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Author Notes: there are 2 categories of kheers ( Indian milk based desserts) a. made with milk & sweetened with sugar with rice acting as the thickening agent & b. made with coconut milk & Jaggery (raw cane sugar with the molasses still present) & using split mung or chickpeas as the thickener. The latter is more prevalent in the southern states (which, by virtue of the extended geographic coastline is abundant in crops such as coconut)
Toasting the mung beans yields a very nutty aroma that lends itself well to desserts made with coconut.
Makes ~ 3-4 cups
- 1 cup toasted dehusked mung beans
- 1/2-2/3 cups jaggery or turbinado sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 5-6 pods cardamom seeds crushed
- 1/2 cup cashew nuts
- 10-12 strands Saffron
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- Cook the toasted mung beans till soft in adequate water.
- If using jaggery, add 1/8 cup of water and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes till it dissolves. Strain to remove & discard any grit that may be present.
- Combine cashew nuts and coconut milk in a food processor and process to get a smooth paste.
- Combine cooked mung and jaggery solution (or sugar) along with a cup of milk and heat gently to bring to a boil. add cardamom & saffron to the mixture.
- Reduce the heat and add the cashew coconut milk paste & stir to combine well. Simmer till the dessert is hot, but not boiling. (coconut milk may separate)
- In a separate skillet, heat ghee & add the raisins. Saute on low heat till the raisins plump up.
- Add raisins to the soup. Chill overnight to let the flavors settle. Serve cold by itself or along with a side of adzuki beans tortellini. http://www.food52.com/recipes/10631_adzuki_beans_tortellini