Monday, January 4, 2010

Makhana Kheer

This is the one of the most simplest and heart filling desserts I can think of.The subtle flavor of "makhana"also known as fox nut, foxnut, makhana, or gorgon plant) reminds me of my village and my childhood where we used to go in every summer vacation.In Mithila culture of Bihar,India, the makhana is an auspicious ingredient in offerings to the Lord during festivals and is used in cooking, specially to make a porridge/pudding called kheer of makhana or 'makhane ki kheer'.Being from the same Mithila region I had the oppurtunity to see and feel this plant up close.
The near by pond in our village would be full of "makhana plant" laden with "makahanas" inside.We would dip our legs inside the pond and pluck few of them even while raw and it tasted so sweet and elegant.There was no inhibition as kids getting saoked in muddy water of pond and plucking makhana.The best thing about this dessert is that you can never go wrong while making it.

This recipe can be just right for those people who have sweet tooth but do not want to eat oil or butter too much or are avoiding too much frying.That in turn increases the otherwise health benefits of makhana.
Here is what you are going to need:-

Makhana :- 1 cup
whole milk :- 1 and 1/2 cup(preferably whole milk but can be made in skim milk too)
cardomom powder :- 1/2 pinch
sugar :-1 table spoon and 1 teaspoon
ghee :- 1 teaspoon

1)Roast makhanas in the non stick pan with ghee for 5-8 minutes.Let it cool down.It will become crunchy after getting cold.

2)in a mortar and pestle or just in a bowl with a heavy spoon crush it into a powder form.Grinder or food processor should not be used as we do not want makhana to be a fine powder.
3)Bring the milk to boiling point .Add raisins and pour the crushed makhana into the boiling milk.Stir properly and keep boiling for 2-3 minutes to bring it to the consistency you want.It however thickens after getting cold.So do not boil too much.

4)Let it cool down ,sprinkle cardamom powder and serve .

When you are short on time or want some thing simple this is the dessert I will suggest.No complication at all.By the way you can buy "makhana" from Indian stores which is sold as "phool makhana" or some times just "makhana".

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