Tuesday, 13 July 2010
"Carrots and milk? Anna, that sounds gross..." Mr Ladybird warned - and so I threw down the gauntlet (in this case, an oven mitt) and declared, "Game on!" Mr Ladybird is always rather frank is his opinions on food... so I do enjoy the challenge at times. At other times it can be a bit, well, pesky! But I could understand Mr Ladybird's hesitation. He has become somewhat of a kheer snob. There, I said it! Since I started making chaval kheer (a creamy indian rice pudding), he shuns others' versions (which is really rather sweet in a stubborn kind of way).
This recipe comes from British-Indian chef and author, Anjum Anand. I have had mixed success with her recipes in the past, but I was convinced the flavour combination would work a bit like carrot cake - sounds odd yet, somehow, it works.
1L full cream milk
250g carrots, grated
1/2 tsp green cardamom seeds, finely ground
3 - 4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chopped pistachios to garnish
2 tbsp flaked almonds (optional)
1. Heat the milk in a wide, heavy-based saucepan, stirring and scraping the base with the spoon frequently to make sure the milk does not catch and burn. Keep cooking until it reduces by about one third - this takes about 25 minutes.
2. Add the carrots and continue cooking for another 15-25 minutes or until they are soft and the milk is as thick as you like it. (I like it at a just drinkable consistency) It will also thicken up slightly once chilled.
3. Stir in the sugar, saffron and cardamom powder, cook for another 2 minutes and taste for sweetness. Bear in mind chilling dulls the sweetness of food, so add a little more than you think you will need.
4. Cool and then place in the fridge for several hours, covered with clingfilm as milk absorbs flavours from other food in the fridge. Overnight is best to allow the flavours to infuse. When ready to eat, serve in bowls sprinkled with the nuts.
The result? Delicious, slightly carroty and beautifully scented kheer without the starchiness of its rice equivalent.
Oh.. and you'll never guess who came back for seconds ;)