Forgotten foods are fresh on our palates!
We humans, are a very unique breed. We take so many things for granted, one being home-cooked food, cooked by our mothers and grandmothers. Having said that, cooking these days is with more and more emphasis on healthy and traditional eating. The forgotten foods are back with a new vibe!
No matter who you have become, or what traditions you follow now, sometimes all of us want to go back in time, to those good-old-days and relive some cherished memories again. Realising the importance of some recipes which our grandmothers and mothers cooked, one ingredient that takes centerstage is jaggery, organic version being the best.
JAGGERY KHEER/ RAS-KI-KHEER/ JAGGERY RICE PUDDING/ GUD PAYASAM/ BAKHEER
This one is a traditional recipe belonging to Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In Bihar, this kheer is known as Rasiya and in Western Uttar Pradesh as Raskheer. Serve this, especially during a family lunch or dinner, and you’ll be spellbound by its flavors and taste.
The process of making jaggery kheer is very similar to that of regular rice kheer we make, but instead of sugar we use jaggery syrup and we add jaggery only after the kheer is completely cooled down. There are few points which we need to keep in mind while making jaggery kheer – stirring is important so that kheer doesn’t get stuck to the base of the pan, and once again reiterating, add jaggery syrup in kheer only when it has completely cooled down, else the milk can coagulate.
1 litre of full cream milk
¼ cup of rice, washed
150 grams of jaggery, crumbled
2 tablespoons lotus seeds (makhane), chopped roughly
8-10 almonds, chopped
8-10 cashews, chopped
2 tablespoons of raisins, cleaned
1 teaspoon of cardamom powder
In a thick bottom pan or wok, add lotus seeds, rice and milk. Allow it to cook on slow flame, stirring often. Stirring is important so that it doesn't get stuck to the base of the pan. It will take about 40-45 minutes for rice to cook as well as milk to reduce.
In a small pan, add ¼ cup water and crushed jaggery. Allow the jaggery to cook and melt completely. Remove from flame and set aside.
When the rice is tender and blended well with milk, add cashews, almonds and raisins in it. Mix well. Add cardamom powder and turn off the flame. Allow the kheer to cool completely.
When the kheer is completely cooled down, strain jaggery syrup and mix well in the kheer. Serve chilled and garnish with more chopped almonds and cashews.
Never cook kheer on high heat. Enjoy the process of slow cooking it; allowing the rice to cook gently, simmering on low heat, stirring occasionally. There is something about slow cooking that makes certain food taste so much better than pressure cooking it or cooking on high (with exceptions of course)!
Jaggery is rich in anti-oxidants and is an immunity-booster. You are doing good to your gut-health, lung health, and bone health when you consume jaggery.
Enjoy your celebrations, your festivals, your happy moments with the sweetness of organic jaggery!