Onam was on while I was back home. The whole area was quite festive during the time. Though a bit hesitant, I went to the local LP (lower primary) school, where my aunt works as assistant headmistress, on the last working day before the 10 day Onam vacation. Since there was no teaching that day, the kids looked so excited. The atmosphere was really electric. Parents were cooperating and cooking up a mini sadya for the kids, who were so eagerly waiting for the sadya. I got some very curious looks as I went around with my I-phone taking some clicks. We had quite a filling sadya which was finished off with some semiya payasam. I really enjoyed the time spent with the kids over there. One of the boys managed to hide under the bench where my banana leaf was laid for food and pulled out the chips and sharkaravaratti (banana chips coated with jaggery dried ginger mixture) from my leaf! That was a truly fun moment...
Sharing off with you a tried and tested recipe of mine... that has been made so many times and liked by many! One of the most popular recipe on the blog also happens to be a carrot kheer
but this recipe is different. I used to make this without the nuts and wait for the milk to thicken but once my cousin, who is a really good cook, had made this kheer during one of the Eids and I loved the way it was thick. When I checked with her, she said that she had used ground nuts to thicken the kheer. No wonder it turned out to be so rich! Off to the recipe...
Carrot Payasam/ Kheer
4 medium carrots
500 ml water
750 ml milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/3 cup mixed nuts (almonds, pistas, walnuts)
1 tbsp ghee
10-15 crushed cashew-nuts
Peel and chop the carrots roughly. Cook it along with the water in a pressure cooker for three whistles. Switch off and allow the pressure to go by itself. Using a hand blender, blend into a paste.
In a saucepan, pour in the milk and bring it to a rolling boil. Keep on medium low flame and continue boiling, stirring constantly till the milk reduces to 3/4. Add in the carrot juice and mix well and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes. Add in the sugar and cardamom and mix well.
Coarsely grind the nuts in a grinder. Add this to the payasam. When you mix, the payasam starts looking little thicker. Cook for five minutes and switch off.
Heat ghee. Fry the cashew nuts, then puff up the raisins. Add into the payasam.
Serve warm or cold - either ways it is delicious!