Badam Kheer is a rich and creamy dessert for all occasions. It is very easy to prepare and serve. It can be cooked in slow cooker. So make it ahead of time and serve it warm or chilled.
Approx. 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 mins (except soaking time)
Cooking Time: 30 mins
- Almonds – 2 cups
- Milk – 1 quart
- Sugar – 3/4 cup
- Cardamom powder (elaichi) – 1 tsp
- Saffron (kesar) – 1/4 tsp
- Soak almonds in water over night.
- Next morning, peel the almonds and keep aside.
- Coarsely grind half of the peeled almonds using very little milk. Keep the coarse paste aside.
Slice rest of the almonds.
- In a heavy bottom pan, boil milk. Once it is boiled, add saffron strands and cardamom powder and let it simmer on low heat till it reduces to half of volume.
- Now add coarse almond paste and half of the sliced almonds to the milk. Let it simmer for 5 more minutes. Add sugar/sugar substitute and mix well.
- Badam Kheer is ready to serve.
Garnish and Serving suggestion:
Badam kheer can be served hot or chilled. I prefer chilled. Garnish badam kheer with remaining sliced almonds and few saffron strands.
Rasmalai is a delicate and flavorful Bengali dessert. It is easy to prepare at home with a few ingredients. Rasmalai is milk patties soaked in cardamom and saffron flavored milk. It has very delicate flavor and is served chilled after the meal.
For Rasmalai: Approx. 6 servings
Whole Milk – 1 gallon
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp OR Vinegar – 1 tbsp
Kesar (saffron) – 1/4 tsp
Almonds – 12
Pistachios – 10
Crushed cardamom seeds – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1.5 cups
Rose essence – 8 drops
Making Paneer or Cheena:
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice in a bowl and keep aside. OR if using vinegar, add 1 tbsp vinegar to half cup water and keep aside.
- In a heavy bottom pan, boil half gallon whole milk.
- When milk comes to a boil, gradually add lemon juice or vinegar solution to it. Stir the milk gently and it starts curdling. Very soon the whey is separated from the curdled milk. Turn the heat off.
- Now in a strainer, line the muslin cloth. Strain the above curdled milk from this cloth.
- The solids on the muslin cloth are “paneer” or “cheena”. Wrap the paneer in a muslin cloth and rinse it under cold water for couple of times. Rinsing helps in taking out vinegar or lemon taste from the paneer. Squeeze well.
- Hang this wrapped paneer to take out the excess water squeeze the cloth, or press the wrapped paneer under a heavy pan for about one hour.
- Paneer or cheena is ready to make rasmalai.
Making the Rasmalai:
- Take fresh paneer or cheena on a large plate or surface. Knead it for at least 5 minutes. Make soft and smooth dough of it. Kneading is one of the most important parts of making rasmalai.
- Once the paneer becomes very soft and smooth, divide the dough into 10 equal parts and roll them in smooth balls and flatten them a bit to form small discs shape.
- Meanwhile, on medium high heat in a large vessel, boil 6 cups of water and add 1 cup of sugar to it. Mix well.
- Add the above paneer discs to the boiling water very gently. There should be enough room for the discs to expand. Cover the lid for 2-3 minutes. Stir gently and let it boil for 5-6 more minutes.
- Check the rasmalai patties, as they are almost doubled in size. Turn the heat off.
- Carefully take the patties out of the sugar syrup. Squeeze them gently. Keep aside.
- To prepare the malai, take the remaining half gallon milk in a non stick pan and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Milk reduces and starts to thicken.
- Add half cup sugar, rose essence, cardamom and saffron. Mix well.
- Now carefully add rasmalai patties to this milk. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and let it cool completely. Keep it in the refrigerator.
Garnish and serving suggestions:
Garnish with sliced almonds and pistachios and serve chilled.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!
Sweet Saffron Rice
Sweet saffron rice can be prepared as an offering for Lord Ganesh Puja. It needs few ingredients, usually available in your pantry. Enjoy this simple yet flavorful recipe to start the festivities.
- Basmati Rice – 1 cup
- Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tbsp
- Sugar – 1/2 cup
- Saffron – 12 strands
- Cloves – 4
- Cinnamon stick – 1
- Black pepper corn – 4
- Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp
- Raisins –1/4 cup
- Almonds – ¼ cup (or any nuts of your choice)
- Wash and soak rice in water for an hour.
- Soak saffron strands in 2 tbsp milk in a bowl. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
- In a pan, heat ghee on medium low flame. Add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom powder, black pepper corns. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add raisins and almonds to it. Sauté for 2 more minutes. Keep aside.
- In a large vessel, boil rice in 3 cups of water till almost done. Add 1 tbsp ghee to prevent rice from sticking together. Drain off the excess water and spread the rice to cool down.
- Add the above spice mix to the cooked rice. Also add sugar and dissolved saffron. Mix gently.
- Cover it and cook on low flame for 10 minutes. Saffron rice is ready to be served.
Garnish sweet saffron rice with sliced almonds and saffron strands. Enjoy as dessert after a meal.
For 2 servings approx.
- Original or fat free yogurt – 1 cup
- Milk – 1/2 cup
- Fresh ripe mango or mango pulp – 1 cup
- Sugar or Splenda – 2 tsp
- Saffron – 5 strings
- Cardamon powder – 1 pinch
Combine mango cubes or mango pulp, yogurt, milk, sugar/splenda, saffron and cardamom powder into a blender. Blend it for 2-3 minutes. Pour in tall glasses, garnish with cardamom powder and saffron.
Pineapple Kesari [Low fat, sugar free]
It is very hard to find healthy and tasty desserts. So I altered the original Pineapple kesari recipe to fit in healthy recipe column. But this one is not shy in taste. It is simple and easy as well. So enjoy your dessert guilt free :-).
For Pineapple kesari [4 servings]
Rawa – 1 cup
Crushed pineapple – 1 cup
Splenda (Sugar substitute) – 1.5 cups
Ghee/Butter – ½ tbsp
Water – 2 cups
Kesar (Saffron) – ½ tsp (dissolve in water)
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Kismis (Golden raisins) – ¼ cup
Cashews – ¼ cup coarsely chopped
- Dissolve saffron strands or Kesar in 2 cups of water.
- In a pan, add ½ tbsp of Ghee/butter. Add rawa and dry roast it on medium low temperature, till it releases rich aroma. It will look light golden in color.
- Add crushed pineapple and splenda to the pan and mix well. Immediately add the saffron water, while stirring continuously or it will be lumpy.
- Add kismis, cashews and cardamom powder to it and mix well.
- Cook for another 2-3 minutes and pineapple kesari is done.
Serve warm with your favorite ice-cream as a dessert after dinner.