My first ever blog-post is dedicated to two things i love most in life and literally can’t live without; My Mom and Meetha (desserts). My Mom is one of the finest cooks i have known. All my friends, family and acquaintances who have tasted her delicacies shall back this statement. One of the reasons i am surrounded by so many friends today is the delectable cooking of hers. On top of this, the way she presents it and feed everyone with love makes her food more devouring. Recalling my university days, two of my very close friends who were living away from their families were always super keen to come over to my place rather than eating out, saying “Nothing beats your mom’s cooking“ *hashtag true story*. So Food has played a vital role in connecting my family with my friends.
Keeping up with the desi culture where no special occasion and celebration goes without a touch of sweet; today i am celebrating the launch of my blog *drumrolls please* by sharing my Mom’s most loved recipe of Gajar ki Kheer also known as Gajarella. It is a traditional Pakistani dessert which becomes an essential part of dinner parties and Eid in our household during winters; when red juicy carrots are back in season.
It is a perfect variation of kheer, made with carrots, milk, sugar and rice. You can garnish it with crushed nuts(i prefer almonds) and refrigerate before serving.
To start with, soak the rice in water at-least for one hour prior to cooking. I use Basmati Rice for making kheer. After an hour, transfer the rice along with water to a blender. Grind the rice for 30 seconds approximately until small grains are formed.
The next step is to peel the carrots. Once peeled, you have to grate the carrots which is a slightly harder part if you use a hand grater. Just rolling the carrots over the grater is kind of boring so if you can bribe someone to do it for you,*hehe* you are good to go. You can also use a food processor but it might not give the desired texture of carrots in the end product. For this recipe, you have to grate half of the carrots thick and other half thin. I use the large holes of a hand grater to grate half the carrots thick and small holes to grate rest of them.
Pro Tip: Always start grating the carrots from the thicker end.
Pro Tip: For your own ease, use fresh carrots because the carrots that had become limp from too much time in the fridge are usually hard to grate.
To start cooking, pour the milk into a large cooking pot and place it onto the stove with a high flame. Add the crushed cardamom pods to the milk. Let the milk boil; it will take around 5 minutes. Add rice to the boiling milk. At this point turn the flame to medium. Continuously stir the rice so that it does not stick to the pot. Continue stirring until rice are done. It will take approximately 20 minutes. Then add grated carrots and cook with continuous stirring on medium to low flame. After a while add sugar. You have to cook approximately 25 minutes after adding carrots. By this time, the mixture shall be thickened enough and have achieved the desired consistency of the Kheer. Remove it from the stove. The total cooking time sums up-to 50 minutes.
Let it cool. Once cooled down, the mixture shall become slightly thicker.
Dish it out and garnish it with crushed Almonds and Varq (edible silver foil used in decorating traditional desserts).
Don’t get intimidated by such a long cooking time. Just plug in your headphones and enjoy your playlist while continuously stirring for 50 minutes.
Enjoy the recipe friends!
The duo behind this recipe, me and my mom, just killing time by taking selfies at a wedding!
Gajarella-Carrot Rice PuddingPrint Recipe
- Basmati Rice - 1/4 cup
- Red Carrots - 1/2 kg (Grated)
- Milk - 1.8 liters or 8 cups
- Sugar - 3/4 cup
- Green Cardamom Pods (Ealichi) - 4 (Crushed)
- Almonds - 10 to 12 for garnishing (Crushed)
- Varq - 1 sheet for garnishing (Optional)
Soak Rice in water for at-least one hour prior to cooking.
After one hour, transfer rice along with water and blend until rice are grated to tiny grains (approximately 30 seconds), Set aside.
Peel the Carrots.
Grate half of the carrots thick, using the large side of the grater.
Grate remaining carrots very finely using the small side of the grater. Set aside.
Pour the milk into a large cooking pot and place it onto the stove with a high flame.
Add the crushed cardamom pods to the milk.
Let the milk boil; it will take around 5 minutes.
Add rice to the boiling milk and turn the flame to medium. Continuously stir the rice so that it does not stick to the pot. Cook rice until done (approximately 20 minutes).
Then add grated carrots and cook with continuous stirring on medium to low flame.
After a while add sugar. You have to cook approximately 25 minutes after adding carrots.
Remove the pot from the stove.
Let it cool.
Once cooled, dish it out and garnish with crushed Almonds and Varq.