Thursday, August 29, 2013

Patoli inspired Kheer

After moving to the US about 7 years ago - I started missing a lot of things that I had taken for granted while in India - especially the traditional food items. I quickly got around to learning how to cook those delicacies with the help of my Mom and various recipe books that I had got from India.
Patoli - a very traditional konkani dish made with rice and coconut and jaggery that is steamed in turmeric leaves - well, this dish was genuinely missed as I could not find turmeric leaves anywhere here. Finally, one day while surfing the net I saw that turmeric leaves could be grown at home by plating the turmeric roots thats were easily available int eh Indian store here. The wet turmeric root looks very much like ginger root, but is a a bit leaner and does have a strong turmeric aroma to it and is ofcorse yellow.
So, I got those turmeric roots and got a big planter with soil and planted the roots. I was waiting patiently for over 2 months and then finally I saw a tiny shoot appear. And now after about 4 months, I have a turmeric plant at home. The leaves are still not as big as we need them to make patoli............ but, hopefully next year it will happen.
But - what about the craving for patoli..............
Well, I was making Cheppi Kheeri for Janmashtami anyways - thats a rice kheer with milk and turmeric leaves to infuse some aroma and its got no sugar. So just thought of making some sweet kheer also - thus came the Patoli inspired kheer. Its rice, milk, turmeric leaves, jaggery and some coconut. Tasted just like Patoli. 


1/2 cup any aromatic rice (ambemohur, basmati, jasmine) - I used ambemohur
2 cups milk
4 turmeric leaves
1 cup jaggery (you can add more if you want it sweeter)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder


Wash the rice in water untill you get absolutely clear water. In a saucepan add the rice and the milk and crush the turmeric leaves (leave them whole) - if you can, tie them in a knot before adding to the milk and rice mixture. Cook this mixture on a medium flame untill the rice is cooked fully. Keep stirring occasionally. Once the rice is cooked, add the coconut flakes, jaggery and the cardamom powder and let it simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Let it cool down a bit. Before serving, remove the turmeric leaves and serve warm, at room temperature or cold.
If you wish to - you can add some cashew, raisins, almonds etc.
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