No Indian celebration is complete without a sweet bowl of kheer whipped up lovingly by our mothers or grandmothers. A ubiquitous Indian dessert that spells love, affection, success and much more, tasting a spoonful of kheer is like taking a bite out of fond memories. Soft and creamy on the tongue, the aromatic smell and sweet taste of kheer is a staple at weddings, festivals, and other special occasions.
The classic Indian dessert, also known as rice pudding, is traditionally made with rice, milk, sugar, spices and dry fruits. Often rice is replaced with broken wheat, tapioca pearls, or vermicelli and mixed with milk and sugar. For many, a bowlful of homemade kheer is the perfect comfort food. It is both nourishing and a treat for the taste buds. Different regions have different variations of this classic preparation; some know it as payesh, payasam, phirni and many more. But the basic preparation method more or less remains the same. Over a period of time, this classic dessert has been served in different deconstructed and revamped styles.
Here, we pick out some of the of best hunger-inducing Instagram photos of the hearty pudding prepared by Instagrammers to celebrate our festivals. A feast for your eyes only, you tell us!
Kheer is a staple in almost all festivities. This popular nutritionist Tripti Gupta has shared a wholesome and healthy bowl of makahana (foxnut) kheer. Makhana is a popular fasting ingredient loaded with potassium and magnesium and low in fat and sodium, which makes it a great option to satiate your sweet tooth by making kheer with it. (Also read Rookie’s guide to tasty kheer)
Since sugarcane is grown in abundance in Punjab, roh di kheer is kheer made with the natural sweetness of sugarcane juice. It is a slow cooked kheer prepared with fragrant rice, sugarcane juice and dry fruits. If this photo of homemade sugarcane kheer flavoured with cardamom, rock salt, garnished with jaggery and rose petals, does not inspire you to give this flavourful kheer a try this festive season, then what will.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated every year in the month of January in reverence of the Sun deity when the sun moves into the Northern hemisphere. It also coincides with many other harvest festivals such as Pongal, Bhogali Bihu and Lohri. Til and gur play a significant role in sankranti celebrations across India. In Bengal, the festival is celebrated as Poush Sankranti with a platter of sweets called pithe-puli. Here is a beautifully captured photo of choshir payesh or kheer made with hand-rolled sevaiyan, an ethnic recipe for the occasion from Bengal.
South Indian dessert Paal payasam (kheer made with rice) is an essential part of festivals and is also served as a prasad offering in temples. This kheer is made with just four key ingredients— rice, milk, ghee and sugar. Isn’t this photo shared with the backdrop of kanikkonna (cassia fistula flowers) and the gorgeous Kerala kasavu saree look exquisite?
A huge serving of warm kheer is comfort food for many. We are sure that this photo of the rich and creamy kheer will send you rushing to the kitchen to prepare a huge bowl of steaming hot kheer with milk, vermicelli and a whole lot of dry fruits. (Modak Gets a Makeover in Mumbai)
The festival of Eid is synonymous with the heavenly sweet dish- sheer khurma. The name of the dish literally translates to 'milk with dates'. It is prepared with fine homemade sevaiyan, milk, dates, clarified butter and dry fruits. The lip-smacking dessert is a must-try and can be part of the dessert menu of your sumptuous festive meal!
No Onam sadya is ever complete without a huge serving of payasam. Ideally, at least two traditional types of payasam is served at the Onasadya; paada payasam, which is milk and rice kheer, and parippu payasam which is a lentil-based kheer. Made with the richness of ghee, coconut milk and jaggery, these are perfect for any festive feast. Check out this mouth-watering photo of the two ambrosial dishes served in a traditional vessel.
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