A very light and tasty pudding – this pudding is very easy to make. It’s called kheer/payasam in India. There are many varieties of this which can be made with sago, vermicelli, nuts and even bread. Most of them are milk based and it usually accompanies a traditional lunch or dinner.
Most Indian desserts have cardamom, saffron, nuts and raisins. This pudding also has edible camphor. A very little of it goes a long way. The taste that this camphor imparts to Indian sweets is very unique.
PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes SERVES: 6
- !/2 cup semolina
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ cup cashewnuts
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- A small pinch of edible camphor
- ¼ cup+6 tbsp ghee
- A few strands of saffron (optional)
Heat a large wok or pan and add the 6 tbsp ghee. When it melts, add the semolina and saute it until it just starts to change colour. Do not allow it to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat the remaining ghee in a small pan and add the cashewnuts. When they turn a light golden brown, add the raisins. When the raisins swell up, remove immediately and set aside.
If using saffron, take the strands in a small cup and pour about 1 tablespoon of hot water or milk on it. Using the back of a spoon, press the strands until the colour oozes out. Set aside.
In a large pan, heat the sugar and milk. Stir until the sugar has melted. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and add the fried semolina very gradually, stirring all the while. Do not allow it to form lumps. Cover and cook until the semolina is soft. Add the cardamom powder, saffron (if using) and the fried nuts and raisins. Remove from heat and cool. If it becomes too thick, you can add some more milk. I added another cup of milk and a little extra sugar. This can be served hot or cold.