My 302nd recipe, “Strawberry Kheer”, a flavorful Indian dessert perfect for the summer. Cold milk reduced until nicely creamy with bites of strawberry, poha & nuts and a subtle flavor of rose makes this one delicious desert.
Now-a-days, I have lots of vegetarian options to choose from whenever I want to eat outside, including the famous Saravana Bhavan. However, it was not the case a few years back when I first set foot here. I had very limited options, if I wanted to have a decent vegetarian fare. Kalachandji’s Restaurant was one among those limited options. Found adjacent to the Radha Kalachandji’s temple in downtown Dallas, they serve healthy fusion recipes in the form of a vegetarian buffet both for lunch and dinner.
I love the buffet there for their unique and healthy recipes. It is one of the places where I can eat as much as I want, but still wont feel heavy after the meal. Lots of salads, stir fry veggies, etc. However, personally, it is not my absolutely favorite place. I would rate their ambiance more than the taste. I would however be happy to eat there once in a while. However, dishes like Vegetarian Lasagna, Stir fried Tofu, etc. has RK’s attention every time and it is one of his favorite places to eat. At most times he would successfully cajole me into visiting the restaurant during the weekends.
During such an occasion last weekend, we were treated to an usual fare on the buffet. However the dessert they served on that day caught my attention. They had served strawberry kheer for dessert. It appeared just like any normal kheer at first sight, but not the same after having the first spoonful. Small bites of real strawberry added a real good flavor and color shining through the kheer. It was indeed a very delicately flavored kheer and perfect to end the meal on that particularly hot day.
Since they serve dessert in a very small bowl, I started craving some strawberry kheer soon after coming home. I already had a box of strawberries sitting in my refrigerator and I am already used to making kheer at home, like the mango kheer I posted earlier. Hence it was not such a big deal to make a big pot of strawberry kheer soon after.
Since I always love bold flavors while I cook, I wanted to make this strawberry kheer a little extra special. So I decided to add a little bit of my homemade rose syrup for flavoring. The gamble really paid off. The rose flavor perfectly complemented the color and flavor of the strawberries and added the magic touch to the kheer which I was aiming for. Also, I usually add rice to my kheer, but this time around I decided to add poha (flattened rice). At the end, this was also a welcome swap, since it added its own flavor and texture to the kheer which made the overall experience more exciting 🙂
Strawberry Kheer is a delicious Indian dessert perfect for a summer day. Cold milk reduced until creamy with bites of strawberry and subtle flavor of rose.
- Milk - 3 Cups
- Poha | Aval | Flattened Rice - 1/3 Cup
- Almonds - 10 (chopped)
- Pistachio - 10 (chopped)
- Condensed Milk - 1/4 Cup
- Cardamom Powder - 1/8 tsp
- Fresh Strawberries - 2 Cups (chopped)
- Sugar - 1 tsp (optional - adjust per taste)
- Rose Syrup - 2 Tbsp
First bring the milk to a boil in medium flame.
Once the milk starts to boil, add the poha and chopped nuts to the milk. Mix well. Reduce flame to low.
Now, add the condensed milk, cardamom powder and mix well. Continue to simmer the milk until the poha is cooked through. Keep stirring frequently throughout the process. When milk layer (malai) forms on top while simmering, remove and add it back to the milk.
Turn off the flame and leave it to cool down to room temperature.
In parallel, add 1 3/4 Cups of the fresh strawberries to a small pan and cook in medium flame. Add a 1 tsp of sugar, if needed. After a short while, the strawberries will ooze out liquid. Add this stage add the rose syrup to the strawberries and mix well. Continue to cook in medium flame until the strawberries are softened but not mushy. Turn off the flame and leave it to cool down to room temperature.
Once both the milk mixture and strawberry mixture are at room temperature, mix them both. Stir well until combined. Refrigerate until cold.
Serve cold along with a garnish of the chopped nuts and the remaining chopped strawberries.
- In case you do not have rose syrup in hand, you can instead add a few drops of rose color, about 1/2 tsp rose essence and sugar per taste.
- Do not mix the milk and strawberry mixture which there are hot/warm. The milk will curdle.
- Both condensed milk and rose syrup have sugar in them, so adding additional sugar is purely optional. You can add it as per your taste preference and the sweetness of your strawberries.