Sesame Rice Pudding/ Til aur Chawal ki Kheer

Sesame Rice Pudding/ Til aur Chawal ki Kheer

Wishing you all a very happy Makar Sankranti!!
Makar Sankranti is one of the most popular Hindu festivals, and also the first festival of the New Year. Makar Sankranti is a festival dedicated to the Sun god. It marks the transition of Sun into the zodiac sign Capricorn (known as ‘Makar rashi’ in Hindi) and this transition is called as Sankranti. Unlike other Hindu festivals, Makar Sankranti is celebrated on a fixed date every year, i.e. January 14th.
 
 
The festival is known with different names in different parts of the country. It is celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Lohri in Punjab, Uttarayan in Gujrat, Bhogali Bihu in Assam and Poush Sangkranti in West Bengal. 
Each region might have distinct rituals and unique festivities but the common thread across the country is a spread of delicious food that pays homage to the season and its bounty. The day holds special importance for spiritual practices and accordingly, people take a holy dip in rivers, especially Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri. 
 
 
 
 
 
The day is celebrated by flying kites, preparing and distributing sweets made of sesame seeds and meeting and greeting the dear ones. 
As the festival is round the corner I thought of sharing this very unique and delicious dessert with you all.
 
 
Nothing can uplift your mood and soul more than desserts in this world. 
I need to have a sweet bowl if I have gone through a bad day (and also to celebrate a good day), to celebrate weather (yes, you read it right, we Dubaiites crave for good pleasant weather and do celebrate cool days), or to celebrate success, or just to see happy smiles on my family’s faces, desserts are always there.
 
 
 
There are some very unusual combinations which we never think of but when combined together they are like a match made in heaven. Same goes for this very unusual combo of sesame seeds with rice and that too in kheer form. Rice kheer is a regular feature at my home and I have also made Sesame seeds kheer a few times. My experimental mind pushed me to try out this unusual combination and the result were the empty bowls and grinning faces!!
Do give it a try. It’s very unusual but a very flavorful dessert.
 
Sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops known, domesticated well over 3000 years ago. Sesame is highly tolerant to drought like conditions, and grows where other crops may fail.

Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed. With a rich nutty flavor, it is a common ingredient in cuisines across the world.
Flavorful, crunchy sesame seeds are widely considered healthy foods. 100 g of seeds carry 573 calories and about 18gms of protein. Although much of its calorie content comes from fats, sesame contains several notable health-benefiting nutrients, such as minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for wellness.
The seeds are also very valuable sources of dietary protein with fine quality amino acids that are essential for growth, especially in children.
The seeds are incredibly rich sources of many essential minerals. Calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper are especially concentrated in sesame seeds. Many of these minerals have a vital role in bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, hormone production, as well as regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.

Enough of my preaching on sesame ;) Let’s dig into these yummy bowls, but first have a look at the recipe.
 
 

INGREDIENTS:

Milk- 1 litre full fat
Basmati rice- 1/4th cup
Sesame seeds- 1/4th cup
Sugar- 1 cup (or as required)
Cardamom(elaichi) powder- ½ tsp
Almonds- 15-20 (slivered)
Cashews- 12-15 (slivered)
Pistachios- 12-15 (slivered)
Rose water- 2 tbsp
Dried Rose Petals- 2 tbsp (for garnishing)
Few strand of Saffron/kesar(dissolved in 2tbsp warm milk)


INSTRUCTIONS:

Dry roast sesame seeds till golden brown.
Let them come to room temperature and then grind them.

Rinse the rice till the water runs clears of the starch.
Soak the rice in enough water for 15-20 mins.

Meanwhile heat milk in a heavy bottomed pan and let it come to a boil (not rolling boil). Reduce the flame to the lowest.

Drain the rice. Add washed rice in the Milk.

Stir the milk and let the rice grains cook.
Keep scraping the sides of the pan and add this dried milk into the pan.
After about 15-20 minutes when rice are almost done add in the grounded sesame seeds.
Stir well.
Cook them for 15-20 minutes more.
By this time consistency will also be thickened.

Add Sugar and mix well.
After adding sugar it is important to keep stirring continuously otherwise sugar will caramelize and can get burnt and stick to the bottom of the pan.
It'll take about 15-20 mins more for the sugar to get completely incorporated.
And the Kheer will be thickened now.

Add Cardamom powder, all Nuts (reserve some for garnishing), Rose water and saffron.
Give it a good mix.

Switch off the flame.
Garnish with dried Rose petals and slivered nuts.

You can serve the Rice Kheer, hot or warm or chilled.
Enjoy the yummy treat!!
 
 


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