • Egg-free
  • Medium
  • Festive
  • North Indian
  • Dessert

Ingredients Serving: 4

  1. 1 cup Semolina
  2. 1 cup sweet thick curd
  3. ½ cup desi ghee
  4. ½ cup Sugar
  5. ¼ cup chopped nuts (cashews and almonds)
  6. 5 green cardamoms powdered
  7. ¼ cup water or milk if required


  1. Take semolina in a deep bowl. Add curd. Mix. Curd should be enough to mix semolina well and give cake batter like consistency. Add more curd if the mixture is thick and hard.
  2. Cover and keep overnight if making during winters. If making in hot weather, keep for 5 hours.
  3. Before cooking, check mixture for right consistency. If very thick add ¼ cup water or milk.
  4. Take a steel wok. Add ghee. Reserve 2 tablespoon to add while cooking.
  5. Add mixture and mix well. Turn on the heat.
  6. Cook on low heat stirring continuously. It is very important to keep stirring the mixture throughout while cooking.
  7. During first 15 minutes, it will be like porridge. Mixture at the bottom will begin to thicken and turn translucent.
  8. During next 15 minutes, it will thicken further and will have lots of lumps. Keep stirring even though it will be difficult to move the ladle.
  9. Keep breaking the lumps against the wall of the wok.
  10. Mixture will keep sticking in the sides and bottom of the wok. Add ghee at the sides of the wok.
  11. Keep scraping the mixture. In an hour’s time, the mixture will begin dry up and look like crumbs.
  12. Add sugar.
  13. During the latter half of cooking, mixture will begin to turn pink at the bottom and will also begin to turn flaky.
  14. Keep cooking till Saaya comes together. It will take about 2 to 2 ½ hours. It will have pinkish to brown flecks and some juicy crumbs. Do not cook beyond this stage as it will become hard and sandy.
  15. Turn off the heat. Add Cardamom and dry nuts.
  16. As Saaya cools, it begins to harden. Serve warm.

Reviews (2)  

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Vvarsha Thakkar
Vvarsha Thakkar   Oct-13-2016

really hard work. I'm a big fan of yours. keep posting such lovely dishes.

Bindiya Sharma
Bindiya Sharma   Jul-15-2016

so much hard work behind this delight..kudos to you Namita!

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