|| Jai Guru Ganesh ||
Sharing with all of you my Naivedyam to Lord Ganesha on his Birthday ….. “Carrot (Gajar) Kheer With Cashew (kaju) Milk” ……. Also Wishing all my friends …. A Very Happy And Prosperous Ganesh Jayanti also known as Maghi Ganpati. May Lord Gajanana ~ the Vignaharata remove all obstacles from your life and bless you with loads of happiness and grant all your wishes …..
By now my friends who follow my blog are aware that cashew milk has caught on with me and I am trying new methods of introducing the same into various recipes. Homemade cashew milk is the creamiest of homemade nut milks, the most refreshing of all that can be easily replaced in any dish were the dairy milk is needed. It does take soaking but then its done easily in our home blender / grinder. The nut gets completed blended / grounded in water and leaves no waste during the making process thus ensuring all fiber and nutrients intact that are present in the cashews. Milk shakes, Ice Creams, Gravies etc. can be prepared out of cashews. An equally delicious replacement that is highly nutritious. Today being Ganesh Jayanthi ie Lord Ganesha's Birthday I wanted to prepare something different from the usual Appo for Naivedyam. So I went on to prepare Carrot kheer by adding on cashew milk and I am sure Dear Gampu must have been pleased with something new and loved the variation.
The basic method of preparing the cashew milk remains same as mentioned before.
Soak half a cup of good quality cashew in one cup of hot milk / water. Keep it covered aside for 2 hours. Do not add more milk. You can leave out milk and soak in hot water too. I used skimmed milk. But I assure you water added also is equally good and will not make much difference.
After 2 hours put the cashews along with the milk / water it is soaked in into a blender and grind it to a fine paste. If you find it grainy, do not fret, continue the blending and you will get a smooth paste. See to it that you do not add much water / milk while soaking for the very own reason. If you have keep away some of the water / milk in which the cashew was soaked and grind and you can add the same now or else add in one more cup of water and blend all together again …. You will get about 2 cups of good thick and creamy cashew milk. This is the cashew milk which you can add on to many recipes. If desired or in short of time you can always prepare this ahead and put it in the fridge for later use. Remains good for 2-3 days.
Lets now move on to the mehto of preparing the Carrot / Gajar Kheer with Cashew Milk : The method is easy. All you will need is cashews, carrots, sugar, saffron, some milk and cashew and raisins for garnishing.
Peel of the skin of 3-4 large sized carrots. Say about 500 gms. Grate them and keep them aside ready.
In a small bowl add in half a cup of hot milk and to this add in 1 tsp of good quality saffron / kesar stands. Let it stand undisturbed for about 30 minutes. The saffron will impart a good yellowish orange colour.
In a thick bottomed vessel add in 2 tblsp of fresh homemade ghee and bring to heat. When it melts add in ½ cup of cashews and fry till the colour changes slightly. Now add in ¼ cup of raisins and further fry on low heat. The cashews will turn brown and the raisins will get swollen. Remove from the vessel draining off excess ghee into the vessel and keep this aside for garnishing.
In the same vessel add in the grated carrots and fry in the left over ghee for a minute or two on low heat. No need of adding in more ghee. Now add in half cup of hot milk and cook the carrots / gajar till very soft. When the carrots are very soft with the help of potato masher keep mashing the carrots till the carrots become mushy and the milk is almost absorbed into it.
Now add in the milk in which the saffron is soaked along with a pinch of orange edible colour. The addition of colour is again individual choice. I have added as it give the dish a good final touch of colour. You may leave out, the taste however, will not differ. Now add in 1.5 cups of sugar to the carrots and mix well. Keep on medium heat stirring ofter, till the sugar melts and the mixture starts to thicken up.
Once the mixture has thickened up well. Lower the heat to minimum and add in the ground cashew milk and the fried cashes and raisins kept aside for garnishing. Mix well.
Check the sweetness, if needed you may add in 1-2 tblsp of extra sugar. Serve hot garnished with some grated carrots if desired. You can keep aside some grated carrot after you fry it in ghee before the addition of milk to it. Which you can then use as garnish as it is already fried.
Do prepare this lovely dish as Naivedyam or Dessert to serve family and friends on any festive or celebrate occasions. Though carrot / gajar kheer is a very common sweet dish you will surprise your friends with this yummy twist of cashew milk. Be prepared to serve extra servings on demand. The dessert was over before I could come over and sit for a chat with friends and the demand for more for my dismay had be reluctantly brushed aside. So prepare a little bit more coz. children are sure to ask in for another serving.