Friday, October 16, 2009

Diwali is in the Air

The festival frenzy finally caught up with us. We enrolled Anya in language and culture class this year. So, the first weekend this month she came all abuzz with stories of Diwali that her teacher told her. She had a zillion questions, which I had to google to provide the answers! And the excitement caught on. We accepted a flurry of Diwali get-together invitations from friends just so A could get a feel of the festival this time. One of the invitations we went to came from her culture class teacher. For this pooja gathering, we had to bring a Diwali crafts activity, some Diyas and a traditional Diwali dish from our part of India. So, A and I sat together and made this simple rangoli with crafts sand. I drew it for her and she glued the sand down. A bit tacky, but not bad for the first attempt by a 7 yr old, huh! I was going to send this to the Kids delight Event, but am too late now. Wish I could have done this post a day earlier...sigh! Anyhow, we had the rangoli and diya, and then I had to think of a dish to take to the potluck. And as always, I was running late at work. The quickest dish I could think of was Kheer. In our household, makhane (lotus seeds) are thought to bring prosperity and are key ingredients in the kheer made during Diwali. So that's what I made.

Makhane aur Chawal ki Kheer

Makhane 2 fistfuls
Rice 1 katori
Half 'n half 1 pint
Milk 1/2 liter
Sugar 1 1/2 katori, or to taste
Cashews, slivered almonds and raisins to garnish
A few strands of saffron
Green Cardamom 2
fresh crushed Chironjee 2 tbsp
ghee 3tbsp
  1. Soak the saffron in about 1 tbsp milk. Wash and soak the raisins in water.
  2. Wash and soak the rice while you are working on the next step!
  3. Warm 1 tbsp ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and roast the makhane over low flame. They should turn slightly brownish, but not burn.
  4. Add the washed rice and milk and cook till the rice is done. Usually takes about 20-30 min. You can also pressure cook to 1 whistle.
  5. Add the half 'n half and sugar and simmer over low heat for another 10 min.
  6. In another pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee, and fry the cashews. Add these to kheer while it is simmering. Also drain and add the raisins.
  7. In the last 5 min, add the soaked saffron strands and almonds.
  8. Finally fry the chironjee seeds in 1 tbsp ghee and mix these with the kheer just before serving. You can 1-2 drops of rose water or kewra in the serving dishes.
Enjoy! And Happy Diwali!
Linking this to MMK-Indian Mithai Mela @ Kalyani's