15 October, 2015
Kesari Sabudana Kheer
If you have been living under a rock & haven’t noticed, it’s that time of the year where India is literally beaming with lights, music & colours all over. Navratri is finally here, the holy festival where Hindu goddess – Durga is worshiped in all its nine forms.
Every religion & sub cultures have a different tradition of celebrating the festival. While the Gujrati’s & majority of the Hindu’s observe the vegetarian diet for nine days, Bengali’s enjoy & offer their traditional Bengali food which includes non-vegetarian variety too to the goddess. A lot of people even observe fasting or eat food without onion & garlic or eat food which is meant for fasting in the Hindu culture namely Sabudana/ Tapioca Sago, rock salt instead of table salt, water chestnut flour & a few more. I have never paid attention to learn about the fasting food earlier, but this time I just felt like getting to know more about it from my mother.
We spoke about the traditions, about the essence & importance of the festival ending the conversation off-course with food. I requested her to teach me about these traditional things & finally she agreed. We decided that she would stand by next to me while I cook & teach me to make Kesari Sabudana Kheer. Sabudana is also commonly known as Tapioca Sago & is readily available at every supermarket or your local grocery store. So here is the recipe, I hope you try it & if anyone in your house is fasting then surprise them with this & trust me you will be loved & blessed.
Kesari Sabudana Kheer
Sabudana – ½ cup
Grain Sugar – ½ cup
Milk – 600ml
Ghee – 1.5 tbsp
Green Cardamom – 4
Sultanas/Raisins – 2tbsp
Kesar/Saffron – 7-8 strands
Almonds – 4 sliced
Pistachios – 4 sliced
- Rinse the sabudana pearls in water till the water is clean, similar to how you wash rice.
- Soak them in ½ cup water for an hour.
- Slice or flake almonds & pistachios thinly & keep aside.
- Crush cardamom in a motor pestle & warm milk & keep aside.
- Clean, wash & dry the sultana’s & keep aside.
- In a heavy bottom vessel, heat ghee on medium flame & fry the sultana’s till they puff up.
- Remove immediately with perforated spoon once they have puffed.
- Be quick with the above method, as it hardly takes about 10-20 seconds & can burn easily.
- To the remaining ghee, add the crushed cardamom.
- Stir & let the aroma’s fill up the room, this will take about 30-40 seconds.
- Add the sabudana & roast them in ghee for around two minutes but without discolouring them.
- Turn the flame to low & add warm milk & simmer for 10-15 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Add the fried sultana’s & simmer for another 5minutes or till the sabudana has cooked & turned into an almost transparent colour.
- Add the sugar at this point & stir till the sugar dissolves.
- Switch off the flame & serve garnished with saffron strands & flaked dry fruits.
Note – Adjust the consistency by adding more milk, if you think it is getting too thick. Also it thickens after cooling so keep in mind the consistency you want in case you wish to serve it chilled.