Why settle for jalebi and rabri when you can tuck into Walnut Milk Kheer made with sago and Til Walnut Barfi garnished with walnuts on Holi?
Homemade Indian sweets are the best, especially when they're not laden with too many calories.
Celebrate this Day of Colours with desserts that are sure to steal the thunder at your dining table and add char chand to your festive spread.
Walnut Milk Kheer
Recipe: Kind courtesy Madhuri Aggarwal
- 2 tbsp Basmati rice, washed, soaked for an hour
- 1 tbsp sago or tapioca pearls, soaked for 4-5 hours
- 1 cup milk + a little extra if required
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup condensed milk
- Pinch kesar or saffron
- 1 tbsp ghee
- Green elaichi or cardamom powder, to garnish
- Few extra walnuts, chopped for garnish
- Soak the walnuts overnight and grind them in a blender with 2 cups water.
Make sure there are no lumps.
You should get a milk-like consistency.
- Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, along with the soaked rice, over low heat or it will burn.
Add the saffron and keep stirring to prevent the reducing milk from sticking to the bottom.
Once the milk is reduced to half and the mixture has thickened, add the walnut milk and the sago pearls.
At this point, keep stirring the kheer gently but continuously, but do not break the sago.
Add the condensed milk and cook the kheer till it thickens.
You may add more milk to get the consistency desired.
Add the cardamom powder.
- Heat the ghee in a small frying pan.
Add the chopped walnut pieces.
Let it crisp up and turn golden.
- Add this to the kheer and serve hot.
Editor's Note: For a vegan version of this recipe, replace the full-cream milk with almond milk, the ghee with cashew butter and skip the condensed milk and instead add 1 tbsp or more sugar.
For those on a sugar-free diet, skip the condensed milk and add stevia powder. Each brand of stevia has its own stevia for sugar substitution ratio provided on its packing.
Madhuri Aggarwal is a food stylist, photographer, artist, designer and cooking enthusiast.
Sesame and Walnut Barfi
Recipe: Kind courtesy Shumaila Chauhan
- 1 tbsp ghee + extra to grease the cake pan
- 500 ml full-fat milk
- ½ cup milk powder
- ½ cup walnuts + ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup til or sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup jaggery powder
- ½ tsp green elaichi or cardamom powder
- In a small frying pan kept over medium-low heat, add the sesame seeds and warm for 3-4 minutes.
They will turn slightly golden and pop.
Do not burn them.
Cool and coarsely grind, but first reserve 1 tsp for garnish.
- Pulse the walnuts to make a walnut meal.
Be careful to not over-grind, else it will become walnut butter.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the ghee.
Add the milk and stir.
Let the milk come to a simmering boil over medium heat.
Add the milk powder little by little, mixing so there are no lumps.
Boil further over medium heat, stirring often.
Scrape the sides of pan as it boils.
Boil for about 10-15 minutes, till milk is reduced to half.
Add the walnut meal and the jaggery powder.
Boil for another 5-6 minutes.
Add in the powdered sesame seeds and mix well.
Stir another 2-3 minutes.
Add in the cardamom powder and the chopped walnuts, reserving a few to garnish.
Stir till the mixture thickens and starts leaving the sides of the saucepan and it looks doughy.
Take off heat.
- Grease a 5-inch by 7-inch cake pan.
- Line it with parchment paper.
Spread the cooked mixture evenly.
Top with the reserved chopped walnuts and sprinkle the reserved sesame seeds.
Let set for an hour in the refrigerator and cut into rectangles and serve.
Editor's Note: To veganise this recipe, substitute the milk with almond milk and the ghee with cashew butter. Replace the milk powder with grated desiccated coconut.
For those watching their sugar intake, reduce the jaggery a tad.
Shumaila Chauhan is the creator of the food blog Novice Housewife.