Roasted Sama Chal aur Khas Khas ki Kheer

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Usually a rice-based sweet dish, this version of kheer developed by Ankita Jain and Sayani Sengupta from the Millet Revival Project cooking lab uses barnyard millet as its primary grain. The dish features poppy seeds as well, which give the kheer a nutty flavour. Unlike its rice-based counterpart, this kheer retains a pleasant bite, thanks to the chewy texture of the millet.
Barnyard millet ¼ cup
Poppy seeds ¼ cup
Cashew nuts, broken 10 - 12
Brown raisins 10 - 12
Milk 500 millilitres
Condensed milk ¼ cup
Sugar ½ cup
Salt 1 pinch
Elaichi powder ¼ teaspoon
Ghee 2 tablespoons

A cooking pot and a small frying pan.

1

Dry roast the barnyard millet on a low flame, stirring continuously, until it develops a light brown colour. Remove the millet from heat and set it aside to cool for at least five minutes.

 

2

Repeat the process for the poppy seeds and keep them in a separate bowl.

3

Grind the millet and poppy seeds separately in a grinder until they become coarse powders. Make sure to not grind them too fine.

4

In a small frying pan, fry the cashews and raisins in ghee and set aside.

 

5

Boil milk in a pot, and add the ground poppy seeds and millet, along with ½ a cup of water. Cook until the millet is cooked through; it should be soft but have a subtle bite to it. Add more water to adjust the consistency if required. It should be just thick enough to coat the ladle or the back of a spoon.

 

6

Add the condensed milk, sugar, salt, elaichi powder, and ghee-fried cashew and raisins (reserving a little for garnish) to the pot.

 

7

Check the sweetness and consistency of the kheer. Adjust by adding more milk, sugar, or water if required.

8

Garnish with the reserved fried cashew and raisins, and serve chilled.

Tips

Make sure to grind the millet and poppy seeds separately: fiirst the millet and then the poppy seeds, as poppy seeds tend to release oil.

Chef Ankita Jain has spent more than 15 years working as a chocolatier. While she enjoyed shaping the kitchen at Harsh Chocolates, her passion for healthier food led her to start Bicycle Kitchen. Over the past three years, she has experimented with millet-based recipes and perfected them.

 

Sayani Sengupta is a chef volunteer for the MRP cooking lab and a home chef based out of Kolkata. Sayani runs her own food brand, Gooseberri, for which she often writes recipes. Her recipes have also featured in Bengali magazines, such as Sananda, as well as other publications like Times of India, Telegraph, and Indulge Express.

 

This recipe is part of the Millet Revival Project 2023, The Locavore’s modest attempt to demystify cooking with millets, and learn the impact that it has on our ecology. This initiative, in association with Rainmatter Foundation, aims to facilitate the gradual incorporation of millets into our diets, as well as create a space for meaningful conversation and engagement so that we can tap into the resilience of millets while also rediscovering its taste.

Rainmatter Foundation is a non-profit organisation that supports organisations and projects for climate action, a healthier environment, and livelihoods associated with them. The foundation and The Locavore have co-created this Millet Revival Project for a millet-climate outreach campaign for urban consumers. To learn more about the foundation and the other organisations they support, click here.

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