Divine Foods Living

A Journey Exploring the Divinity of Food…

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Shakarkand Kesar Kheer/Sweet Potato Saffron Pudding and Celebrating Tulsi Vivah

Sweet Potato Pudding Shakarkand Kheer

Winter is the season of sweet potatoes, oranges, guavas, green peas and all. Sweet potato, being a naturally sweet food, is like a comfort food for me. Whether roasted in ghee or made as any side dish, this always tastes delicious and nourishing.

On this auspicious day of Tulasi Vivah, I prepared Sweet Potato Kheer as an offering for the puja alongside pumpkin vegetable and puris. This rich and delectable Kheer is pretty easy to make and is a great way to enjoy healthful treat this time of the year.

Tulsi-vivah, also known as Prabodhini Ekadashi, falls on the eleventh day from the Diwali and is celebrated in our home with great enthusiasm. Sugarcanes are used to make Mandap and Tulsi is dressed with beautiful saree and decorated as a bride. I believe the deep significance of festivals lies in the rejuvenation of mind and spirit in association with the traditions, society and living system. Tulasi-Vivah has its own religious and medicinal significances. Tulasi(basil) is regarded as sacred in our society and is worshiped and very nicely cared in almost all the households and numerous temples.

This kheer brings out the delicious flavors of saffron coupled with the goodness of almonds and sweet potato with its simplicity and perfect richness of ingredients.

Ingredients:

Sweet potato, peeled and grated – 1 cup or 160 gm (soaked in water or milk to avoid discoloration)
Milk – 4 cups or 1 ltr.
Almonds – 1/4 cup or 50 gm (soaked overnight)
Sugar – 1/4 cup or 60 gm (I used raw sugar)
Saffron threads – 1/2 tsp

Procedure :-

1. Place soaked almonds in hot water for a few mins. to peel them off easily. Grind almonds with 1/4 cup of milk to a fine consistency.
2. Place 2 tsp of warm milk in a bowl and crush saffron with the back of a spoon. Allow the saffron to infuse for a few mins.
3. Place rest of the milk in a pan on medium flame, add ground almond paste, stir to mix well.
4. Add the grated sweet potatoes along with the soaking milk. The mixture becomes thick after adding almond paste and sweet potatoes.
5. Boil the milk for 3-4 mins. on medium flame. Mix the saffron and then cook again for 5 mins. on low flame. Keep stirring often.
6. Now add the sugar, stir till the sugar is dissolved completely. After 5 mins, switch off the flame.
7. Garnish with almonds and serve either warm or cold.

Tips :-

1. Rinsing the pan with water before putting the milk in will keep the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
2. I personally prefer to soak almonds in water for 6-7 hrs. but to save time almonds can be soaked in hot water for 2 hrs., and then peeled.
3. Vary sugar according to your taste.
4. Add pistachios, cashews or raisins if you want it richer.

Sending some over to Nupur’s event:

Food and its connection with Body, Mind and Spirit.

Here starts the journey! The first post of my new budding blog. When it came to deciding on the topic of my first post, I thought of writing about this divine gift itself..Food. Its an important aspect of life which nourishes the body, mind and spirit. Although this is a vast topic how Food forms the five elements of our body(space, air, fire, water and earth) and the mind, here’s a brief summary:

Food plays a vital role in the development of physical level, mind-emotional level and energetic-spiritual level. The man is indirectly connected to the Sun, which is the supreme energy provider of all life, through Food. Only Food has the ability to trap this light energy to the energy which man further uses for its existence. The mind is connected to the body through the breathe. Food supplies energy to all layers of the body. The innermost sheath of the body is called as ‘Annamaya kosha‘ – the body of food. All these mechanisms are put in place, and they work outside the physical abilities of man. By having healthy choices, we create life energy in the body and by making bad choices, we diminish the life energy within the body.

A few guidelines from Vedas:
1. Choose quality foods that nourishes life energy, purifies mind and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction.
2. Cook, serve and eat with a good mood and in a pleasant atmosphere. These are as important to proper digestion as the quality of the food.
3. Combine foods wisely. There are some combinations restricted like vegetables and raw fruits; fresh milk with vegetables, etc. many of which would find a mention in the coming posts.
4.Don’t pour water on the fire of digestion. Calorie refers to the heat released when food is burnt. The effect of drinking water while having food is an important consideration while eating.
5. Occasional fasting gives the digestive system a rest and refreshes the mind and senses; and improves the body strength and will power.

अन्नम ना निन्ध्यतः
अन्नम ना परिचक्षीतः
अन्नं  बहु  कुर्वीतः
अन्नं वै प्राणः

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