With the onset of festive season,every Indian household would be gearing up for the preparation. Every region,every household has their own traditional sweets. Being brought up in a religious family,I have always enjoyed each and every festival since childhood. I have so many memories related to food on festive occasions. One thing I must mention is that the festive food used to be rich and equally delicious. Also each occasion demanded its own symbolic dishes resulting in a wide variety of sweets through out the year.
As I hail from Odisha(an eastern state of India) most of the deserts are Chenna (paneer/Indian Cottage cheese) based - Rasagulla, Chena poda,Rasabali,Kheera and lot more. And I bet you will fall in love with these sweets instantly.
Kheera is nothing but Paneer kheer where milk is reduced to thick consistency along with fresh cottage cheese. It is served as prasad to lord Jagannathat Puri temple.
I have added my own little twist to the authentic preparation.
This Recipe is an entry to The KitchenAid India Navratri Challenge for The Hub @ Archana’s Kitchen.
Kheera (Paneer Kheer)
For Chenna(Fresh cottage cheese)
- 2 litres milk full fat
- lemon juice of a
- 2 tbsps water
For Milk base
- 2 milk litter full fat
- 1/2 can Condensed milk sweetend (1/2 cup)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cups cashew nut
- 2 - 3 cardamom green
- almond Pistachio slivers , chopped for garnishing (optional)
- For chenna,boil milk in a big vessel. Once milk comes to a rolling boil, stir in lemon juice mixed in 2 tbsp of water.The milk will start to separate leaving a greenish whey. Once the solid part is completely separated,Strain the mixture.
- Run the strained chenna under running tap water so that any lemon residue is gone.Let the chenna sit in the strainer for a good one hour,so that all the water is drained out.
- Crumble chenna finely using fingers.Keep aside. (I got approximately 2 cups of chenna)
- In a thick bottom vessel, sprinkle 1 tsp of oil and few drops of water. Let it caramelize and become golden brown in colour.
- In the same vessel add 2 litters of milk.Once the milk comes to a boil,reduce gas and let it cook in low heat till it is reduced almost half . Stir in between to avoid sticking at the bottom.
- Add sugar,Condensed milk to thickened milk. Mix till the sugar dissolves. Add drained chenna. Let it cook on simmer for 10-15 mins more, stirring occasionally.
- Powder cashew to a coarse powder with still some small chunks in it. Add cashew to milk chenna mixture. Add pinch of salt.
- In a mortar and pestle, add 1 tsp sugar and cardamom seeds. Crush the seeds along with sugar to fine powder. (Alternately you can use a rolling pin to crush the seeds) . Sprinkle powder on kheera. Give it a mix. Switch of the stove.
- If using saffron, dissolve it in 1 tbsp of milk. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Add to kheer in step 6, while adding cardamom powder.
- Garnish withalmond slivers,chopped Pistachio.
- Serveslightlywarm or even at room temperature.
- Note : __*Traditionally*_condensedmilk is not added. I have added here to quicken the thickeningprocess.Alternatively you can increase milk to 3 litters, and reduce it till it is half reduced and almost of rabdi like consistency. And increase sugar upto 1 cup. _
- I like to coarsely powder cashew and add.(learned it from a Odiya cook in a feast years ago). Usually broken cashew is roasted in a tsp of ghee and added. 3. You can absolutelyignoresaffron,It is not at all added in a traditional recipe. It's my addition.
- Make sure you wash the chennaproperlywithenoughwater to get rid of lemon residue. I amnotsure about others but I like tohave Kheera a day after it its prepared and kept in refrigerator.It tastes heavenly. I am sure many other friends of mine would agree with me.