Indian Mithai & Desserts

Jaggery Cheesecake

Jaggery cheesecake is a rich and decadent cheesecake with a biscoff cookie crust and a jaggery sweetened cream filling. This cake has a smooth texture and slight smoky hint of jaggery in every bite. Its not too dense but is creamy and rich.

What is Jaggery?

Jaggery is an unrefined sugar product popular in India and is available in syrup, blocks and powdered form. It is made by evaporating sugar cane juice and is regarded a super food rich in iron and anti oxidants. It is considered warming for the body and its consumption is especially recommended during winter months.

Jaggery Cheesecake

Be it the ghee & biscoff cookie crust or jaggery cream cheese filling or cardamom whipped cream, each element of this cake enhances the taste of its counter parts. I have been meaning to try this cake for quite a while now and its going to be our Thanksgiving dessert this year.

The original idea and recipe of this Jaggery cheesecake comes from Masterchef Sasi Chelliah. You can find his original recipe here. I used the cream cheese filling recipe in entirety. However, I changed the other components of the cake to our liking.

How the cheesecake tastes ?

This jaggery cheesecake is quite delicious and unimaginably creamy. It is simple to make and the taste of jaggery filling is mildly smoky, quiye similar to brown sugar. With the subtle hint of cinnamon from biscoff cookies and cardamom whipped cream, each and every bite is delighatful. I simply loved the indian twist to the traditional cheesecake.

Lets Look at the Cheesecake Components one by one :-

  1. Biscoff Cookie Crust :- I used 20-25 biscoff cookies and melted ghee, and sweetened them with a tablespoon each of sugar & jaggery for the crust. You can use digestive biscuits, ginger snaps or graham crackers as well for the crust.
  2. Jaggery Cream Cheese filling :- The filling uses usual cheesecake ingredients- full fat cream cheese,jaggery, sour cream, heavy cream and eggs are few of the things for the filling.
  3. Whipped Cream – Simply whipped cream flavored with fresh ground cardamom.

Do make sure that except the whipping cream, all the ingredients are at room temperature . During cold months, I simply set out everything on the kitchen counter overnight.

Selecting the Cake Pan for the Cheesecake:– We need a spring form cake pan to bake any kind of cheesecake. Spring form cake pans have a removable circular ring and so the cheesecake can be unmolded easily. It is not possible to turn over the cheesecake after baking like traditional flour cakes so spring form cake pans are a must when making cheesecakes. I always use non stick spring form cake pans because nothing is more frustrating than a cake sticking to pan after all the hard work.

How To Make Jaggery Cheesecake?

As with every cheesecake, the process of making this cake starts with the crust. I start by crushing the biscoff cookies. You can add little cinnamon while crushing the cookies as well if you like them extra spiced. It is important to crush the cookies such that there are no big pieces. I find pulsing in a food processor better than hand crushing in a Ziploc bag.To make the cheese filling, simply start by beating the softened cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Next we add the jaggery followed by sour cream and heavy cream. Then the eggs go in one by one and the filling is mixed just so that its smooth and lump free. The cream cheese filling is then poured over the cookie crust. The cake is then baked in a water bath.

When mixing the filling, you have to make sure to not overmix the filling. Stick to exact timings that I have noted down in the recipe. Overmixing incorporates air. The air bubbles pop during baking and create cracks. Also, I recommend you to strain the filling after mixing it. It is an additional step but trust me it really makes sure that the filling is super smooth.

Baking Cheesecake in Water Bath :-

To prevent a soggy crust, it is a good idea to wrap the cake pan in 3-4 layers of aluminum foil. Baking the cheesecake in a water bath will help in slow baking of the cheese layer reducing the possibility of cracks and unevenly baked areas. In a nut shell, water bath prevents drastic temperature changes while the cheesecake bakes. After the cheesecake is finished baking, water bath additionally helps in slow cooling hence preventing the temperature of the cheesecake to drop drastically once the oven is off. This prevents cracks and the possibility of shrinkage of edges and the top surface is reduced as well.

Chilling the Cheesecake:-

I always chill the cheesecakes overnight or for at least 6-8 hours. It us a true test of patience but chilling helps a lot in the final structure of the cake.

To summarize, here are the tips for a smooth and creamy cheesecake :-

  1. Using room temperature ingredients. Softened cream cheese is super easy to work with.
  2. Do not over mix the cheese filling. It incorporates air into the filling. Air in the filling means cracks while baking.
  3. It is important not to overbake the cheesecake. The edges should be set and the center of the cake should be wiggly. We cannot use a skewer to test this cake since it will crack the cheese layer so simply follow the timings in the recipe.
  4. Baking the cheesecake in a water bath and cooling down in water bath as well.
  5. Chilling the cheesecake for 6-8 hours.

Here are a few other cheesecake recipes from the blog :-

Brownie Bottom Saffron Cheesecake Bites

Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites

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Jaggery Cheesecake

A rich and decadent cheesecake with an Indian twist.Made with jaggery sweetened cream cheese filling and biscoff cookie crust. Topped with cardamom whipped cream. Its creamy, smooth and slightly smoky.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time8 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Indian
Servings: 8 inch cake

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowls. Spatula, 8 inch Spring Foam Pan, Large roasting pan

Ingredients

For The Crust

  • 18-20 biscoff cookies
  • 2 tablespoon melted ghee
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon powdered jaggery

For The Jaggery Cheese Filling

  • 680 g (3 blocks) full fat cream cheese, softened
  • 250 g (1 cup) jaggery
  • 250 g (1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 200 ml (3/4 cup) heavy cream
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

For Topping

  • 1 cup Whipped Cream flavored with 1/4 teaspoon of green cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup sliced nuts of choice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Prepare a 8 inch/20 cm springform non stick cake pan and line the base with parchment. Wrap the cake pan all round in 3 layers of aluminum foil.
  • Place biscoff cookies,sugar and jaggery in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Whiz to crumbs. Add ghee and pulse to combine. Press the cookie crumbs to the base of prepared pan. Keep ready.
  • Put water to boil in a kettle or over stove .Place cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat for 2 minutes until the cheese is smooth.
  • Add the jaggery and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  • Add the sour cream and heavy cream. Beat for 1 minute.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating total for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add in the cornstarch and lemon juice. Beat to combine .
  • Strain the cheese filling. This step is optional but recommended.
  • Pour the filling over the crust. Smoothen the top using a flat spatula. Tap gently to get rid of air bubbles.
  • Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Add enough boiling water till halfway up the sides of the pan.
  • Reduce the oven to 300F/150C. Carefully place the roasting pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until the sides are set and the center is wiggly. Dont peek.
  • Turn the oven off and let cool for 30 minutes. Dont peek. Slightly pop open the door of the oven using a wooden spoon and let the cake cool for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and cool it to room temperature.Chill overnight or for atleast 6 hours.
  • Unmould the cake and seve topped with whipped cream and nuts.
Indian Mithai & Desserts

Maple -Ricotta Cheese Mousse

Maple-Ricotta Cheese Mousse. Easy, 4 ingredient Maple sweetened ricotta cheese mousse. This mousse is creamy, decadent and has a nice smoky flavor of pure maple syrup in every bite. Takes less than 15 minutes to make.

Maple -Ricotta Cheese Mousse
Maple Sweetened Ricotta Cheese Mousse

Ricotta Mousse is not too rich, rather has a soft milkiness to it. I love maple syrup, love adding it to desserts I make during Autumn/Winter months for its warming taste. Milky Ricotta plus smoky maple is a super delicious flavor! You can sprinkle some chopped nuts on top or add fresh fruits like berries, pomegranate arils or even citrus sections will work great too.

Maple Sweetened Ricotta Cheese Mousse

You will just need 4 ingredients for making this mousse :-

  1. Full Fat Ricotta Cheese
  2. Heavy Cream Or Whipping Cream
  3. Pure dark Maple Syrup
  4. Flavoring Agent – Could be Spices that you like or vanilla.

This refined sugar free mousse is ready in minutes once you have the ingredients ready to go.

Ricotta Mousse Ingredients

Whats the Mousse Consistency Like?

Because its sweetened with maple syrup, this mousse isn’t as stiff as mousse made with sugar, however its very fluffy and creamy. And delicious. There are no eggs or gelatin used. A lot of eggless mousse recipes use gelatin to get the right consistency but I don’t use gelatin either. The key to using ricotta cheese in mousse recipes without losing the structure is to strain the ricotta cheese before using it.

Straining Ricotta cheese overnight (ideally) helps in removing the liquid (whey) from the cheese leaving behind a solid cheese – aka the good stuff. The taste of the cheese is much sweeter and concentrated and once whipped with heavy cream, it makes an amazing fuss free dessert.

How to Make Ricotta Maple Mousse ?

  1. Strain the Ricotta Cheese over a cheesecloth or paper towel overnight.
  2. Add the Ricotta Cheese with a little bit of maple syrup to a blender and puree till smooth.
  3. Whip together the heavy cream and ricotta cheese. We will add more maple syrup while doing so.
  4. Mix in the spices or vanilla. I like using ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg.
  5. Chill for at least 4 hours. Serve with nuts and fruit.
Whipped Ricotta Cheese Mousse

How to Store and Serve the Mousse?

The mousse stores in the fridge perfectly for 2 days. Store it chilled until ready to serve. I found that beyond 2 days it became a bit watery.

Add fresh fruits or nuts on top just when you are serving. They add a nice texture to the mousse.

Ricotta Cheese Mousse
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This maple sweetened ricotta cheese maple mousse is a 4- ingredient dessert can be put together in less than 15 minutes. It is creamy, decadent and has a nice smoky flavor of pure maple syrup in every bite.
Prep Time8 hrs
Cook Time10 mins
8 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5

Ingredients

  • 15 oz Whole Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup dark maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

To garnish

  • Pomegranate arils
  • Chopped walnuts

Instructions

  • Line colander with a cheesecloth. Place the colander over a bowl. Add ricotta cheese over the cheesecloth. Let sit overnight or 8 hours to strain.
  • Add strained ricotta with 2-3 tbsp of maple syrup to a blender and blitz to smooth.
  • In a bowl add the blended ricotta and heavy cream and using a hand held electric mixer beat on low speed for about 4 minutes till you see the cream getting thickened.
  • Add another 3 tablespoon of maple syrup along with spices and beat for 4 more minutes or until fluffy and smooth.
  • Divide between 4 to 6 serving jars or bowls. Chill for about 3-4 hours. Serve garnished with pomegranate arils and chopped walnuts.

Notes

  1. Please make sure that the cheese and heavy cream are super cold when you start making the mousse. 
  2. Add and incorporate maple slowly while mixing the mousse. 
Indian Mithai & Desserts

Masala Chai Tres Leches

Tres Leches Cake is a latin milk soaked sponge cake with a soft and moist crumb. The cake is soaked in three kinds of milk (tres- three, leche- milk) and thats how it gets its name. The sponge itself is airy and it absorbs the milk sauce to form a luscious, dense and rich cake. This masala chai tres leche tastes like a cup of sweet milky indian chai aka tea – it’s indulgent, soft and has a wonderful taste of milky tea and spices in every bite.

Saying that my family loves tres leches cake is an understatement. I mean they adore it!! There are very few cake flavors that we all agree upon at once and this is definitely the one. For Diwali this year, I wanted to make a cake inspired by indian flavors and that is how this idea was born.

What is Masala Chai Tresh Leches Cake?

A light and airy chai spiced sponge soaked in a tea infused 3 milk concoction which is covered in dulce de leche whipped cream. Dreamy right?

Check out these other Masala Chai Recipes :-

Masala Chai Ice cream

DIY Masala Chai Concentrate

Chai Mug Cake

Chai Spiced Shortbread Sandwiches with Dulce De Leche Filling

This Masala Chai Tres Leches Cake is

  • eggless
  • airy and moist
  • tastes like milky sweet chai (doodh patti (milky indian tea), see this video I made earlier this year)
  • super easy to make
  • perfect for festivals

There are quite a few steps to this recipe but nothing is too complicated. The four essential steps to making this cake are –

  1. Grinding the chai masala(spice blend) (always grind fresh masala)
  2. Baking the sponge
  3. Soaking it in tea infused milk sauce
  4. Topping it with the dulce de leche whipped cream.

Masala Chai Tres Leche Ingredients

The recipe needs every simple basic ingredients from you pantry and refrigerator. You will need flour, leavening agents, sugar and yogurt for the cake. Other than that you will need 3 kinds of milk products- evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream to make the soaking milk. You will need heavy cream and dulce de leche to make the frosting.

Lets look at the components of Masala Chai Tres Leches Cake one by one :

  1. Chai Masala : – Chai Masala is a spice blend which is used to flavor indian tea. Every home has its own recipe but essentially the spices are cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. Some families like using fennel in their chai masala as well. Chai masala is one of the most fragrant blends out of indian kitchens. Find my chai masala recipe here
  2. Chai Masala Spiced Sponge:- This is an eggless sponge made with flour, whole milk and full fat yogurt. It is flavored with fresh made chai masala (see recipe). This is a light, airy sponge which happens to be egg free and butter free.
  3. Three Milk (Leche) – This is one of the most important component of any leche cake. It is a blend of 3 kinds of milk – evaporated milk, condensed milk and heaavy cream. For this recipe, I infuse the evaporated milk with orange pekoe black tea to get that authentic chai flavor. A little bit of chai masala goes in as well for deep flavor.
  4. Dulce de Leche Whipped Cream :- You can use plain whipped cream, this cake will still taste awesome. However, I loved the combination of dulce de leche and chai spices in this cookie recipe I developed last year during the holidays and thats the reason I flavored the whipped cream this way.

A few tips and tricks to be kept in mind when you make this cake :-

Cake Batter : – The cake batter is made in one bowl.It is one of the most easy cakes to bake. Fold the batter with a spatula  just until it is well incorporated then stop. Keep in mind to not overmix the batter. You can bake the cake in a round pan, however I like square or rectangular casserole pans since its easier to carry or serve from.

Sweetness :- The cake is not too sweet on its own, the main sweetness of this cake comes from the milk concoction.

Dairy : – The cake uses a lot of dairy products like many kinds of milk and yogurt. Always choose whole milk and full fat yogurt for this recipe.

Make Ahead :- You can bake and soak the cake on one day and then next day just make the whipped cream and slather it on top. The cake needs to soak for at least 12 hours for best flavor.

Serving Suggestions :- Reserve a bit of the soaking milk and serve it with the cake slices. Cake with extra milk is truly heavenly.

Variations : – You can bake this cake batter into 12 cupcakes and bake for about 18 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes, poke and individually soak them in milk. Then you can pipe the whipped cream just like you would decorate cupcakes.

How to store :- Once you have soaked the cake, you can store it unfrosted for 1 week in the refrigerator. After frosting the cake, serve it with 2-3 days. Additionally, you can freeze the unsoaked sponge for unto two months. Thaw the cake and then soak and frost it.

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Masala Chai Tres Leches

This eggless masala chai tres leche tastes like a cup of sweet milky indian chai aka tea – it's indulgent, soft and has a wonderful taste of spices in every bite. So perfect for festivals and celebrations.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian, Mexican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 -10 servings

Ingredients

For the Chai Masala (makes 1/4 cup masala, we won't use the whole thing)

  • 1 tbsp  ground green cardamom
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp ground dried ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 4-5 black peppercorns, fine ground

For the Sponge Cake

  • 3/4 cup whole milk thick yogurt (not too tart or watery), at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup whole milk,at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp chai masala (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1.5 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the Chai Infused Milk (This will make extra for serving)

  • 4-5 orange pekoe black tea bags
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 14 oz condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp chai masala (recipe below)

For the dulce de leche Whipped Cream

  • 1.5 cup heavy whipped cream , super cold
  • 2-3 tbsp dulce de leche
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

Grind the Chai Masala

  • Add all the spices to a bowl. Mix well. Chai Masala is ready for baking.

Make the Chai Infused 3 Milk Mixture

  • Warm up the evaporated milk. Add the tea bags and let infuse for 10-12 minutes. Squeeze the tea bags nicely to get all the flavor and the milk they absorb.
  • In a large jug or measuring cup with spout, mix the tea infused evaporated milk with condensed milk and heavy cream. Add 1/2 tsp of chai masala and combine. Reserve 3/4 cup for serving. Keep ready.

Bake the Sponge

  • Preheat the oven to 350F / 180 C. Brush a 7 by 11 rectangular pan/ 8 or 9 inch square pan with 1 tbsp oil. See notes.
  • in a large bowl, add the yogurt, milk sugar and oil. Whisk for 2-3 minutes until smooth and combined, the sugar should completely dissolve. Add 1 teaspoon of chai masala and mix well.
  • Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder in two batches over the yogurt. After each batch, gently fold using a spatula until just incorporated.
  • Pour the batter in the cake pan and bake in the middle rack for 28-32 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Mine was done at about 31 minutes. Pull the cake out and let cool for 7-8 minutes.
  • Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake. Pour the milk mixture all over the cake. Cover the cake with cling wrap and refrigerate for atleast 4 hours or preferably overnight so the cake can soak up all the milk and flavors.

Make the dulce de leche Whipped Cream

    Assemble the cake

    • Remove the chilled soaked cake. Add a generous amount of whipped cream to the cake and using a spatula spread it out as evenly on the top part as possible. Sprinkle with silvered pistachios, rose petals, edible gold etc or decorate as you wish.
    • Serve sliced with the reserved milk mixture. Store the leftovers refrigerated.

    Notes

    1. The thickness of the sponge will vary depending on the size of cake pan you use. 

    Indian Mithai & Desserts

    Phirni Brûlée

    Phirni is classic indian ground rice pudding made with basmati rice, milk, sugar, nuts and flavored with cardamom or saffron or rose water. Perfect for festive celebrations or as a delicious sweet finish to a dinner, its a quick and easy desserts with basic pantry ingredients. In my recipe I added a little twist taking inspiration from classic french brûlée and served it with a crackly sugar top.

    What is Phirni/Firni?

    Phirni is a creamy pudding made with ground basmati rice. The ground rice is slow cooked with milk till everything achieves a velvety consistency, it is sweetened and then is typically set and served in shallow earthen pots and is best eaten chilled. Setting in earthen pots imparts it a nice earth aroma which is so unique and only adds to its taste.

    How is Phirni Different from Kheer?

    Both kheer and phirni are milk based rice pudding, however the difference is that in phirni, rice is ground and then cooked with milk versus kheer in which rice is cooked as it is, without grinding in milk.

    What is Creme Brûlée?

    Creme Brûlée is an elegant french custard dessert made with eggs, heavy cream, vanilla and sugar. The chilled, set creamy custards are sprinkled with sugar and is then torched with the kitchen torch so that the sugar is caramelized crispy. And served right away.

    Why Phirni Brûlée?

    The idea for this fusion was playing in my mind for long and the textural contrast of creamy rice pudding with a crackly sugar top is just mind blowing. The phirni is cooked in the traditional way, its slow cooked and eggless and can be eaten and served on its own! However, I wanted to add a touch of fusion so I went ahead and bruleed it! My husband is a huge fan of creme boulle and this dessert was such a huge with him.

    Lavender Flavored :- I have been loving the flavor of lavender scented desserts lately so I perfumed this phirni with little crushed dried lavender. Don’t worry the scent is just lovely, not soapy at all. Lavender is just amazing in milky desserts and it is such an underrated flavor in indian cuisine. I tried it in peda a while back! Start with this lavender malai peda recipe 🙂 However you can always flavor the phirni the traditional way with ground cardamom, rosewater or saffron!

    Coming back to brûlée, you simple need a culinary grade torch which can be bought for around $10 off amazon. Alternatively, as I read on internet broiler can also be used to caramelize the sugar, however I cannot vouch for it since I haven’t tried.

    Few things to be kept in mind when you make phirni :-

    1. You can choose a fragrant rice – short grain goind bhog/kalijeera or jasmine rice work wonderfully besides basmati rice. Wash and air dry the rice for a few hours before grinding it.
    2. Keep the phirni towards mildly sweeter side since the brûlée sugar will balance the sweetness. However, if you are not making the brûlée, add 6 tbsp of sugar to sweeten the phirni.
    3. Since the rice is ground, I feel phirni cooks much faster than kheer, you have to however keep on stirring it more often, so that the ground rice dosent get lumpy.
    4. Always chill the phirni to bring out the right texture and taste. Ideally, I would make the phirni a day ahead and brûlée it right before serving. Please do not brûlée warm phirni.
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    Phirni Brûlée

    Classic Indian ground rice pudding with a fusion twist of bruleed sugar layer.
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time30 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Indian
    Servings: 4

    Equipment

    • A heavy pot, culinary torch

    Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup basmati rice
    • 3 cup whole milk
    • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp dried lavender flowers (crushed between palms) , or use cardamom or saffron or rose water
    • 4 tbsp raw sugar/demera sugar

    Instructions

    • Wash rice 3-4 times under running water. Drain and then spread the rice on paper towel or kicthen towel to air dry for a few hours.
    • Once the rice is dry, add to a coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Don't make a very fine or a very coarse powder.
    • Set milk to boil and reduce on low medium heat.
    • Once the milk comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and let the milk reduce for 15 minutes or so.
    • Next, while continuously whisking add the ground rice to the milk. Keep whisking for 2-3 minutes else lumps will form.
    • Let the milk simmer and rice cook in the milk. You will need to stir the phirni often while it cooks for even cooking and to make sure that no lumps are formed.
    • In about 20 minutes you, you will see the milk will thicken and become almost custard like since the rice has cooked out. At this point add the granulated sugar. Cook for another 3-5 minutes till the sugar is dissolved. Switch off the stove and mix in the lavender (or the flavor that you are using).
    • While still warm, divide the phirni into your serving bowls. Let sit undisturbed until completely cooled down and then chill in the fridge for atleast 6 hours. You can serve the phirni just like this or with some nuts.
    • To Brûlée (Just before serving):- Spread 3/4 to 1 tbsp of raw sugar over the set chilled phirni. Using a culinary torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy slightly burnt sugar top. Wait for 5 minutes for the sugar to harden before serving.

    Notes

    • You can choose a fragrant rice – short grain goind bhog/kalijeera or jasmine rice work wonderfully besides basmati rice. Wash and air dry the rice for a few hours before grinding it.
    • Keep the phirni towards mildly sweeter side since the brûlée sugar will balance the sweetness. However, if you are not making the brûlée, add 6 tbsp of sugar to sweeten the phirni.
    • Since the rice is ground, I feel phirni cooks much faster than kheer, you have to however keep on stirring it more often, so that the ground rice dosent get lumpy.
    • Always chill the phirni to bring out the right texture and taste. Ideally, I would make the phirni a day ahead and brûlée it right before serving. Please do not brûlée warm phirni.
    Indian Mithai & Desserts

    Pineapple Peda

    Five ingredient soft and fruity peda made with fresh pineapple, mawa, sugar, milk and ghee. You can flavor it with cardamom or saffron even vanilla,becasue why not! This soft & melt in the mouth peda is super easy to make and is perfect for fasting days or for festive occasions.

    Peda is a very popular indian mithai which is traditionally made by simmering milk for hours so that the milk solids remain which are then sweetened with sugar or condensed milk, flavored and rolled into flat discs. Texturewise, peas are quite soft and little crumbly.

    Making traditional milk peda takes a long time and effort.However, in our homes, we can make peda much easily using mawa or milk powder. I have shared quite a few peda recipes in the past (scroll to the bottom of the post to check them out). The flavors of this peda were playing in my mind for quite a bit and I am so glad that after a couple trials, this recipe came out perfect.

    I shared a reel on making mawa at home last week on my Instagram page. You can check it out here. I used the same mawa to make these peda and viola so easy it was! You can easily use store bought mawa as well, just make sure to use a good quality one because the fat content of mawa plays an important role in how soft and fudgy the pedas will turn out. This recipe is perfect for Navratri fasting. It is grain free and uses milk and fresh fruit both of which are allowed during fasting.

    How to make pineapple peda?

    First begin by selecting a ripe pineapple. Over ripe pineapple will work great as well since it will automatically bring down the sugar in your recipe. Blend the pineapple to a fine(but not super fine) sort of fine crushed fruit, it should not be a puree. There should be not big chunks but it should not be like baby food either. Cook down the pineapple till it resembles a paste and then mix the paste with cooked mawa, sugar, ghee and milk. Let cool down and roll into peda and decorate as you wish.

    Pineapple Peda

    Few tips to keep in mind :-

    1. Bring mawa to room temperature before using it. Sometimes when we add cold mawa to the hot pan, it melts unevenly and tiny pieces remain.
    2. Don’t use very firm or unripe pineapple. I usually buy a pineapple and let it sit on the kitchen counter for 2-3 days and depending on the temperature of where you live, it will ripen and its skin will turn yellow. When you smell the pineapple you will be able to tell that its ripe.
    3. Work on the peda mix on low heat. This is super important else the peda mix will turn brown in no time. It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook down the peda mix.
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    Pineapple Peda

    Five ingredient soft and fruity peda made with fresh pineapple, mawa, sugar, milk and ghee. You can flavor it with cardamom. This melt in the mouth peda is super easy to make and is perfect for fasting days or for festive occasions. 
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time25 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Indian
    Servings: 18 pedas

    Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup very ripe pineapple, crushed (not too coarse or too smooth)
    • 1-2 tbsp ghee, divided, as needed
    • 340 g mawa, grated
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 tbsp whole milk, room temperature
    • 10 strands saffrons, ground with pinch of sugar

    Instructions

    • Set a non stick wide pan on the stove on low medium heat. Add the crushed pineapple and start cooking it with regular stirring. Initially you will see a lot of bubbles(those are pineapple juices) but keep cooking and after about 5-8 minutes you will that its turning into a thickish paste and the bubbles are much less. Don't dry the paste too much, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
    • In the same pan, on low heat add 1 tbsp ghee to begin with. Once it melts add the grated mawa. Cook the mawa, it becomes soft pretty quickly in about 2-3 minutes, so keep a close eye.
    • Once the mawa melts, add the sugar and milk to the pan and mix everything. Immediately you will see that the mawa mixture becomes a slurry. Keep cooking it with regular stirring.Keep the stove on low to medium. In about 10 minutes you will see that the mixture will start thickening up.
    • Once it will start thickening up, it will start clumping around the spoon and you will see it glistening. At this point add the pineapple paste and mix up well with the mawa. Also add the saffron.
    • Keep cooking for another2-4 minutes until you will be able to fold the mixture over itself. It will not be runny, rather like loose cement/concrete. Don't dry too much, it will be much thicker once it cool down.
    • Transfer to a bowl and cool down completely. Once cooled, if needed, oil your palms with ghee and pinch small portions of the mawa mix and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball to give it the peda shape. Decorate as you wish.
      If you feel that the mixture is too soft, refrigerate it for 1-2 hours and the roll it.
    • Store pedas refrigerated for 3-4 days. Enjoy!

    Notes

    • Bring mawa to room temperature before using it. Sometimes when we add cold mawa to the hot pan, it melts unevenly and tiny pieces remain.
    • Don’t use very firm or unripe pineapple. I usually buy a pineapple and let it sit on the kitchen counter for 2-3 days and depending on the temperature of where you live, it will ripen and its skin will turn yellow. When you smell the pineapple you will be able to tell that its ripe.
    • Work on the peda mix on low heat. This is super important else the peda mix will turn brown in no time. It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook down the peda mix.
    Indian Mithai & Desserts

    Brownie Burfi Bites

    Eggless brownie topped with a layer of milky creamy kesar (saffron) scented burfi (indian sweet). Chocolatey, milky and fudge with hints of saffron, these bites are one divine dessert to make anytime and enjoy! The combination of saffron and chocolate is heavenly to bite into. This flavor profile is not new to me, I did a similar combination a while back with these brownie saffron cheesecake bites.

    You need just a few ingredients for the eggless brownies. They are scented with green cardamom and gooey(but not falling apart). While the brownies bake in the oven you can work on the burfi layer which is simply made with milk powder, milk, ghee and sugar. My kids really enjoy fusion mithai so I like to create recipes from time to time to give them a taste of indian flavors while still keeping the appeal of the desserts they know.

    What is Milk Burfi?

    Milk Burfi is a super popular, easy and delicious mithai which can be prepared with 4 to 5 ingredients like milk, milk powder or mawa, sugar and ghee. You can make it for indian festivals like Holi, Diwali, Vavratri or a batch to snack on. There are many ways to flavor burfi and here I have used saffron for the beautiful color and aroma it imparts.

    How to make Burfi?

    Traditionally burfi is made with khoya or mawa which are basically milk solids that have been separated after cooking the milk long enough so that its moisture evaporates. If you are not able to find good quality mawa, the same milky and creamy burfi can be made with milk powder.

    How to make eggless brownies?

    Brownies are usually made with eggs which impart them a unique gooeiness while taking care of the structure while they bake. However, by making a few swaps, brownies can be easily made eggless and they still taste indulgent, rich, dense and chewy. This one bowl recipe is crazy easy to whip up . You are going to need simple ingredients like butter, sugar, yogurt, chocolate, all purpose flour, cocoa power, soda and hot water.

    Start by preparing your pan and preheating the oven. While the oven is heating, you can melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Once the melted chocolate has cooled down slightly, its time to mix everything together, add to the baking dish and bake. While the brownies bake – make the burfi layer and save time.

    Few tips to keep in mind when making these bites :-

    1. Line the baking pan with parchment paper with an overhang. This is super important because this will help you to lift the whole thing without sticking.
    2. Let the brownie layer cool down before adding the burfi layer. Prepare the burfi layer accordingly so that it doesn’t dry out either. I usually start working on the burfi layer about 10 minutes after pitting the brownies in the oven.
    3. Don’t mix the brownie batter too much.
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    Brownie Burfi Bites

    A fun indian fusion dessert made with eggless brownie layer topped with a layer of creamy kesar (saffron) scented burfi (indian mithai). Chocolatey, milky and fudge with hints of saffron, this is one divine dessert to make on festivals or anytime and enjoy! 
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American, Indian
    Servings: 12 servings

    Ingredients

    For the Eggless Brownie Layer

    • 8 tbsp butter
    • 130 g dark cooking chocolate (70%), chopped
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/3 cup hot water
    • 1 cup white granulated sugar
    • 1/3 tsp cardamom
    • 1/3 cup thick plain yogurt, full fat
    • 3/4 cup +2 tbsp all purpose flour
    • 3 tbsp cornstarch
    • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

    For the Burfi Layer

    • 12-15 strands saffron, grind with a pinch of sugar in a mortar pestle
    • 1 tbsp warm milk
    • 1/4 cup +1 tbsp ghee, melted
    • 3/4 cup whole milk
    • 2.5 cup milk powder, I use Nido brand
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • Sliced pistachios to garnish

    Instructions

    Brownie Layer

    • Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8 inch square baking dish with parchment or wax paper with an overhang.
    • In a heat proof bowl, add the butter, chocolate and cocoa powder. Place the bowl on a boiling pot of water making sure that the bottom of bowl is not touching the water. In about a minute you will see that the butter and chocolate start to melt, using a spatula stir gently a few times to mix. In about 4-5 minutes you will see that everything as melted, if some lumps of chocolate remain, they will melt in the residual heat. Take off the stove and set aside to cool.
    • In another large mixing bowl, add the sugar along with hot water. Using a whisk, combine so that the sugar is dissolved. Add the chocolate mix and whisk well to make a runny smooth mixture. Don'tmix a lot as the chocolate might start thickening.
    • Add the cardamom powder and yogurt next, and whisk to combine until smooth.
    • Place a sieve/colander over the bowl and sift the flour and cornstarch over the wet ingredients.
    • Very gently with the help of a spatula, mix everything together until the whole mixture is wet and you cannot see any white specks. Fold in the chocolate chips.
    • Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until you see a crust forming at the top. If you insert a skewer, it should not come out clean but should have wet batter stuck on it either.
    • Allow the baked brownie layer to cool completely(about 20-25 minutes). Don't take out from the baking dish. Proceed to the burfi layer below.

    Burfil Layer (Make while the brownies are baking)

    • Soak the saffron in warm milk. Let stand.
    • Take a heavy bottom wide kadai (non stick is better) and add ghee, sugar, milk powder and milk to it. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix everything to form a milky slurry.
    • Place the kadai on low medium heat and begin cooking the mixture. Stir continuously that no lumps are formed and the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the kadai.
    • After about 5-6 minutes you will see that the milk mixture will start thickening. Continue to cook on low heat with regular stirring. At about 10 minutes, you will see that the mixture starts clumping around the spatula or wooden spoon and you will be able to fold it over itself. Also, t won't stick to the kadai at all.
    • Add the saffron mix to the mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes, so that the mixture is very well scented with saffron. Don't cook too long else the burfi will be dry.
    • Take off the stove, wait for 2-3 minutes and while still warm add the burfi mixture on top of the brownie mixture. Using a spatula smoothen and spread it out to have uniform thickness as well as cover the entire surface of the brownie layer.
    • Once smooth, press down the pistachios on the burfi top. Allow to set for 2-3 hours.
    • Carefully, lift the brownie out of the baking dish. It will be heavy. Using a sharp knife cut into desired size shape. Enjoy!
    • Store in fridge upto 5 days.
    Indian Mithai & Desserts

    Gajar (Carrot) Ladoo

    Soft and mildly sweet, melt in the mouth ladoos made with shredded carrots and stuffed with nuts and mawa. These ladoos are easy to make and need just a few ingredients. Ladoo are sweet dumplings which are a very popular sweet (mithai) in India. Ladoos are made with variety of grains, nuts, fruits, flour, ghee and sweetened with sugar, jaggery, dates etc, they are flavored with cardamom, saffron or rose water. There are number of ways in which ladoos can be made and they are a must on festivals.

    These gajar (carrot) ladoos are made with fresh grated carrots, ghee, sugar, coconut and mawa.These are gluten and grain free and can be easily made nut free. Since the carrots are naturally sweet, I did not need add a lot of sugar. This a small batch recipe which makes about 6 to 8 ladoos depending on how big you roll them. Mithai made with gajar(carrots) is a huge hit with my kids since they both love carrots. The aroma of fresh ground cardamom and ghee is aroma of festivals for me.

    This recipe is quite similar to how gajar ka halwa is made in north indian homes. Gajar halwa is a dessert made with grated carrots and its absolutely delightful when made the traditional slow cooked way. However, these ladoos do not take that long. They come together much faster. You can also make them without the mawa stuffing, they are still quite delicious.

    How to make carrot ladoos?

    Step 1 :- We will start by grating the carrots. Use a box grater or any grater that you normally use in your kitchen and use the side which will result in thin & small carrot shreds.This is important for the soft texture of the ladoos. And it shortens the cooking time as well.

    Step 2: Once the carrots are cooked in whole milk or half and half we are going to add desiccated coconut and sugar. As soon as sugar is added you will notice that the carrot mixture becomes loose like a slurry. This is because of the moisture of the sugar. However don’t worry, it cooks out fast.

    Step 3: At the last, once the carrot sugar mixture has dried out, we are going to saute it with ghee and mix in the milk powder (or add grated fresh mawa). Once the mixture is cool, roll ladoos by stuffing mawa in them.

    Here are a few things to keep in mind:-

    • Use organic carrots and peel them. Select in season carrots for naturally added sweetness.
    • The recipe uses 1/3 cup sugar and these ladoos were mildly sweet. You can add upto 1/2 cup sugar but remember in that case you will have to cook the carrots a little longer for the moisture to dry out.
    • Don’t use non fat milk powder. Use whole milk powder if possible. I used Nido brand.
    • You can add more ghee if you want. I added total 5 tablespoons up but it can go up to 7 tablespoons.
    • You can flavor the mawa with saffron, this will make the stuffing nice yellow color.
    • These ladoos are pretty easy to make and take about 45 minutes total start to finish.
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    Gajar (Carrot) Ladoo

    These gajar (carrot) ladoos are made with fresh grated carrots, ghee, sugar, coconut and stuffed with mawa.These are gluten and grain free and can be easily made nut free. 
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time35 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Indian
    Servings: 8 ladoos

    Ingredients

    For the ladoo

    • 1 cup thinly grated carrots, tightly packed (about 3-5 carrots)
    • 5 tbsp melted ghee, divided
    • 1/2 cup half & half (or whole milk)
    • 1/3 cup dried dessicated coconut
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup milk powder
    • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom powder

    For the Mawa stuffing

    • 1/2 cup mawa
    • 1-2 tbsp chopped pistachios
    • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
    • 1 tbsp sugar

    Instructions

    • Heat up 2 tbsp ghee in a heavy pan or kadhai. On low medium heat, add the grated carrots to ghee. Saute the carrots stirring continously for 3-4 minutes till they are shiny.
    • Add the half and half (or milk) next and mix to combine with the carrots. When you see that the milk is bubbling, reduce heat to low and cover. Let the carrots cook covered for about 7 minutes.
    • In the mean time, you can mix the mawa for the stuffing. If your mawa is a solid block, just warm it up lightly in another pan until soft. Transfer to a plate and once little cool, mix in the cardamom, pistachios and sugar. Set aside.
    • Uncover the carrots, they would be soft by now and you will see that the liquid has almost evaporated and carrots are little sticky but cooked through.
    • Add the sugar and coconut to the carrots and mix. You will see that again there will be liquid in the kadai. Keep sauteeing for another 5-6 minutes stirring regularly until all the mositure has evaporated.
    • Add the 2 tbsp ghee next along with the milk powder. Mix and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes till you see that the mixture starts to clump around the mixing spoon. You should be able to fold it over itself.
    • Remove from heat. Transfer carrot mixture to a plate and mix the cardamom. Let sit and cool down.
    • When the mixture is cool enough to touch, spread som ghee in your palm and take a lime size portion of the carrot mix. Flatten it on the palm of your hand and in the center, spoon over 1/2 tbsp or the mawa mixture that we made.
    • Bring the carrot mixtue together to cover and encase the mawa mixture and roll the ladoo between your palms to make a smooth round.
    • Repeat till all the carrot mix is exhausted. Ladoos are ready, decorate as you wish.
    • Store refrigerated for 4-5 days.
    Indian Mithai & Desserts

    Lavender Malai Peda

    Malai peda is an Indian sweet made with solidified milk, whole milk, sugar and flavors like cardamom or saffron. Its super creamy and melt in the mouth. The ingredient list for malai peda is simple but traditional method requires long hours of cooking down the milk, scrapping and boiling till the milk solids are separated, which are then sweetened and rolled into small flat discs (peda).

    Here in this recipe, I have simplified the process by using milk powder. The paste of milk powder, blanched almond powder and whole milk when cooked for a few minutes turns thick like mawa or khoya and eliminated the traditional long process of turning the milk into mawa. You can flavor these with cardamom but I used a few pinches of lavender and aloud extract for a unique flavor profile.

    It does not taste like soap. Pedas have a mild floral hint and they are simply melt in the mouth. Lavender is a strong scent and you need to be careful when using it, for example here I used just 2 pinches of ground food grade lavender for its scent. The combination of lavender and milkiness of peda is simply divine. Food color is totally optional.

    Here are a few things to be kept in mind :-

    1. Choose a full fat milk powder. I use Nido brand, its easily available in Indian stores and has 28% milk fat. If your milk powder is tasty, pedas will be tasty.
    2. Use full fat milk. And good quality ghee. When a recipe has few ingredients, the quality of ingredients is even more important.
    3. I use store bought fine ground almond powder by the brand Blue Diamond. However if you are grinding at home, soak the almonds for 4-6 hours and peel the skin. Let the almonds completely dry overnight before grinding them fine. You can use raw cashew powder instead of almonds if you want.
    4. Be careful when using lavender. Depending on the brand you use, it might have a strong or mild scent. The one that I used had a very strong scent so I just used 2 pinches. Also don’t add a lot since these dried flowers are bitter and will spoil your peda. Almond extract pushes the almond flavor and I like to add a drop of pure extract .
    5. Use powdered sugar instead of boora or plain ground sugar. Powdered or confectioners sugar has little corn starch mixed in which makes the texture fudge and smooth.

    This is a small batch recipe and makes 8-10 peda of good size (about 30 g each). These peda keep good for 2-3 days in the fridge and you can freeze them for 3 weeks. Let thaw before serving, don’t warm in microwave.

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    5 from 1 vote

    Lavender Malai Peda

    Malai peda is an Indian sweet made with solidified milk, whole milk, ghee, sugar and flavored with lavender. Peda is creamy and melt in the mouth and perfect for festivals.
    Prep Time5 mins
    Cook Time15 mins
    20 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Indian
    Servings: 8 pedas

    Ingredients

    • 1.5 tbsp melted ghee
    • 1.5 cup milk powder
    • 3/4 cup whole milk
    • 1/3 cup fine almond powder
    • 1/3 tsp good quality dried lavender flowers, grind to a fine powder in mortar pestle
    • 1 drop pure almond extract
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 drop purple gel food color ,optional

    Instructions

    • In a medium bowl, add the ghee, milk powder, milk and almond powder. Using a spoon or whisk, mix togther till a smooth mix is formed. It will be slightly thick and pourable runny.
    • Pour the mixture in a non stick pan (I use my 10 inch pan) and set it on a low medium stove.
    • Start cooking and stirring. Dont walk away. You will see that mixture will start to become thick. After about 2 minutes it will be pasty and sticky.
    • Keep stirring and scraping the sides till it becomes a thick mass and starts clumping around the spoon. Once that happens, dont stir a lot else pedas will become chewy. When the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan, its ready. Takes about 4-6 minutes.
    • Take out in a bowl and let cool down slightly.
    • Only when the mixture is cooler to touch(but not cold), add the almond extract, ground lavender and sugar. Using your hands, mix everything together. Add food color(if using) and knead to mix evenly.
    • Divide into 8-10 portions. Smear some ghee on your palms and roll each portion into a smooth ball. Press the ball slightly to flatten it to resemble traditional peda shape. Repeat for all portions.
    • Store in fridge upto 2-3 days. These can be frozen upto 3 weeks, thaw before serving(do not microwave).

    Notes

    1. Choose a full fat milk powder. I use Nido brand, its easily available in Indian stores and has 28% milk fat. If your milk powder is tasty, pedas will be tasty.
    2. Use full fat milk. And good quality ghee. When a recipe has few ingredients, the quality of ingredients is even more important.
    3. I use store bought fine ground almond powder by the brand Blue Diamond. However if you are grinding at home, soak the almonds for 4-6 hours and peel the skin. Let the almonds completely dry overnight before grinding them fine. You can use raw cashew powder instead of almonds if you want.
    4. Be careful when using lavender. Depending on the brand you use, it might have a strong or mild scent. The one that I used had a very strong scent so I just used 2-3 pinches. Also don’t add a lot since these dried flowers are bitter and will spoil your peda. Almond extract pushes the almond flavor and I like to add a drop.
    5. Use powdered sugar instead of boora or plain ground sugar. Powdered or confectioners sugar has little corn starch mixed in which makes the texture fudge and smooth.
    6. These peda keep good for 2-3 days in the fridge and you can freeze them for 3 weeks. Let thaw before serving, don’t warm in microwave.
    Indian Mithai & Desserts

    Kheer- Indian Rice Pudding

    Kheer is popular dessert from north indian cuisine. It’s simple to make, comforting, creamy and rich and needs few basic ingredients to make for a perfect dessert anytime you crave something sweet.
    Rice kheer is a traditional North Indian rice pudding made with fragrant basmati rice, sugar, full fat milk and cardamom. You can also flavor it with saffron or rose water if you like. Kheer is a treat perfect for celebrations and festivals. There are a many ways of making kheer all across India differing from home to home and cook to cook. From the consistency of kheer to how its its sweetened to the choice of nuts, it is a dessert which can be personalized to taste and one’s preferences.

    I used to be the helper whenever kheer was cooked in our house. Kheer was slow cooked and I was given the responsibility of stirring it. Kheer needs a lot of stirring, compare it to the process of making a risotto but with three times the time needed. It is a very therapeutic process for me.

    Perfectly cooked kheer is creamy and luscious without use of any heavy cream, condensed milk or cornstarch. The idea is to slowly cook the rice in full fat milk, as the rice cooks, the grains break down and the rice starches dissolve in milk, which combined with the fat of milk result in a smooth creamy kheer. A well made kheer needs time and patience- it is best slow cooked and really even though there are many recipes floating around to make it in instant pot and what not, the taste is no comparison. Pick up a slow afternoon and after an hour and a half you will have a pot of deliciousness ready to go.

    Keep the following things in mind when you make kheer :-

    1. Always choose a heavy pot with a wide mouth. Heavy pot makes sure that the milk won’t burn and the temperature of the milk is maintained perfectly. You can use a cast iron pot, a stainless steel pot or your dutch oven.
    2. Always rinse the pot before adding the milk. Don’t wipe after the rinse, you will notice that the milk or rice will never stick to the bottom of the pot.
    3. Rice Quality :- Use good quality basmati rice which is not very new, old basmati rice has a nicer aroma and the starches are robust. You can use brown rice as well, make sure to choose brown basmati rice. Even fragrant short grain like jasmine also work great in this recipe.
    4. Milk Quality:- Use full fat milk. This is how traditionally kheer is made. There is no khoya or evaporated milk or condensed milk needed, if you use whole milk, it will reduce during slow cooking and as the rice cooks in it, the thick consistency will be achieved.
    5. Sweetener :- Use sugar, jaggery or even condensed milk, coconut sugar or honey, however you would like to sweeten it. There is no hard or fast rule here but keep in mind that the taste of the kheer will be different depending on the sweetener. Traditionally sugar is used, but my husband likes the taste of jaggery so I use that. See point 9.
    6. Always soak the rice before cooking. This ensures even cooking of rice.
    7. We like creamy, thick kheer so the cooking times indicated in the recipe are as per that. Cook a little less longer if you like a runny kheer. As i said before, this recipe can be used as per your preference.
    8. How long it can be kept? :- Rice kheer keeps good for 2-3 days in the fridge. You can reheat on a stove before serving.
    9. Thickness of Kheer :- The more you stir and cook down or reduce the kheer, the thicker it gets. After the kheer has cooked, once you add sugar or jaggery or condensed milk, you will notice that the consistency of kheer will become thin again.The remedy for this is to return the kheer to the stove and again cook for about 10 minutes or so after adding the sugar and condensed milk. However, cooking again is not possible if you are using jagger. So, make sure that the kheer os cooked to a rich thicker consistency to start with.
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    5 from 1 vote

    Rice Kheer – North Indian Rice Pudding

    Traditional rice kheer (pudding) recipe made with full fat milk, basmati rice, jaggery (or sugar) and scented with green cardamom.
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time1 hr
    Total Time1 hr 30 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Indian
    Servings: 5

    Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup basmati rice
    • 4 cups full fat milk
    • 8 whole green cardamom pods
    • 1/2 cup mixed nuts of choice
    • 1/2 cup jaggery powder (can be reduced to 1/3 cup) , see notes for other sweeteners

    Instructions

    • Wash rice 2-3 times under a stream of water until the water runs clear. Add enough water to cover the rice and let soak for 30 minutes. This helps in even cooking of rice.
    • Rinse a wide and heavy pot with water. Dont wipe the water. Add milk and green cardamom to the pot. Set the milk pot on a low medium stove to boil.
    • In the mean time warm ghee in a pan and lightly toast the nuts in it. You can deep fry nuts in more ghee if you wish. Transfer to a plate and set aside. You can chop them as small or big as you like once they cool down.
    • When you see that the milk is starting to boil, drain and add the soaked rice to the milk. Immediately start stirring else the rice will stick to the bottom of the pot.
    • Now let the rice cook in milk for the next 45 minutes or so. Keep the stove on low medium and keep on stirring the milk often and scraping the sides and mixing with milk as needed.
    • Slowly the rice will cook and break down into small pieces and the kheer with start becoming thick.
    • By the end of 45 minutes you will see that the kheer is thick, the milk and rice are not seperate and it resembles a thick custard. If you like a runny kheer, cook for about 35 minutes. You decide how much to reduce the milk depending on the consistency you like.
    • Take off the stove and let cool down a bit. Once a little cool, add the jaggery powder and mix in. Dont cook after you have added the jaggery powder else the kheer will curdle.
    • You can pick and discard the cardamom seeds at the end of cooking. If you like a stronger cardamom taste, add 1/4 tsp ground cardamom powder. 
    • If you want to serve warm, garnish with nuts and serve rightaway. Else chill for a few hours and serve.

    Notes

    • Always choose a heavy pot with a wide mouth. Heavy pot makes sure that the milk won’t burn and the temperature of the milk is maintained perfectly. You can use a cast iron pot, a stainless steel pot or your dutch oven.
    • Always rinse the pot before adding the milk. Don’t wipe after the rinse, you will notice that the milk or rice will never stick to the bottom of the pot.
    • Rice Quality :- Use good quality basmati rice which is not very new, old basmati rice has a nicer aroma and the starches are robust. You can use brown rice as well, make sure to choose brown basmati rice. Even fragrant short grain like jasmine also work great in this recipe.
    • Milk Quality:- Use full fat milk. This is how traditionally kheer is made. There is no khoya or evaporated milk or condensed milk needed, if you use whole milk, it will reduce during slow cooking and as the rice cooks in it, the thick consistency will be achieved.
    • Sweetener :- Use sugar, jaggery or even condensed milk, coconut sugar or honey, however you would like to sweeten it. There is no hard or fast rule here but keep in mind that the taste of the kheer will be different depending on the sweetener. Traditionally sugar is used, but my husband likes the taste of jaggery so I use that. See point 9.
    • Always soak the rice before cooking. This ensures even cooking of rice.
    • We like creamy, thick kheer so the cooking times indicated in the recipe are as per that. Cook a little less longer if you like a runny kheer. As i said before, this recipe can be used as per your preference.
    • How long it can be kept? :- Rice kheer keeps good for 2-3 days in the fridge. You can reheat on a stove before serving.
    • Thickness of Kheer :- The more you stir and cook down or reduce the kheer, the thicker it gets. After the kheer has cooked, once you add sugar or jaggery or condensed milk, you will notice that the kheer will become thin consistency again.The remedy for this is to return the kheer to the stove and again cook for about 10 minutes or so after adding the sugar and condensed milk. However, cooking again is not possible if you are using jaggery. So, make sure that the kheer is cooked to a rich thicker consistency to start with so that way it won’t be too runny after mixing with jaggery. 
    • Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar instead of jaggery. If using condensed milk, add 1/2 to 3/4th of a 400g tin. 
    Indian Mithai & Desserts

    Masala Chai Icecream

    This homemade creamy ice cream tastes just like masala chai. It is super easy, needs 4-5 ingredients and is eggless! You dont need to make a custard or churn it, it comes together fast!

    I am not that big a fan of ice creams but that changes when there is caffeine element in there- coffee, matcha, chai, you get the idea.The bitter sweet note added by coffee or tea really really makes ice cream interesting for me.Those are my most favorite ice cream flavors.

    This recipe is so simple. You start by brewing some chai in half and half (or whole milk, see recipe), mix it with heavy cream, chai masala, condensed milk and freeze it overnight. Really it barely takes 20 minutes! Once frozen, scoop it out, top with some nuts if you like and enjoy!

    Here are a few things to be kept in mind:-

    • You can use decaffeinated black tea leaves if you are worried about the caffeine content in this ice cream.
    • Do not replace the condensed milk with sugar in this recipe, since we are not using a custard base, it won’t be creamy otherwise. Condensed milk makes it smooth and milky.
    • Grind a fresh chai masala for the best taste of spices. I liked to go heavy on sweet spices like cinnamon, cardamom and fennel since its a dessert. You can add spices as per your preference.
    • Let the tea leaves/tea bags brew for atleast 10-15 minutes for a strong nice chai taste.
    • Chill the ice cream base for 2 hours before freezing it. Freeze overnight.
    • You can enjoy the ice cream right away or store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two weeks.
    • Jazz up your ice cream by adding nuts, butter scotch chips or caramel.
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    Masala Chai Ice Cream

    Creamy and delicous eggless ice cream which tastes like a cup of masala chai. Its super easy and tastes luscious!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time15 mins
    Total Time8 hrs 25 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Indian
    Servings: 4 cups

    Ingredients

    • 1.5 cup Half and Half (use whole milk instead, see notes)
    • 1 tsp minced ginger
    • 5 orange pekoe unflavored black tea bags
    • 2 cup heavy cream
    • 1 can (14oz/400g) sweetened condensed milk
    • 1-2 tsp chai masala (recipe below) , adjust quantity as you like

    Chai Masala (makes extra)

    • 20 green cardamom
    • 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
    • 10-12 black peppercorns
    • 2 inch cinnamon stick
    • 1-2 cloves, optional

    Instructions

    • Add the half and half to a sauce pan and heat it up on high till you see small bubbles on the side of the pot. Do not let boil. Switch off the stove and add ginger and tea bags to the hot half and half. Let stand and infuse for 15 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, add all the spices listed under chai masala to a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. You will get extra masala which you can store for your chai.
    • Once the tea bags have infused, pick them up and squeeze using tongs to release all the flavor and liquid. Discard the bags.
    • Strain the the half and half into a large bowl. Add the heavy cream, condensed milk and chai masala to it. Using a whisk mix very well to combine. This concoction is very delicious and hold your self from not drinking it 🙂
    • Once mixed chill the ice cream base for 2 hours. Then, transfer to a glass container, cover with a foil or lid and freeze overnight.
    • Allow to stand on the counter for about 6-8 minutes before scooping. Enjoy!

    Notes

     
    • You can use whole milk instead of half and half in this recipe. Use 1 cup milk and 2.5 cups heavy cream in that case. Rest everything remains same. 
    • You can use decaffeinated black tea leaves if you are worried about the caffeine content in this ice cream.
    • Do not replace the condensed milk with sugar in this recipe, since we are not using a custard base, it won’t be creamy otherwise. Condensed milk makes it smooth and milky.
    • Grind a fresh chai masala for the best taste of spices. I liked to go heavy on sweet spices like cinnamon, cardamom and fennel since its a dessert. You can add spices as per your preference.
    • You can use loose tea instead of tea bags. Let the tea leaves/tea bags brew for at least 10-15 minutes for a strong chai taste.
    • Chill the ice cream base for 2 hours before freezing it. Freeze overnight.
    • You can enjoy the ice cream right away or store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two weeks.
    • Jazz up your ice cream by adding nuts, butter scotch chips or caramel.