KHEER....practically grown up with it! Made with Date Jaggery in winter and with sugar rest of the year. Considered very auspicious, we prepare it almost in every occasion, as an offering to God, on birthdays....it is said, each spoon full lengthens our stay on earth. Preparing cake on birthdays is an adaption from the West but making Kheer on special occasions is authentically ours.
I am just back from my winter visit from India. All living abroad can well understand how it feels to be away from home. You get used to the comfort of the developed cities, you even get irritated at times with the slow internet, long queues everywhere, traffic jams, but once at the airport you feel terrible. Watching your once strong father staring with blank eyes while departing is not an easy task. Neither it is easy to hold yourself back when at the airport gate....my pa-in-law says can I have a photograph only with my grandson?
Within 15-20 days of stay there, I hardly can cook and serve my loved ones whatever I wish to, I keep my ingredients minimal there, the infrastructure too not so supportive....with a mono microwave, I could not even bake a cake for my family on 25th December. My dear ones say what is the blog for, only to see pictures? I give an indulgent smile and say please do visit Singapore, I promise to make you happy. Be happy with simple fish curries and Kheer here which requires minimal ingredients.
Kheer or Rice Pudding requires only 4 ingredients. Its winter, so we do it with date jaggery, with it milk, rice n a bay leaf.
Milk[Full Cream] : 2litres
Date Jaggery[Patali Gur] : 200 gm
Sugar : 3tbsp
Rice[Gobindo Bhog] : 100gm[or Chini Gura variety which you get in Bangladeshi shops, if not then Basmati]
Bay Leaf : 2
Pour the milk in a heavy bottomed pan. Put on heat at high. Once it comes to boil, wash and put the bay leaves. Reduce the heat to medium. While boiling the milk we need to stand near it and stir every 3 to 4 minutes, so that it does not spill or stick below. Well good cooking needs patience.
Wash the rice and soak in water. When the milk is reduced to almost half, drain the water from the rice and add to the milk. Give a nice stir. Every 2-3 minutes stir well.
When the rice is almost boiled, add the sugar. Reduce the heat to minimum and let it simmer for few more minutes. Mash the jaggery with the back of your ladle or a rolling pin. Add the mashed jaggery to the kheer, let it mix well with the whole thing and immediately switch off. Its done.
Please note we have to add the jaggery when the kheer is almost done, too much boiling after adding it may lead to curdling of the milk/kheer.
We do not need to add cardamom here, as we need to retain the smoky, caramel flavour of the date jaggery in it.
Authentically, we do not use any type of nuts or raisins in it. Its eaten as it is or sometimes with roti among us.
If you are staying abroad, you may get date jaggery[patali gur/nolen gur] in the local Bangladeshi Stores.