Shakarkand ki Kheer

Kheer is a pudding from the Indian cuisine, made by boiling rice, broken wheat, tapioca, or vermicelli with milk and sugar; it is flavoured with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashews, pistachios or almonds. Fundamentally, pudding as a dessert is consumed after the main course of a meal to meet several biological, psychological and lifestyle-related requirements.

Kheer or Payasam is one of the popular desserts in India, which usually include a thickened dairy base; among such dairy bases, milk is extensively used for Kheer. Shakarkand or Sweet Potato which is a part of ‘Tubers’ group of Nutritional family of Vegetables & Fruits is a wise choice for kheer since it contains simple starch which provides consistency to Kheer and dietary fibres that help the body to digest the food easily. When consumed as a dessert, the sweet potato is going in the body in ample amount, hence it is supplying sufficient dietary fibres. Milk doesn’t get digested easily, therefore, a sweet potato with milk can regulate the digestion and one can enjoy the Dessert without regrets of putting on the calories. A procedure to cook Kheer includes the following ingredients:

  1. Shakarakand (Sweet Potato)
  2. Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  3. Gulkand (a sweet preserve of rose petals)
  4. Sugar
  5. Milk (preferably, with full fats)
  6. Dry fruits for garnishing
  7. Nutmeg
  8. Cardamom
  9. Salt*

Heat the pan and add ghee, the time ghee starts melting, add dry fruits to it and roast them till becomes light brown and releases the aroma. Keep the roasted dry fruits aside and add more ghee into the pan. It is time to add grated sweet potato to ghee and roast them on low heat till they turn aromatic (this aroma will be an amalgamation of nutty ghee and Sweet Potato).

Now, slowly pour the required amount of milk on this mixture and keep stirring it. Add a pinch of salt to it and mix it. Wait for some time till the mixture becomes consistent as shown in below.

Now, add sugar to it and mix well. At this stage, we may pour a sufficient amount of water, if the mixture is thicker than a requirement. The spices which make the Indian sweets unique: cardamom and nutmeg can be added at this stage; we may grate the nutmeg to a fine powder and crush the cardamom in mortar and pestle.

Add these spices to the mixture and keep mixing all the ingredients. Cover the pan with a lid for some time. 

Gulkand is pitta pacifying (cool) substance and adding it to kheer will keep the heat in the body at bay and will make it a healthier version of the dessert. Hence, add Gulkand to Kheer, turn off the heat to the pan and mix well. Take the roasted dry fruits, crush them coarsely and garnish the kheer.

*SGLT1 in our intestines is a transporter that moves glucose into the sweet taste cell when sodium is present, thus triggering the cell to register sweetness. So, using salt in your dessert will make it taste sweeter without the need of adding extra sugar.