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Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Food of Gods

A food that sets the taste buds tingling and is good for all occasions. Can you guess what would it be? Ok one more try, in most of the Indian homes this is the first solid food that is fed to the babies? Am sure there would be now no prizes for guessing… It is the ‘Kheer’ or ‘Payasam’ which is consumed in all parts of India. It may have different names but the ingredients are mainly, rice, or broken wheat, vermicili in some cases, milk, sugar or jiggery and dry fruits and raisins!

I still have the vivid memory of preparation of kheer at home was always a special occasion. A huge urn with fresh full cream milk was set on the stove with the best quality pound basmati rice added in small quantity to simmer endlessly on low flame. It would constantly be stirred to ensure that the contents do not stick to the bottom. The aroma would soon engulf the whole house till the contents became more viscous in consistency and the color of milk changed to a light yellow shade. The deposit of a creamy layer of milk called ‘malai’ indicated that the kheer was almost done and it was time to add sugar to taste, saffron, cardamom powder and other nuts and raisins till the sugar slowly dissolved as the mixture was constantly stirred now to ensure that the contents do not get burnt at the bottom of the vessel. Once the process was complete, the urn would be removed from the flame and set aside to cool. One more sprinkling of chopped nuts and cardamom powder on the surface would follow. No matter in which corner of the house one was, it was impossible now , to be not aware of the freshly prepared ‘kheer’! Further wait was impossible till the contents vanished in no time. Sometimes, a part of this lovely preparation was set aside, for storing in refrigerator as the dessert would be equally delicious and tempting when served as a cold dessert!

Now a days it is even easier to prepare the same dish in the shining ‘Borosil’ Cook n Serve container to make it look even more gorgeous and served in small ‘Borosil’ glass dishes. One can even prepare a healthy version of’ kheer ‘ in a jiffy by using the microwave ‘Borosil’ container. It only requires a long grain basmati rice which can be cooked in water in microwave for a few minutes and add condensed milk to it after removal from the microwave oven. Stir the contents and add strands of saffron dissolved in water and cardamom powder with diced cashews, almonds and reset the contents once again for three to four minutes to microwave. It can be served hot and is equally yummy to taste!


No matter where one travels within, India, it is difficult to come across someone who has not tasted this Slurpee, lip smacking dessert.  On most festive occasions and in most of the temples across the country, Kheer is prepared as an offering to propitiate the gods. In Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and some other countries it is prepared on occasions like Id ul Fitr and served as Phirni. This variant may also have apricots, mango or even custard apple added to it. So the next time you dream of a dessert remember the ‘food of the gods- kheer’!

PS:This is my entry for  Borosil and Indiblogger ' My Beautiful Food !' contest http://www.myborosil.com/

22 comments:

  1. Wow Rahul, my taste buds have become active after reading about Kheer. Very nicely written. Good luck for the contest.

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  2. People who do not know to make kheer also will do it now after reading your post, Rahulji.

    All the best for the contest!

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    1. A big thanks Sandhya! I hope it will be worthwhile to try:)

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  3. That slow process of cooking kheer has its own charm but in a fast paced world, a quick way can add many memories.

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    1. True Saru, in the fast paced world the closest best alternative works pretty well:)

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  4. What a mouth watering, tempting description, I am drooling for a bowlful of kheer right now! Loved the post, all the best for the contest!

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  5. ooooh just my type of post .. I am sure you know my love for food now :) he he he delicious post sir.. I need that kheer .. When can i turn up :) he he hehe


    Bikram

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    1. Bikram, thanks for those nice words! It will be a pleasure to host you and 'kheer' is promised when you come over!

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  6. You made someone who hates kheer...salivate.

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    1. I consider myself lucky to have a writer like you reading this post and giving such an adorable comment, Red! You made my day:)

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  7. Rahul, my mouth was watering throughout the post. I think lots of my saliva dribbled over the keyboard. Loved the delicious post.

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    1. Rachna, its time to take a treat from you after your new publication! However, 'Kheer' is promised whenever you can make it to my place:) Thanks a lot for your comment!

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  8. Chalo,iI gaurantee you the best Kheer ever if you visit us.
    My wife makes very tempting Kheer

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    1. Deal Done:) Thanks a lot, Mr Chowla !

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  9. Congratulations for all the awards Rahul ji....and all the very best for this contest as well.

    (I am very proud of the kheer I cook :P )

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    1. Getting to see you here is a bigger reward, Chintan:) I know you are good at many things and 'kheer' is just one of them!

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  10. Ah, kheer! I so love it. All the best for the contest.

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  11. Thanks a lot, Rachna! The number of 'Kheer' lovers is on the rise:)

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