Kheer: Reminiscing through Indian sweets
Kheer is a signature dish served at most Indian festivals. It hits all the right sweet-spots!
I am a native of India. In Indian culture, sweets are an integral part of cultural festivals. I decided to choose rice as the main ingredient for my task, and decided to make kheer. It is a porridge of sorts with very mild, pleasant sweetness to it. It is cooked at almost every festival. Rakshabandhan, Diwali, Holi, Durga Pooja etc, are a few occasions where kheer is often prepared. What makes kheer so special are its varieties. It is basically a bowl of happiness served to the people.
India unifies many cultures, traditions and cuisines thus, the style of cooking and ingredients varies from one to another. The types of kheer made across the country differ, and thus highlight what a mosaic of culture India is. Kheer is most commonly prepared with vermicelli, rice or wheat, and a mixture of milk and sugar. Dry fruits such as almonds and raisins are also added to the mix, too accentuate the flavor and texture. It is also
known in some regions as payesh, payasam and payasa.
I tried to make my very own bowl of Kheer, and used almonds in my preparation. Have a look to see how I went about it!
You will need
- 3-4 cup Milk
- 1 tablespoon Ghee
- Crushed Almond
- 1 cup Rice
- Chopped Euryale Ferox(Makhana)
- ½ Raw Sugar
- Toasted nuts for Garnish
- Heat the ghee or butter in a heavy pot over medium heat, and
toast the rice for a minute. Pour the water and cover the pan
for 15 minutes to cook rice.
- Add the milk, cashew, Euryale Ferox. Bring to a boil,
reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until
reduced to half.
- Add the sweetener, and cardamom, and simmer the mixture
until it reaches one fourth of it’s original volume, and is thick
- Stir in the optional camphor, and cool to room temperature. You can even
refrigerate until chilled.
Childhood and confections are synonymous. I have my very own sweet memories with Kheer. Along the streets near my home, there was a little house in which an old lady lived alone. She loved children and we too, quite liked to spend time with her. During Navaratri she used to cook us delicious kheer, with a whole lot of love. She stared and smiled at us as we ate; maybe she saw her own children in our faces. I will never forget the taste of her Kheer! It was sweeter than anything in the world.
Food connects people, heart-to-heart. I tried to cook, share and spread my love with my own kind of Kheer.
The bonus I got was my very own bowl of happiness!