Even if every houseplant you have ever touched has died a gruesome death, you still have the right to celebrate Makar Sankranti, the harvest festival. Or so I convinced myself this morning, as I strode into the kitchen to make a rich creamy kheer.
By the time I got there (about 2.5 seconds later in my tiny apartment), I had had second thoughts about all the boiling and toiling the genuine article demands.
Luckily for people like me, there's always a cheat's method lurking round the corner :)
This version of kheer took under 10 minutes to make. I used rolled oats instead of semolina or rice, which added creaminess without calories. A mixture of dry fruit, cardamom powder and saffron added richness and the characteristic kheer taste, without having to use ghee.
AND my oats kheer was so healthy and wholesome that I didn't have to make breakfast. Double hurrah!
Ingredients (breakfast for two or dessert for 4)
1/2 cup quick rolled oats
1 cup milk (I used low fat)
Seeds of 2 pods of cardamom, crushed
4-5 strands of saffron, soaked for at least 5 minutes in 1 tbs of milk
4 tbs mixed dry fruit and nuts (I buy a premix from the local online grocery store)
2 tbs raw brown sugar (you could add more or less to suit your taste)
|This mix includes figs and dry dates, which adds|
nice random pops of sweetness.
Lay the oats out on a paper towel in a plate and microwave for a minute in 30 second increments. This 'cooks' the oats slightly and helps them hold their shape later.
Add sugar, ground cardamom, saffron and fruit and nut mix and stir around until combined, take your pan off the hob and you're done!
This porridge kheer can be eaten hot or cold, thick and creamy or topped with extra milk.