Kheer is an Indian dessert that is also known by many regional names such as Payasam in Tamil, Payesh in Bengali, and Ksheera in Sanskrit. Most of the people enjoy various kheer recipes as a ‘stand alone’ meal. This sweet dish has many variations as it can be made with rice, broken wheat or vermicelli. Some people in India even use sago grains to make this festive dessert.
Origin of Kheer Recipes
Kheer is supposed to have been first made 2000 years ago in the temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri in Orissa. This dish was made as an offering to the god, which soon gained importance as a festival dish and the tradition is still carried on till date. Today, both Hindus and Muslims are known to prepare kheer during festivals.
Process of Making Kheer
Kheer is made by boiling rice, vermicelli or broken wheat (depending on the availability and individual preference) in milk with sugar added, as desired. Nuts such a pistachio, cashew, and almonds along with raisins, saffron and cardamom are roasted in ghee and added to give a rich feel, taste and look to the kheer.
Popular Kheer Recipes
Kheer is prepared with different ingredients for a distinctive taste. Some popular versions are –
- Rice Payasam this is made with rice as the main ingredient cooked in milk.
- Vermicelli Payasam is made with vermicelli as the main ingredient cooked in milk.
- Parupu Payasam is prepared with rice and split peas as the main ingredients cooked in milk.
- Coconut Milk Payasam is prepared with rice cooked in coconut milk.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Kheer Recipes
Kheer, especially made with rice, is a meal in itself as it is not only filling but very nutritious because of rice, milk and nuts added to the dish. The disadvantage is that it is enjoyed only by those who have a sweet tooth or enjoy desserts like kheer.
- Kheer or payasam is time honored as a dish that has spiritual significance; hence it is generally served as prasadam, which is part of Hindu religious rituals.