Kheer Pana Cotta with saffron sauce
It will be one year since I auditioned for Master Chef India. It has been an incredible journey and I loved every minute of it. It started with just a casual conversation with friends, them pushing me to go for the audition. I never in my imagination thought that one simple audition could lead me to the most exciting time in my life.
When I got selected from San Francisco and reached India for the next rounds, I met so many wonderful people and little did I know that we will friends for lifetime.
I am so thankful to God for this wonderful opportunity. This post is dedicated to all that I am thankful for, my family, friends, food on the table, and here is many more such amazing opportunities to come!
I always have loved the traditional recipes, the history behind them, the love you feel when you eat them, all the memories they bring back. I feel it is up to us to preserve them and pass them on to the next generation.
But there are always new things to learn and expand your horizons. New spice, new technique, new way of plating or a new ingredient, it changes everything about the dish completely.
So today’s recipe is a new take on a age old recipe, Kheer. Made in many ways, but it always signifies celebration, joy, festivities. Rice, Milk and sugar cooked together, it is that simple and yet that comforting. So many cultures have variations of this, Isarel, Syria where its called ‘Roz Bhaleeb’, Iran and even Mexico where you get to eat ‘Arroz con leche’ which is flavored with cinnamon.
Its amazing to see how food connects people, does not matter what is your nationality, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation. One of my favorite books ‘Korma Kheer Kismet by Pamela Timms. It is a fascinating chronicle of the author who lived and experienced five seasons in Delhi and her food memories
Just like her I fell in love with Old Delhi. Old Delhi is a walled city established by the Mughal Emperor Shaha Jahan in the early 1600s. You must visit old Delhi if you want to some of the best delicacies. Especially during the festivals like Ramdan ( Eid-ul-Fitr), the whole area is filled with aroma that is so inviting. Fried chicken, samosa, Jalebi, Faluda and so much more.
When I visited Old Delhi, I had to visit the Kheer shop, Bade Miyan ki Kheer. I must say that by far is the most delicious thing I have ever had. The shop only sells Kheer, and it is to die for. My insta story says it all.
Today I decided to take that Kheer and present it in a little differently. I have tried to keep the essence of the dish intact, I hope you all enjoy it.
Kheer Panna Cotta
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3-4 star Anise
- 3-4 green cardamom
- 3/4 cup rice
- 1 tsp agar agar powder
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 1 tsp rose water
- water as needed
- Take 2.5 cups of milk and whipping cream, sugar and warm it in a sauce pan.
- Slightly crush the star anise and cardamom and add to the milk mixture, until it almost comes to a boil. Turn the heat off
- Let the mixture cool for a few hours.
- While the milk mixture is resting, take 1 cup of milk and rice, and cook on low heat for at least 40 mins. You don’t want to rush this step and this is what gives you a creamy texture.
- Stain the milk cream mixture and discard the spices
- When the rice is almost cooked, add the spiced milk and cook more
- While the rice is cooking, take 1/2 cup of Milk and warm it up to 100 F
- Mix agar-agar in the 1/2 cup warm milk and mix thoroughly
- Add the agar mixture to the cooked rice
- Pour it in glasses and set it in the fridge
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, use water if need to thin it to a pouring consistency
When ready to serve, keep the glass in warm water to loosen it. Pour the sauce on a plate and gentle put the unmolded pudding/kheer on the plate.
I garnished it with dried rose petals and a pistachio tuile with rose. I will share that recipe soon.