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