Desserts have always been a part of our daily meals when I was growing up, especially the milk based ones. Being a Sikh, milk has always been present in surplus in our house. I have memories of going along with my Grandmother, my Beji, to the milkman or gwala who would milk the buffaloes in front of us and give us fresh milk. From drinking milk as it is to using it in endless desserts, Beji would ensure her family is fed well with milk along with other things. I guess, there is just some connection with milk and being a Punjabi.
Kheer is one of the most common milk based desserts found in most households irrespective of the region. Known with different names, the simple preparation of rice cooked in milk is called payesh in Bengal and is called payasam in the Southern states. Adorned with dry fruits and saffron threads, a simple kheer is made special for occasions.
With Holi round the corner, I was reminded of this simple kheer preparation that has been part of my growing years.
Ingredients : For 3-4 servings
- 500 ml full cream milk
- 1/2 cup rice (I used Gobindbhog)
- 1/2 cup or less sugar (according to your taste)
- cardamom powder
- saffron threads
Wash and soak rice for half an hour.
Take milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and bring it to a boil.
Add the washed and soaked rice to the milk.
Lower the heat and allow the milk and rice to cook for about 45 minutes or till it thickens to the required consistency. Keep stirring in between.
Meanwhile soak saffron threads in little warm milk.
Add sugar to the milk-rice mixture and mix well. Adjust sugar to your liking.
Adding sugar will make your kheer a little thin so cook till it thickens again.
Remove from heat and stir in the saffron threads and cardamom powder.
Allow to cool and garnish with chopped almonds and pista.