It was my husbands birthday last week and I was thinking of making a quick sweet as an offering to Lord Krishna… I scouted my fridge and pantry and look what I found – golden beetroots from my farmers market stash…Thus was born the idea of beetroot kheer. Since I used golden beets here – the colour of the payasam was a deep golden yellow colour – favorite colour of Lord Krishna! Totally coincidental though! You can use the normal red beets in which case you will end up with a pink to dark magenta kheer…But I must say this is one delicious kheer served warm or hot..Try this out!
Beetroot – boiled and grated – 1.5 cups loosely packed
Milk- 4 cups (I used 2%)
Semiya – 1/4 cup roasted – optional
Green cardamom seeds- 1/2 tsp – powdered coarsely in mortar and pestle else Cardamom powder = 1/2 tsp or according to taste
Sugar/Jaggery- 1/4 cup
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Raisins and cashew nuts – 1 tsp
In a thick bottomed vessel bring the 4 cups of milk to a boil slowly. Stir in between. Take care that the milk does not burn at the bottom of vessel.
Meanwhile heat ghee in a pan and fry the cashew nuts till golden brown. Take it and keep aside. Add raisins to the ghee and saute till they puff up, drain and keep aside.
In the remaining ghee now add the grated beetroot and saute for a few mins till the raw smell of beetroot disappears and a lovely aroma emanates. Switch off stove and keep aside.
Once the milk reaches boiling point, lower heat stir continuously for a few more mins- milk will start to shrink. Add the roasted semiya (if using) and stir for a few more minutes, the mixture will start to thicken as the semiya gets cooked. Add the grated beetroot and sugar/jaggery at this point. I did not add too much sugar as the beetroot naturally has sugar, so its enough for my sugar levels. If you wish a more sweeter dish , feel free to add more. Stir everything together well till well combined. Before removing from stove, add the powdered cardamom and stir well.
The payasam/kheer will continue to thicken as it cools so you can add more milk initially keeping this in mind for a more watery consistency. I like kheer in a semi-solid manner and this works just fine for us! Garnish with the raisins and cashews and serve hot or chilled in refrigerator…
Bon Appetit 🙂
1) You can omit the semiya altogether if you want. Adding semiya gives more consistency to this kheer.
2) If not using semiya, another option would be to puree half the beetroot mixture you are using and keep the remaining half in grated format. Then instead of adding semiya, add the beetroot puree first (boiled/cooked beetroot) and cook well, then add grated beetroot sauteed in ghee next. This works well too.