“Absolutely eat dessert first. The thing that you want to do the most, do that.” – Joss Whedon Sweet Coconut Rice – An Ambrosial dessert made with basmati rice, grated coconut and a hint of aromatic cloves, cardamom, and saffron! Sweet Coconut Rice, also known as “Narali Bhath” is a traditional Maharashtrian recipe cooked especially on “Narali Poornima” which a full moon day during the auspicious month of Shravan. Continue reading “Sweet Coconut Rice – Instant Pot”
I am so excited to share a 5-ingredient dessert recipe today – THIS Coconut Mango Burfi tastes heavenly!
A simple dessert that is SO fragrant and flavorful with the rich and moist textures from the coconut!
We are in the midst of a beautiful summer here in the northeast. Boys are out of school, Mom is visiting from India and our schedules are pretty relaxed. I am learning a lot of new recipes and techniques from my Mom. Between the two of us, we are cooking on most days. With lots of family and friends visiting, we are so excited to have all the company to share the yummy foods with.
This kind of laid-back summer takes me back to my childhood memories of growing up in India. In a small town in India, our home facing a beautiful park and our family constantly between family and friends. I have most vivid memories of Indian summers and the mango season. Boxes and boxes full of ripe, sweet and full flavored Alphonso mangoes that we would devour. My mom would make delicious sweets with the mangoes and my favorite is the Coconut Mango Burfi or fudge.
All these years I never tried making it myself. The last few weeks that mom is with me, she has made these incredibly delicious coconut mango burfi twice for us. I think it is high time I learn how to make them and share the goodness with everyone.
It takes only 5 ingredients and 30-minutes or less to whip up a batch of these delicacies. The key is to constantly stir and watch the process as the textures change and making sure that it cooks evenly. When it is almost cooked, it releases fats from the coconut and the milk which makes the mixture look shiny and dense. The color will change from light yellow to orange. Lower the heat for the last 5 minutes to avoid it from getting scorched. All these tips are courtesy MOM!
- 2 cups fresh grated coconut, (frozen works well)
- 2 cups milk (full fat)
- 1 cup mango pulp (tinned works well, preferably made with Alphonso mangoes)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon of saffron
- sliced nuts for garnish (optional)
- Take a large heavy bottomed or a non-stick pan. Put it on medium-high heat. Add coconut, milk, mango pulp and sugar. Mix well.
- Keep stirring continuously for about 15 mins.
- The mixture will start to thicken and may stick to the pan. Keep scraping it off the pan and mix. Make sure the mixture is thickening without burning. The color should slowly deepen from yellow to orange.
- Add half of the saffron. Mix well and cook for another 5 mins.
- Lower the heat to medium-low as the bottom starts to brown and the mixture starts to form a ball. Cook for another 5 mins.
- Turn the heat off. Take the mixture out in a greased pan or a parchment lined tray. Press evenly with the back of a spatula ( a silicone spatula works well).
- Make half an inch thick layer by tightly pressing the mixture down and sideways to form a square.
- Garnish with more saffron, nuts. Cut into squares big or small, allow to chill and enjoy! If they happen to last for more than a day(which is rare) keep refrigerated.
Sweet Potato Halwa – A delicately flavored, lightly sweetened dish with melt-in-mouth textures and aromatics from cardamom and saffron.
This right here sounds like our family when it comes to food-
“I could have killed you.” “Or I could have killed you,” Percy said. Jason shrugged. “If there’d been an ocean in Kansas, maybe.” “I don’t need an ocean—” “Boys,” Annabeth interrupted, “I’m sure you both would’ve been wonderful at killing each other. But right now, you need some rest.” Food first,” Percy said. “Please?” ― Rick Riordan, Continue reading “Sweet Potato Halwa- Instant Pot”
Sheer Khurma which literally means “milk with dates” in Persian, is a vermicelli pudding prepared during the holy month of Ramadan or on the last day which is celebrated as Eid by Muslims around the world. Traditionally made from dried dates this special dish is served as breakfast on the morning of Eid after the prayer, and throughout the day to all the visiting guests.
I have vivid memories of enjoying this irresistible dessert growing up in India; with its perfect bite from the assortment of crunchy nuts and poppy seeds, hint of sweetness from succulent dates and raisins, royal looks and the delicate aroma from saffron and homemade ghee; making Sheer Khurma such a heavenly treat!
I grew up in a small, yet close-knit town in India. My Dad has a huge social circle and many of his friends who celebrate Ramadan, fast from morning until sunset during this holy month. The last day which is Eid or as I remember calling it “Ramazan Eid” is a big celebration involving family, friends and the community. We would be invited over to celebrate and were offered many exquisite foods, one of which is this ambrosial dessert “Sheer Khurma”!
Here is a nice article from national geographic on how Ramadan is celebrated Around the World.
This recipe is my mom’s version that she has enjoyed over the years. There probably are several variations on making it and here is her easy sheer khurma recipe that tastes divine:
- ¼ cup pistachios
- ¼ cup cashews
- 10-12 pitted dates
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- ¼ cup Almonds (I use blanched slices)
- ¼ cup raisins
- ⅓ cup thin vermicelli, roasted
- ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 5 cups low-fat milk, divided
- ⅓ cup of sugar
- 1 tsp saffron
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Soak Pistachios in warm water for 5 mins. Remove the skin and slice thin. Slice cashews and dates.
- Turn Instant Pot to Saute Mode. Once the ‘hot’ sign displays add ghee. Add almonds, pistachios, cashews, and dates. Roast for a minute.
- Add raisins, vermicelli, coconut and poppy seeds. Mix well.
- Add 3 cups of milk, sugar, and saffron. Give a quick stir and close Instant Pot with the pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 2 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally. Open Instant Pot and add 1-2 cups of milk and vanilla.
- Set Instant Pot to sauté mode and bring to gentle boil, stirring frequently. Enjoy Sheer Khurma hot or chilled.
Rice Pudding – Lightly sweetened, creamy goodness without any cream that is infused with saffron and cardamom! In India, Rice pudding, kheer or payasam is a quintessential dessert that is made often to celebrate big and small happy moments in life.
This comforting recipe was developed on one busy evening when I was having some friends over for dinner. My planned Mango Pannacotta did not look very promising and I was in a frenzy to make something as a backup dessert. I tossed in rice, ghee, sugar, cardamom and some milk in my InstaPot, pressed porridge button and ran to get the door as the guests arrived for dinner.
An hour later, I realized that the Instant Pot was at the keep warm mode and had depressured. I opened the IP to see creamy, fluffy rice with the beautiful aroma of saffron and cardamom. I stirred in some more milk and let it sit for few more hours on warm mode until we were ready to serve the dessert. We scooped out some warm rice pudding in the bowls. At first, it looked a bit too thick for me who is used to eating much thin Rice Kheer. As I put in the first spoonful of the pudding in my mouth, it took me back the memory lane. It reminded me of my mom’s kheer with the aroma of cardamom and also the creamy kulfi (milk ice cream) with a hint of nuts and saffron. Needless to say, the dessert was devoured by all and I was left mesmerized as to how easy it was to make.
I have made it many times since then, tweaking the recipe, adjusting the ingredients to now what I call as a satisfying and easy rice pudding recipe . No eggs or cream, just a few simple ingredients that make a heavenly treat!
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- ½ cup white rice
- 4-5 cups low-fat milk, divided
- ½ cup sugar (more or less depending on taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 4 tablespoon nuts, almonds, and walnuts coarsely chopped or sliced(optional)
- 2 tablespoon raisins (optional)
- ½ teaspoon saffron (optional)
- 1 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
- Turn Instant Pot to Sauté mode. Add ghee and rice. Sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add 3 cups low-fat milk, ½ cup of water, sugar, cardamom powder, nuts, saffron, raisins, coconut, and salt.
- Close Instant Pot lid with the pressure valve to sealing. Press Porridge button. Allow Natural Pressure Release.
- Open Instant Pot, Mash the rice with the back of a spoon. Add 1-2 cups of low-fat milk (depending on the consistency you like). Add more sugar if needed.
- Cook on saute for 2-3 mins or keep on the warm mode until ready to be served.
- Serve Warm or Chilled
French Toast/Bread Pudding in Instant Pot – This weekend I discovered an amazing recipe! A delightful and moist French Toast with texture of bread pudding, which tasted heavenly. Boys were elated for breakfast plus they had additional toppings to choose from – more butter, chocolate chips, bananas, more marmalade and maple syrup! For a family that mostly eats healthy, we went all crazy this weekend. Continue reading “French Toast / Bread Pudding – Instant Pot”
Carrot Halwa, AKA ‘gajar ka halwa’, is a sweet stewed carrots dessert with a delicate aroma of cardamom and saffron!
This year we celebrated mothers day with this delicious Indian dessert cooked in the Instant Pot! The traditional carrot halwa recipes uses milk, condensed milk or evaporated milk. Since this is one of my favorite desserts and I can’t stop myself from overeating, I try to make it a little healthier. My carrot halwa recipe is almost dairy free, but I do use homemade ghee which can be substituted for vegetable oil. I substitute the milk and cream with almond milk and almond flour making it a healthier lightly sweetened dessert. Continue reading “Carrot Halwa – Instant Pot”
Mango Shrikhand – A cool and creamy mango flavored dessert made with lush creamy yogurt and sweet mangoes, garnished with aromatic saffron strands!
Here is my easiest, 5-ingredients, no-bake quinoa almond date truffles recipe that is perfect for dessert, breakfast or snack. These delicious truffles also make a perfect homemade holiday gift for your neighbors, friends and family.
These energy balls are super healthy with all wholesome ingredients, well almost all except some dark chocolate, which is my house is considered ‘healthy’. So what makes these so good for you? Well.. here are just a “few” benefits of each of the ingredients: Continue reading “Quinoa almond date truffles”
My first blog anniversary on Oct 15th.. YAY! I cannot believe it will be a year already since I started blogging. It has been a wonderful and exciting journey. Thank you to my friends Meredith Lawida and Patty Connelly for your support. I greatly appreciate your tips and advice on my posts and photography. Thank you to my cousin Shital Lakhani, who stood by my side countless days and nights while we worked through the initial challenges of blogging. She has been a great inspiration and a constant support. Thank you to all my readers for your love and support!