It was the first time my parents were going to meet my boyfriend and his parents. Coming from a mildly conservative family, it was a difficult task convincing my dad (an ex-cop) that I have taken the right decision and that he should meet Akshay and that he would love him. I was quite nervous that day. We had been going out for some time and while my mom was in on the secret, we had announced it to my dad just a couple of days ago. In India, where parents arranging a suitable groom for their daughter is still a norm, my daddy dearest was a bit shocked to say the least.
All of us at my mom’s house ; in-fact our entire clan is very fond of sweets. And I am not exaggerating when I say we used to have a dessert at every single meal. So when my family came to Akshay’s house that day, my would-be-mom-in-law served us this delicious kheer. We were bowled over by it, especially since it was sweet in a different way. My generally reserved and shy dad couldn’t help but have two servings of the dry-fruit kheer. It did set a wonderful pace for things to come, and my mom and dad both immensely loved Akshay and his family. We got engaged in two months and the wedding was another two months later.
As I said, the culinary highlight of the evening was this shahi dry-fruit kheer, which has become a house favourite , and we must have made it atleast 20 times in the last two years. The best part is that it has very less sugar, and all the sweetness comes from the dried date powder. The chopped dry fruits and the rice granules make it a wholesome meal on its own.
- 3/4 cup rice
- 2 and 1/2 liter full cream milk
- 1 cup dried dates, powdered
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 pinch cardamom powder
- 2 pinch nutmeg powder
- A few strands of saffron
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Soak the rice in 2 cups of water for half an hour. Then spread it on a towel to let it dry completely.
- Pulse the rice in a mixer for a couple of minutes till it breaks into small grains (about 1/3rd size of the original rice grain)
- Then in a big skillet/ vessel, heat 1 tbsp ghee and roast the ground rice grains, for 3-4 minutes till very slightly brown.
- Pour the milk over the roasted rice grains and let it come to a boil.
- Continue boiling for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently , till milk begins to thicken.
- Stir in the sugar , powdered dried dates, raisins and saffron.
- Mix well. Once the sugar dissolves, take it off the heat. This will take about 5 minutes at medium heat.
- Add the cardamom and nutmeg powder and mix till fully incorporated.
- Serve cold and garnish with a few strands of saffron.
My father in law likes to stir in a few drops of bitter almond extract. Sprinkle some almond flakes, for an extra nutty flavor.
p. s : May this kheer bring in loads of good fortune in your life, as it did in mine 🙂