Kheer, the most popular sweet of India that makes it appearance in every social function, religious occasion and festival season is loved by one and all from children to the elderly. This delicious preparation of rice and milk with a generous helping of dried fruits is the quintessential favourite any time of the day and year in Kanpur.
Kanpur has abundant supply of frothy full fat milk and hence, offers a wide range of lip-smacking milk sweets. The kheer of Kanpur has a unique taste and quite unlike anything prepared in the rest of the country.
A measure of locally available rice is soaked for a few minutes. In a large kadai, a dollop of desi ghee is added to which finely chopped pistachios, almonds, cashew nuts and raisins are lightly roasted. Makhana is also added by some vendors for its flavour and nutritional value.
The appropriate measure of full fat milk is boiled either in the kadai or in a large heavy-bottomed vessel. The soaked rice is cleaned again and then ground with a little water. The rice is added to the milk and gently stirred for a few minutes.
Once the milk boils, the rice is cooked on a low flame till the mixture begins to thicken. A measure of sugar is added to this and allowed to dissolve. A pinch of saffron and cardamom powder is added. The roasted nuts are added as the kheer reaches the right consistency.
Another variation is to allow the sugar to dissolve in a little water and cook it on medium flame till it caramelizes. The rich golden hued caramel is then added to the kheer and stirred for a few minutes.
Locals highly recommend the kheer served at Gyan Vaishnav Hotel at Collectorganj.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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