A creamy vermicelli pudding flavoured with strawberries and cardamom.
Today is Raksha Bandhan or “RAKHI” as it is commonly called in India. This is a festival that celebrates the special bond between a brother and sister. The wonderful memories of my childhood come flooding back to mind on a day like this. One such memory is of the delectable pudding called “KHEER”, which I always craved. This rich creamy treat always helped end our day on a sweet note…
Traditionally Kheer is a South Asian pudding made by boiling rice with milk and sugar. Rice can also be substituted with vermicelli pasta or tapioca. The mixture is then flavored with cardamom and then garnished with raisins, cashew nuts, pistachios or almonds. Kheer is usually prepared during festivals and other special occasions.
And it was the festival of Rakhi that got me hooked on to this delicious pudding. The rituals typically involve a brother and a sister getting together in the presence of family members, the sister then ties the Rakhi (ceremonial thread) on her brother’s wrist and prays for his well-being. In return the brother vows to protect her under all circumstances. Then comes the best part, atleast for me (chuckles). The sister then feeds the brother sweets (one day my sister made kheer for me and things were never the same).
So to celebrate the occasion I decided to make this pudding but with a twist. I wanted to infuse the flavor of fresh strawberries throughout the pudding. To do so I made my own strawberry syrup but it can be easily substituted with store bought strawberry syrup. This luscious roasted vermicelli and strawberry pudding (kheer) is easy to make and is the perfect complement to any meal.
Making the strawberry syrup at home simply means you have to wait a little more time to get your hands on this delicious pudding. But don’t worry it is totally worth it. Simply mash the strawberries and pour them in a saucepan. Add a little water and cook till the mixture thickens and the berries break down completely. Cool the mixture completely and strain to remove all the seeds.
For the Kheer roast the cashews and raisins in ghee/clarified butter. Remove and set aside. In a saucepan add the ghee/claarified butter and roast the vermicelli in it. Then pour in the milk and let it come to a boil. Reduce heat and cook till the mixture thickens. Add in the sugar, cardamom powder and the roasted nuts.
After it cools down to room temperature, mix in the strawberry syrup and chill in the refrigerator. Garnish with strawberries before serving.
- 2 cups Broken Vermicelli Pasta
- 3 cups Strawberries
- 800 ml Milk
- 4 tbsp Sugar (or as needed)
- 2 tbsp Clarified Butter / Ghee
- 2 tsp Cardamom Powder
- Cashews & Raisins ½ cup (or your choice of nuts
- Wash strawberries, remove the stems, slice and place them in a bowl.
- Mash the berries with a potato masher to get the juices going and then pour them in a saucepan.
- Add a little water and get the mixture to a boil. Cook till the mixture begins to thicken.
- Keep cooking till the berries are completely broken down. About 10-15 mins.
- Remove from heat and cool.
- Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard the seeds.
- In a nonstick pan add ghee and roast the cashews and raisins in it. Remove and drain on absorbent paper and set aside.
- Heat ghee in a saucepan, add the vermicelli and roast till it becomes golden brown.
- Add milk and let it come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and keep cooking till mixtures thickens.
- Mix in the sugar and cardamom powder.
- Then add the roasted cashews and raisins.
- Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Pour the strawberry syrup into kheer and mix.
- Chill in a refrigerator. Garnish with strawberries before serving.