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Here is a healthy kheer option, which will bring a sigh of relief to all fasting peeps and make this auspicious day healthy too.
When you think of Lord Shiva, what comes to the mind predominantly is the figure of a God who urges us all to “overcome darkness and ignorance” in life. Maha Shivaratri is the powerful Lord Shiva’s wedding anniversary which is celebrated with great vigour in India. A festival of immense significance, the occasion is observed by fasting, yoga-meditation, and chanting prayers of ethics and virtues that exemplify the Lord.
Speaking of fasting, while there are rules on how to fast, there are exceptions to those as well, one being the various kinds of sweets that are allowed to be consumed. Indian sweets are usually made of clean, sattvic ingredients using sugar, ghee, and milk which are considered pure and thus fast-worthy.
Well, I am a health moron. So even during fasting I cannot give up my motto of making eating healthy and fun. Another way of overcoming darkness and ignorance as far as food is concerned is—Not Everything Sweet Is Sinful ☺
On this note, here is a healthy kheer option, which will bring a sigh of relief to all fasting peeps and make this auspicious day healthy too.
Makhana has gained a great popularity recently as a super-snacking option for weight-watchers. Also known as phool-patasha, fox-nuts, or puffed lotus seeds, makhane are rich in calcium and protein. This puffed babies are quite tasteless on their own and can thus take various seasonings and flavours to taste different each time.
We will use makhane today to make a delicious, no-sugar, vegan, gluten-free, all-natural, fast-friendly kheer with some super ingredients that will leave your taste buds with a memorable feeling and not make your fasting day dull.
Take a deep pan/wok and dry roast makhane with the elaichi powder or whole elaichi. The dry roast is where we have replaced the traditional ghee with nothing. This step makes our kheer vegan and also low fat.
Roast the makhane for 5–6 minutes on slow flame till they get crispy. Watch this close as you don't want the makahane to burn or over roast (that will completely change the flavour). Once done, keep it aside to cool.
Now take ¾ of the roasted makhane (along with elaichi) and put it into a mixer and to make a powder.
To this powder, while still in the mixer, add the cashews, coconut milk, and dates. Blend them well together to form a smooth paste. Feel free to use cold water if need be to blend properly.
In a pan/wok, pour this milk-makhana mixture and the pending ingredients: nutmeg powder and roasted dry fruits and bring the kheer to a boil on a slow flame, stirring occasionally. Later, add the remaining (un-powdered) makahane and garnish with saffron strands that will lend an aesthetic touch to this no-sugar, healthy Makhana Ki Kheer for fasting.
#Tip: Roast your saffron for 3–5 seconds and then soak in a little water for the best colour and fragrance.
Relish this yummy and creamy (yet no cream) kheer on the fasting day that nourishes you with all natural foods. This can be served hot or cold as you wish.
Recipe Credits: Nidhi Ramchandani/Mumbai_Health_Moron, home-chef for all things healthy!
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