Carrot Kheer – for Lord Shiva

Today is Mahashivaratri. On this auspicious occasion, I wanted to prepare a sweet dish to offer to the Lord. I saw the carrots that I had just bought yesterday and remembered preparing this healthy dessert ages ago. It seemed like a perfect sweet dish for the occasion. Here is my carrot kheer served with devotion to the Lord.

Ingredients

6 carrots

4 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk ( I used Milkmaid)

A pinch of cardamom powder

Few cashews and almonds.

For me, this is how much few means 🙂

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Next…

First chop the carrots roughly. Put them into a cooker.

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Add 2 cups of milk to the carrots.Also add the cashews and almonds. Pressure cook them till they are super soft. I pressure cooked them for 3 whistles.

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Once cooked, you might find excess milk in the cooker. Save this milk separately for later use. Move the carrot, cashew and almonds to the blender/mixie jar and wait till it reaches room temperature.

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Then, make a smooth paste of the carrot, almonds and cashews along with sugar.

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In a separate pan or in the same cooker, add 2 cups of milk, the saved excess milk and milkmaid and bring it to boil.

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Once it boils, add the carrot paste and remove it from heat. Mix the milk and carrot paste slowly till they blend well.

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Add the pinch of cardamom powder(I forgot to add it… Duh!). Mix it once and enjoy the drink!

This drink can be enjoyed hot or chilled!

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Quick and Simple South Indian Lunch

For me, a yummy lunch is Rasam rice with palya and curd rice with pickle. I’m sure many will nod their heads here. You know what the best part is?!? This lunch can be cooked in 30- 35 mins. Just follow my lead and you will be serving hot and delicious meal in a short time.

I will not make a list of ingredients today, but jump straight into action. Please note the quantities mentioned here will serve 2-3 people.

Here begins the algorithm –

Step 1: Wash 1 and 1/2 cup of Sona Masoori Raw Rice in a vessel that fits inside the pressure cooker. Add 3 cups of water for 1 cup of Rice and pressure cook it for 3  whistles and after that keep it on low flame for about 5 mins. Take it off the flame and let the cool. Right after you keep the pressure cooker on the stove, go to step 2.
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Step 2: Once you keep the rice for cooking, wash 3 tbsp of Toor dal and put it directly into another cooker. You can also use a single cooker for rice and dal. I prefer to cook dal separately for no particular reason. Before closing the lid, add sufficient water and 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder. Pressure cook it on low flame for 2 whistles and take it off the heat. Let it cool.
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Step 3: Wash and peel 4 carrots. Chop them evenly.Take a few curry leaves and chop them as well. Heat a pan. Add about 1 tbsp of oil. To the heated oil, add 1 tsp of  mustard seeds and 1 tsp of Urad dal. Fry till mustard seed crackle. To this add, 2 red chillies, torn. Fry till red chillies swell and then add the curry leaves. Fry for a few seconds and add the chopped carrots. Stir it for a min. Add salt to taste and stir again. To this add sufficient water for carrot to cook. I added about 3/4 cup of water. This quantity may vary. Start with 1/2 cup if required add more at later stage. Close it with a lid and let it cook. It took roughly about 10 mins to cook.

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Step 4: Cut 1 tomato into 4 parts. Grind it along with 1 and 1/2 tsp of rasam powder to get a smooth paste. Do not add water while grinding.
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Step 5: I’m sure the cooker containing dal would have lost the pressure by now. Transfer the dal into another vessel along with the water and smash them lightly. Keep the vessel on medium heat. Bring it to boil. To this add salt according to your taste. Once it boils, add the tomato paste and boil once again. Once it boils, keep it on low flame. Add water for a watery consistency.
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Step 6: Grate about 2 tbsp of coconut. Chop a small bunch of coriander leaves to get about 2 tbsp of it. Keep a few curry leaves handy.
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Step 7: Add half the chopped coriander leaves to the rasam. Also add the curry leaves and boil for 2-3 mins. Take it off heat.
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Step 8: Add the grated coconut and remaining coriander leaves to the carrot palya. Mix them well. Carrot palya is ready.
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Step 9: The seasoning. In a small pan, heat 1 tsp of ghee. To this add 1 tsp of mustard seeds and 1 tsp of jeera (cumin seeds). Once mustard seeds crackle, add a pinch of hing. Take it off heat and add it to the rasam. That sizzling sound and the aroma of spices as the seasoning hits the rasam, is pure bliss! To preserve the aroma, immediately close it with a lid. Rasam is also ready.
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Step 10: By the now, the rice is also done. And the clock will say your time is up! Serve the lunch hot!
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I have it all place on the dinning table and ready to eat! Bon appetit!