Sunday, 3 June 2018


Kheer has a different meaning for the Bengalis than what it is meant among the non Bengali speaking Indians! For us Bengalis... Payesh and Kheer are two different dishes of dessert while the non-Bengalis call our payesh as kheer... I do not know about the rest of the eastern India. Correct me if I am wrong! Since childhood I have seen the veterans in the family calling boiled and reduced milk as kheer. Getting milk from the dairy farm everyday was a ritual... I always hated milk having as a drink specially because Bengalis then were in the habit of boiling the milk and having it warm.... I could never tolerate the sight of a glass full of it, neither the brother so far I can remember! However, I loved that chilled milk drink "milkos" and the ad... "milkos khele shakti barey".... I noticed that chilled milk does not cause me much indigestion, just that I cannot have milk as milk. So, every three days in a week, our mother had to do something with the "jomano dudh"... stored milk.... kheer happened then.... reducing the existing amount of milk to 1/4th by boiling it is what the family veterans call kheer... they just added little sugar towards the end! There were no refrigerator to chill either... So, kheer to us is something near to rabri... woh! how much I wish to visit Hardwar or say the northern India for the best lassi, rabri and parathas.... We have not seen 1/4th of India.... Had women not been considered a commodity.... you would have seen me exploring alone with a tour group.... sit at the steps of "har ki piyari" in the evening and enjoy the amazing halwa swimming in "shudh ghee" or sit beside the ruins  of Shaniwar Wada or Kothrud and laugh at the joke... "Bajirao-Mastani".... it was not love.... it was just a political marriage... The senile me is allergic to certain things in life... like mango mastani.... I know I will love every drop of it but I will not give it any entry at this home neither on the blog... I will prepare some AAM LICHUR KHEER for you instead taking ideas from around.... There is very less truth in a "Bajirao-Mastani" except for the fact that she was very good in the art of warfare.... hence a beneficial factor for Bajirao!.... When will women know that it is too derogatory to be anyone's second thought... so awful was / is our life... what was a harem?.... just a dairy farm...! Truth is in Guy De Maupassant's Mother Clochette... she lived a life with her head held high after been tormented mentally without requiring any support for the rest of her life... This short story did touch a chord deep inside.... as they always do and will do.... silly souls never grow up, never can let go! The last few months I was reading very less, its time to gear up!... While surfing, all of a sudden I realised.... its been long I have not read a very favourite author of mine.... Nobonita Deb Sen ..... I enjoyed / will continue to enjoy her style and also her take on life! She never did stay in the shadow of her estranged, world renowned husband.... he left her for once and she made a life of her own... she is an institution in herself... The Padma Shri awardee did not lose her sense of humour even after the bitter incident in her life.... read one of her books and you can see the reflection of her positive mind....

The husband is back home and this Bengali dessert AAM LICHUR KHEER was made right in time.... you know what.... I knew he will not get me ladoo from Amritsar! He is not in the habit of... he knows it is the wife's department! Anyway, I am not angry.... he went for a day and was stranded in the airport for the entire night day before yesterday! The wife was enjoying her kind of food... "muri-narkol"... "chives dumpling" as snacks! I am giving a serious thought to lessen the amount of biscuit intake... You can see below I am having a "dalia idly" with coffee this morning.... it is a 15 minutes affair in the microwave... mix together dalia, yogurt, little salt, 1/2tsp eno, little water, chopped chillies, coriander and onion... stand for 5 minutes and steam in a microwave for 4 minutes... enjoy! Has S turned 360*C....?... Nope, the rest of the shredded coconut and banana leaves were made to kiss the hilsa pieces... haha... I still cannot welcome the idea of using ghee and cardamom in hilsa / ilish... it is like a forced marriage "to me".... so "ilish pulao" has to wait till I can do it my way! Ghee and cardamoms and onions will go to the mutton and eaten with naan or pulao... so one meal or a two has to be clean... How do you like this arrangement?.... Anyway, AAM LICHUR KHEER has only 2-3tbsp of condensed milk and you are not having it everyday... so you need not worry! Litchi and ripe mango are naturally so sweet that we do not need to add extra sugar to any dessert made with them.... Moreover, when we boil milk to reduce ... it gets sweeter! So, this fruit and milk dessert may not be so sinful! From morning to night... I do have to plan the meals... the very hard worker at office is very lazy at home unless he has to mend a spoilt bulb or tap... so I / we adjust at this point... he relieves me of playing the role of a mechanic and I spare him from entering my kitchen and crowd the small space! Besides, his underweight concerns me. Since morning he is tuned into a film on Raja Ravi Varma.... and I cannot help but multi task.... He was part of our syllabi.... a very interesting persona was him.... the budding painters should read his life and work in details... not only as part of a text! Let me share this easy but not quick dessert with mango, litchi and milk as your weekend fix! The process of boiling and reducing the milk does require patience and constant supervision.... The dessert tastes best when served chilled!

For my non Bengali speaking, fish loving readers.... I wish to share the recipe of  Rohu / Rui / Carp done with chilli-mustard paste.... done in the oven.... Bengalis do not need it... every family has their own recipe almost similar! Do click the below heading for recipe!



Full Cream Milk : 11/2litre
Ripe Mango : 2big sized
Litchi : 10-12
Sugar : 1tsp
Condensed Milk : 2tbsp
Kewra / Screw Pine Water : 1/4tsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/2tsp
I used chopped pistachios for garnish [optional]


Pour the milk in a deep bottomed vessel and put for boil.

The dish needs constant supervision as we need to stir the milk every 2-3 minutes in the beginning and constinuously towards the end. We have to adjust the heat often from low to medium low. 

After about 35-40 minutes, the milk will reach the below consistency.

We will boil it further for 10 minutes and be very careful as the bottom of the vessel tends to burn at this stage. Add the sugar and let boil for 2 minutes.

Add the condensed milk and switch off gas immediately. You can see I am not so particular about measurements while cooking.

Mix the entire content very nicely, remember we have switched off the gas.

Add the kewra water and stir well again. Let the kheer cool.

While the kheer is cooling, de seed the litchis and tear roughly. Wash and keep on a plate.

Wash the mangoes, peel and take the pulp in a juicer or a blender. Plant the seed in your garden or in the neighbourhood.

Blend it to a puree that may take just a minute.

Add the already cool kheer and the green cardamom powder. Blend for 2 minutes.

Pour on to a big bowl or individual bowls and add the litchi pieces. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Take out and garnish with dry fruits!

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