One generally associates payesh (Kheer in Hindi) or milk and cereal pudding garnished with warm, aromatic spices a must have for festivities in Bengal.
Today, I am going to share a comfort food version of the beloved, traditional dessert. Since winter is approaching and for some of us, it reverberates in to warm Sunday afternoons curled up in sunlight in a bright blanket, a cup of steaming aromatic blend of Darjeeling tea in hand, this recipe goes a step further in to enhancing the experience.
This particular holiday delight is a low calorie version and is very easy to make. This will sure make your grandma swell with pride! 🙂
All you need for this recipe is
- Khus khus (I am using whole seeds)
- Jaggery / sugar substitute like Sugar-free natura
- Green cardamom
- Bay leaves
- Nuts : cashews, walnuts, almonds
- Fruits and berries to garnish
Before I go any further, here’s why I chose Khus Khus :
It contains calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. It is also a rich source of dietary fibre and essential fatty acids.
It is known to boost immunity, help induce sleep, alleviate skin problems and increase brain power. Due to high content of fibre, it keeps the system ship-shape!
Khus Khus added with a low calorie sweetner like Sugar Free Natura takes the “unhealthy” out of most of the regular, everyday dessert. It works in a 3 pronged approach: nutrition, low calories, comfort!
Here’s how to make it:
- Take a cup of Khus Khus (this expands in volume on soaking in water and on boiling, so take as much as you seem fit) and soak it in a cup of warm water to aid the cooking process.
- Organise your work station with all the things you need so that you do not miss out on anything during the cooking process. Basically, the key ingredients are very few, and the add-ons like fruits are as per requirements.
- Start boiling some milk (around 1 litre should be fine with the measurements I have provided, you can add powdered milk to thicken if need be, or whole milk as per your taste). I am using toned milk but then its just my choice as I like it light.
- Add all your khus khus in to the milk as the milk starts to boil. Then add some bay leaves and green cardamom . You can add saffron if you like.
- Continue cooking till the milk thickens and the flavours from the spices infuse deeply.
- Since you have to boil the milk for a considerable amount of time to thicken it as per your requirements, the whole cooking process takes around 30 minutes.
- Then allow it to cool for some time. If you are making it during the summer time, you can refrigerate it before eating. You can use this warm counterpart for winter.
- Simply garnish it with some nuts, fruits and berries and serve!
I am using cashews, walnuts, kiwi and strawberries. Health and comfort served right up! Enjoy!!