Here is a quick and tasty kheer I made for Dussera. Traditionally kheer is made with lots of milk but I wanted to make a dessert that would qualify for the "Sweet Vegan" event hosted by Vaishali. There is no doubt that being vegan is much more challenging than being a vegetarian but it is also fun to come up with a recipe which does not involve any dairy product. I wanted to make a traditional Indian dessert with a vegan twist and also something that did not require me squeezing my brain out trying to come up with one :-) My first attempt was jangiri which is very much a vegan dessert as is made traditionally if ghee be substituted with oil for frying. It came out well for the first attempt but I think it needs a bit more work before I can post it. I hope to do so pretty soon.
No festival goes without having some kind of kheer and in my family important festivals must always be celebrated with kheer made of jaggery (we call it "gulacha kheer"). So as per the tradition, I decided to make moong dal kheer which I so love. The long version of this kheer, the way my mom makes is using khus-khus/coconut paste, milk, moong or channa dal and jaggery. In order to make this a vegan recipe I substituted milk with coconut milk. I find it very hard to make a smooth paste of khus-khus with the food processor I have and I hate the grainy texture of partially ground khus-khus. Hence I skipped it altogether and there was no soaking or grinding involved which make this a perfect recipe for a weekday celebrations. Also molasses works amazingly well as a substitute for jaggery. And finally, need I say this dish is very healthy. It is almost fat free...er... if you discount the fat from the coconut milk :-)
1/4 cup moong dal
1/4 cup jaggery or as required
1 tbsp slivered cashew
1 tbsp slivered almonds
4 pods cardamom
1 cup coconut milk
- Dissolve jaggery in 1/4 cup water, boil for 3-5min or until the jaggery is well-dissolved.
- Remove from heat, strain to remove any dirt and set it aside.
- Dry roast moong dal until it starts to turn light brown and aromatic.
- Dry roast cashews and almonds until light brown.
- Boil moong dal, cashews, almonds and cardamom in 1/2 cup (or just enough) water.
- When the moong dal is cooked but still firm add the dissolved jaggery.
- Boil for 5 min and then add coconut milk.
- Let this boil for another 3 min or so.
- Serve this warm or cold.
Thanks Usha for the lovely Dussera gift and I would like to extend my friendship award to these wonderful people: Anudivya, Sagari, Sireesha, VIJ, Arundathi.