Monday, December 5, 2011
Parangikkai badam kheer
Did I not tell you that my sister comes up with some fun ideas when it comes to food? She tries to add variety to everyday cooking and most times those dishes are simple to make and a small change here, an addition there makes it taste very different.
Just before Navrathri, a friend of mine left with me one whole small pumpkin before she left on a holiday. I knew that my husband is not very fond of the vegetable. Hence I saved it for an occasion to have guests, so I can finish the vegetable in one go. I planned to make a kootu; however, I was discussing my menu for a weekend lunch party with my sister and she thought I was making a long list that is going to fill my refrigerator with left overs. Both of us cut the list short enough to make the menu appear elaborate at the same time we could minimize work in the kitchen as well as left overs. That is when she suggested I make this kheer.
I was game for experiment though I warned my husband that I am trying this and he is free not to partake if he felt so.
I was in for a pleasant surprise for not just my guests, but my husband too liked it quite a lot. I had added enough almonds fearing that the taste of the vegetable will be overpowering. Surprisingly it did not; in fact, both had blended well and only upon my suggestion that people realized that it was not just badam kheer but had a vegetable base to the same.
1 cup cubed pumpkin
1/4 cup ground almond powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 litre whole milk, boiled and cooled to room temperature
Few strands of saffron
Chopped cashews dry roasted
Place pumpkin cubes in a bowl, add 100 millilitres milk and pressure cook until the pumpkin is well cooked.
Allow the pumpkin to cool.
Add some warm water or milk to the ground almonds.
Take both the cooked pumpkin and the soaked almond powder in the jar of the blender and puree to a very smooth liquid adding sufficient milk.
Transfer to a heavy bottom cooking utensil and top up with the rest of the milk.
Place on a very low heat and stirring continuously, allow to cook until the raw taste subsides.
Coating the rim of the utensil with a thin coat of ghee will prevent the boiling milk from spilling over. (a new tip I learnt from a guest who watched me boiling milk for coffee)
Add the sugar and cook until the sugar blends well and the kheer thickens a bit.
Allow to cool, refrigerate and serve chilled topped with the garnish of nuts, saffron and cardamom powder. You may also add almond essence if necessary.
If the kheer is very thick and a drinking consistency is desired, add sufficient milk.
There will be no unwanted hint or taste of raw vegetable and even without essence it will taste good.
I have made it the second time without almonds too. Then I left the puree a bit coarse too. It tasted good.
This is best enjoyed chilled.