Makhane Ki Kheer (Serves: Two, Preparation Time: 30 minutes)

In my growing up days, the variety of 'fast' special food used to get me super excited...lots of unusual sweets and savories.....munching continued all day long and  eventually culminated into some puja, for Janmashtami or Navratri. Otherwise fasting had no religious significance for me.  

Funny enough, fasts and food are oxymoron but most North Indian actually celebrate 'fasts' by not staying hungry at all! I am sharing two quick and easy 'fast special' recipes: one sweet one savory,  pick whichever you like!!


Ingredients
  • 1 cup phool makhane
  • ½ liter milk
  • 3 tsp sugar (I prefer less sweet, but if you like it otherwise, add one more spoon)
  • 5-6 strands of saffron
  • 5-6 almonds
  • 2-3 cardamoms
  • 1 tsp ghee

Steps
  • Take a teaspoon of ghee in a wok, and roast the makhane on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, till light brown (taste and ensure that they are crunchy)

  • Crush the makhane coarsely using a pestle-mortar; keep aside

  • Soak saffron in about 1 tablespoon of milk

  • Bring the larger quantity of milk to a boil and add the crushed makhane; let the makhane cook for about 15 minutes on low-medium heat

  • Add sugar and pre-soaked saffron and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes, till the milk thickens

  • Take the vessel off the stove, add powdered cardamoms and sprinkle chopped almonds (You could also add finely chopped pistachios and cashew-nuts....I like it my Kheer plain and simple!!)
Tips

Roast some extra makhanas, sprinkle some salt and pepper and enjoy it as a snack

Blanching almonds to remove skin: microwave the almonds in a bowl of water for 3 minutes; once cool, you can easily peel and chop the almonds 

Which are your favorite Navratri special recipes? I would love to hear how you make your fast-food (read Vrat Ka Khana :P ) interesting?

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