My grandma used to make sabudana kheer on days when she observed fasts, not so much otherwise.I remember skipping meals and tucking down quite a number of bowls of it on those occasions.
Like most puddings, this one does not require much effort in cooking since soaked tapioca cooks pretty fast. It was not the cooking time but the wait till sunset that got me impatient. Despite the fact that I wanted to lick it right away from the pot as soon as it was ready, we waited until prayer time. She would then ladle the kheer in bowls and spoon over generous amount of ghee sautÃ©ed raisins and almonds.
This luscious kheer is as comforting as a rice pudding, but much more smooth, almost custard like.The fluffy, opaque tapioca pearls melt down in the bubbling milk, naturally thickening it, become translucent and get pleasantly chewy as the kheer cooks. You can smell the mellow aroma of the starchy pearls and the saffron, the starch from the tapioca also makes the consistency silk-like.
Kheer forms a quintessential part of indian cuisine. It is a perfect accompaniment to spicy food and is usually a must during religious celebrations and festivals as offering to God.Wedding and special occasion menus are incomplete without certain kind of kheer, making it the most popular way of rounding off the meals.
I am such a huge fan of puddings and fail to understand how can somebody (like my husband ) doesn't want to eat it. There's something so comforting about a gooey, warm bowl of kheer, redolent with an aroma of saffron with nuts adding a texture.
Go imaginative with the kind of aroma you want to flavor this pudding with, I have tried, vanilla, orange zest and rose-water. It tastes as wonderful with each of them.
- ½ cup sabudana sago
- 2 teaspoon ghee
- ⅓ cup nuts of choice ( I used sliced almond &raisins)
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 whole cardamom pods
- 10-12 saffron strands grind the saffron with a pinch of sugar and soak in 1 tablespoon warm milk
- ½ can (7oz) sweetened condensed milk or to taste
- Place sago pearls in a colander and place the colander over a large bowl. Wash the sabudana under running water 1-2 times. Using your fingers, gentle move around the pearls and wash thoroughly. At first you will see, very milky water collecting in the bowl, keep going, in about 4-6 minutes, the water will start getting clearer. This method not only cleans the sabudana but also removes excess starch coating the pearls.
- Drain the water and add ½ cup of clean water. Set aside for 6-10 hours. The pearls will plump up as they soak. The time of soaking depends on quality of your sabudana, it can take upto 10 hours to become soft. Make sure that after soaking, the tapioca pearls are soft and can easily be squeezed between thumb and finger. Drain the water(if any) after soaking. Set aside.
- In a heavy bottomed pot, melt the ghee on low. Add the nuts to it and saute for about 20-25 seconds till you smell the aroma. Take out in a bowl and set aside.
- In the same pot, add the cardamom seeds and slowly pour the milk. Set the stove on medium and let milk come to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let the milk reduce slightly for 10-12 minutes. You will need to stir intermittently to make sure that the milk is not sticking to the bottom.
- Once the milk is reduced by ⅓rd, add the soaked sago and immediatley start mixing else the pearls will clump up.
- Cook on low - medium heat for another 10-15 minutes stirring periodically till you see that sago pearls have started to become translucent and are cooked through. The kheer will be thickish and have a velvety silk like consistency as you cook it.
- Add the saffron milk at this point and mix well. Let cook for another 5 minutes on low till the tapioca are cooked through. Dont make the kheer too thick because it will thicken as it cools.
- When the kheer is thick enough(thicken it more than you think, since condersed milk will thin it out),mix in the condensed milk, simmer for another 5 mintues(keep an eye since the kheer gets little sticky) and then take off the stove. Mix in the nuts.
- Serve the kheer warm or cold (if desired). It will thicken as it cool down.
- Depending on the size and quality, you will need to soak tapioca pearls for 20 minutes (smaller variety) or up to 3-4 hours(larger variety).
- You could use a combination of cream & milk or half and half depending on how rich you want the pudding.
- The amount of milk in the recipe can be varied as per desired thickness of the pudding.
- Cooking time of tapioca pearls will depend on variety and how long it takes them to swell up and is cooked through.Please adjust accordingly.
- The pudding thickens up as it sits but you can thin it out with little warm milk if serving next day. You can boil up the milk, add to the pudding and reheat
Divine! Tapioca pudding is so addictive.
Happy New Year and best wishes for 2014!
Lail | With A Spin
Happy New Year.
Love tapioca kheer the other day and absolutely love it. Comforting, addictive and scrumptious.
Shema | LifeScoops
Beautiful pictures and a lovely dessert... Seeing your pictures, I have decided to make some for my family today 🙂
Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
i havent had t hese in such a long time but I remember my grandmother making them when she fasted as well. Thanks for reminding.
This looks divine. You have presented this so well 🙂
This is one kheer recipe that I definitely need to try making! Love the photographs.
My Maa does the same thing...eats tapioca pudding on the days she fasts. When I was in indian, I used to eagerly wait for her to make it too. She used to say "who is fasting? You or me". Sometimes she even said "start fasting and the you can make your own and eat it whenever you want to". I asked her to make it this time when she visited me in the US. It is do delicious. her recipe is very different though.
Such a lovely conversation between you and mom, I wish I could have eaten it more growing up, its just so good!
sabudana kheer always reminds me of a dear friend who would make it for me!