In my home state of Maharastra, today is New Year's Day, also called Gudi Padwa. In India, every celebration and festival calls for a special dessert and I decided to make the easiest of them all: kheer.
Kheer is essentially a dessert made from some carb (rice or noodles) cooked in milk and sugar, flavored with some cardamom and saffron. The kheer most commonly made at my parents' home was sevayachi kheer. Seviyan is vermicelli, a very thin pasta.
Ingredients: vermicelli, raisins and bits of cashews.
Kheer is also made from rice, wheat kernels and makhana or puffed lotus seeds, an exotic ingredient if ever you saw one! Coconut milk can be used instead of dairy milk for some types of kheer.
Kheer is eaten hot with rotis or puris, or chilled and enjoyed just by itself. Here is my easy easy recipe which serves 5-6 regular people or 3-4 starving grad students.
1 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
1 pint whole milk
3-4 tbsp. vermicelli (depending on how thick you want the kheer)
1 tbsp. broken cashews
1 tbsp. raisins
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cardamom
2 pinches saffron
- Heat the ghee and fry the vermicelli, cashews and raisins till golden brown (watch out, it turns color quite suddenly).
- Add milk, sugar, cardamom and saffron.
- Bring to boil and simmer till it reduces a bit. The vermicelli will thicken it further.