What are you favorite memories of attending weddings in India? Is it the bride and groom, or the emotional parents, or the throngs of people who visit, or the so called melodious music blaring on loudspeakers, or all the beautiful clothes that everyone wears and of course the jewelry, or that cute boy who stares at you while you are not staring at him, (or so he thinks), or that hideous aunty who surely wants to ask your parents all details about your education and gothram so that she will be the first one to suggest an alliance to her ladies club president for her son who apparently just got his first job with Microsoft. (of course the cute boy staring at you has no idea and has never been anywhere near Microsoft - but he is cute indeed) Phew. So many complications at weddings.
But there is one simple thing I remember that is worth remembering. The food. Forget the big spread of rice, sambar, rasam, mor kuzhambu, podimas, poriyal, kootu, oorga, appalam etc...skip all that and get straight to dessert. Badam Kheer. Wedding Style Badam Kheer.
I swear I dream about this stuff at times -this is absolutely one of my favorite desserts to complete a nice South Indian lunch. I've tried to make this many times but end up using a lot of almonds and making it thick and sometime ending up even eating it with a spoon. So, now I learnt the right way to making it as it is done in wedding. Watery, yet tasty and the flavor of almond in every sip. And its got the magic biteable seeds in there - the charoli seeds. I always called it the badam kheer seed - because the only time I used to eat this was at weddings.
Take about a handful of almonds. Blanch them in hot water.
Peel the almonds and grind it with a little milk until you get a almost smooth paste.
Heat a pan in medium heat and move the paste to the pan. Fry for a min taking care not to burn the paste.
Add 2 -3 cups of milk and mix well. Let this boil for about 5-8 mins.
Add 3/4 cup of sugar for 2 cups of milk. Use this proportion if you are making more.
And here comes the beauty. Saffron. A few strands - a lot of oomph. Dissolve a few strands in a tbsp ok warm milk.
When the kheer is almost done, add the saffron strands in and mix well.
And here's how a regular badam kheer becomes a wedding style badam kheer. Charoli seeds.
Take a tbsp of charoli seeds and fry them in ghee till they turn golden and puff up a little.
Add to the badam kheer and mix well. Can you see the consistency - this way you can drink it out of a cup. And don't even bother to wait for it to cool down - there is a specific pleasure that has to be experienced when drinking super hot badam kheer from a cup. Try it and you'll know what I mean.
Of course, share it with everyone in your family and spread the joy.
I'm all done here - but which one of you is getting married soon? Invite me and I'll be there to taste this in your wedding!
Enjoy. Peace Out!