Wishing you all and your loved ones a very Happy Diwali.
Hope you are all having a wonderful time with family and friends celebrating Diwali.
Deepavali called Festival of Lights has had been my favorite festival while growing up in India. The excitement would begin even before the festival actually started. As compared to the other festivals this had fun, excitement right from the get go. First off we get the much needed holidays from school/college, then we get to wear new clothes, indulge on varieties of goodies, light up fire crackers, light some beautiful diyas(lamps), meet with friends relatives, chit chat etc. So it was just non-stop excitement not just for 1 day but for many days after, even extending to a week.
That was then. But now physically being 10,000 miles away from home things are totally different. Being in a society with different culture and traditions it is hard to feel the same joy and excitement. Apart from occasional email from friends or phone calls from relatives the euphoria is missing. The hectic work schedule, the long commute and the daily grind does not help either. Also the thought that we are so far away from our parents and loved ones changes the mood to gloomy and somber.
That is one dispiriting thought process running in the background. Yet another bright and lively thought process focuses on the little one and spouse reminding of our responsibility towards them. One of our responsibilities as parents is keeping our traditions alive and passing it on to our children in our own way. What better way of keeping it alive than actually celebrating the festival and passing the joy and sentiment that we grew up with to our next generation?
Rice Kheer is a classic and traditional Indian dessert/ pudding, made during festivals and special occasions. Rice is cooked along with milk, sugar, cardamom and finally garnished with nuts and raisins. Simple to make yet divine in taste.
This is my contribution to JFI-Sweets hosted by Srivalli of Cooking for all Seasons.
- 1/2 cup cooked basmati rice
- 3 cups milk (low fat)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- Raisin, cashews
- Saffron few strands
- 1 tsp Orange rind for garnishing (optional)
- (Note: make sure that the rind does not have the white part of the orange as that is bitter)
- Boil the milk and water in a big heavy bottom pan, then add the sugar and continue to boil.
- Add the cooked rice, saffron strands and mix thoroughly at intervals. Make sure that the rice does not get stuck to the bottom.
- Add the condensed milk and then continue to stir on medium flame.
- Please note that even though at the beginning the quantity of liquid seems to be more than the rice, stirring for a long time reduces the quantity and the rice soaks the liquid and plumps up to a creamy consistency. This takes about 35-40 minutes.
- Add the cardamom powder when the mixture has thickened considerably but still warm.
- Heat some ghee/oil in a small pan on medium flame and roast the raisins and cashews. Add this to the mixture.
This can be served warm or chilled. Garnish with orange rind before serving (optional).