Diwali or the Festival of Lights is celebrated every winter across the Indian Subcontinent. Endless varieties of sweets and special savoury foods are prepared in homes, offered as Prasad or Neivedyam in prayers and then shared with family, friends, and neighbours!! One such sweet is Kheer or Payasam.
Having already enjoyed that lovely treat, I decided to make try a slightly different version of this kheer as a Diwali Treat this year. I added Chana Dal (split Bengal Gram Dal) and sweetened the Kheer with Palm jaggery.
3/4 cup sago pearls (I used Nylon sago as it has larger pearls)
1/2 cup chana dal (split Bangal Gram Dal)
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Palm Jaggery (or per taste)
1 tsp rice flour
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 cup cashews,broken
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
- Soak the sago pearls in a cup of water overnight. If you use the Nylon Sago, you will find it does not puff up like the regular sago, but will just soften overnight.
- Soak the chana dal in a cup of water for a couple of hours. Drain.
- Place the soaked dal in a pressure cooker and pressure cook to just one whistle with half cup water and half cup milk. Allow the pressure to drop, then open the cooker.
- In a separate pan, cover the sago with water and cook until transparent. Drain and set aside.
- Take a heavy bottomed pan, pour the pressure cooked chana dal with the liquid into it. Add the remaining milk and sago.
- Cook until the kheer begins to thicken, stir in the rice flour, blend well. Cook another 5-10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the cardamom powder and the jaggery. Turn off the heat once the jaggery had melted.
- In a separate frying pan, pour the ghee. Fry the broken cashews and raisins in the ghee.
- Pour the cashews, raisins, and ghee into the kheer. Mix well.
- The kheer can be enjoyed warm or chilled.
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