Asma, the host of the popular Darjeeling Express supperclubs, took part in our Natco Recipe Challenge and created a traditional favourite, dessert is served!
100gms Natco Phool Makana (Popped Lotus Seeds) 100 gms
1 inch piece Natco Dalchini (Cassia Bark)
25 gms Natco Shredded Coconut
1 and ½ Litres Milk
25 gms broken cashew nuts
25 gms green raisins
200 gms white sugar (this can be replaced with a sweetener suitable for diabetics)
1/8th teaspoon of good quality saffron strands infused in 1 teaspoon of tepid milk in a bowl
My Maternal grandmother came from Bakhtiyarpur (Bihar) where Makhana was cultivated in the ponds around the house. Following the harvest in late Summer-sacks of Makhana would be sent to Calcutta where I lived with my parents and my Nani (grandmother) would make this kheer.
I always associate this Kheer with Autumn. We would also eat the Makhana plain or like popcorn- tossed with butter and some masala!
This Kheer is particularly suitable for diabetics or those wanting to avoid carbohydrates as Makhana is high in protein and a great alternative to rice in kheer. Makhana is used in Ayurvedic medicine and is high in iron, soluble fibre and contains Phosphorus & Magnesium.
Makhane ki Kheer is simple to prepare and is an unusual and healthy dessert to prepare for parties.
- Use a pot with a heavy base and boil the milk on medium to high heat. Milk can catch at the bottom very easily and it is important to stir the milk at regular intervals to ensure this does not happen.
- When the milk is boiling- add the Makhana. Followed by the cassia bark, coconut, cashew nut and raisin.
- Once the milk comes back to the boil- lower the heat and let the milk and Makhana simmer till the milk has reduced to half the initial volume and the Makhana has softened.
- Add the sugar and saffron and continue to cook for a few more minutes to ensure the sugar has dissolved.
- The kheer is now ready.
- I prefer to chill the kheer and serve it- it can be served warm too.
To get a real taste of India, join Asma's Darjeeling Express supperclub events to try family recipes that go back four generations.