Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cheppi Kheer - Sugarless Kheer?

My grandmother used to make this "kheer" for Nagpanchmi. and she would send a huge parcel to our home along with many other goodies. I used to feast upon the rest of the goodies except this so-called kheer. How can a kheer be without sugar? I used to argue. But that is a delicacy. This cheppi i.e. sugarless kheer is my mom's favorite. and it is really sugarless. No hidden agenda here. No jaggery, no honey, no sugar substitute, no agave nectar, no maple syrup, nothing!!! If you are not familiar with the Konkani cuisine, you may feel that the cook has forgotten to add the sugar!!;-)

Now that I am all grown up, I too relish the delicate taste and flavor turmeric leaves and coconut milk impart to this unique porridge.
Turmeric leaves are quite unique and are used in Konkani/Malvani/Goan cuisine. I have never seen them at our local Indian stores. So here's how I get them. :-D

Cheppi Kheer - (Serves 2)
Sugarless Basmati Porridge
1/4 cup basmati or ambemohar or delhi rice (or any fragrant rice)
3/4 cup water ( + 1/2 cup if needed)
1 cup fresh coconut milk - preferably freshly extracted (see the note below)
2 fresh, small turmeric leaves, tied in knots
A pinch of salt

1. Wash and drain the rice. Add 3/4 cup water, salt & turmeric leaves. Bring it to boil.
2. Lower the gas and let it cook till the rice is soft. Add another 1/2 cup water if needed till rice is soft.
3. Add coconut milk and keep stirring till it comes to a gentle boil.
4. Switch off the gas. Cover with a lid.
5. Serve warm.

Notes -
1. You can add some jaggery if you absolutely have to. but then you are really & totally deviating from the original cheppi kheer. The whole idea of this kheer is to relish the flavor of the turmeric leaves and delicate natural sweetness of coconut milk and fragrance of Basmati.
2. Traditionally, fresh coconut milk is extracted from coconut by grinding freshly scraped coconut with water, ground white flesh of coconut is then squeezed to get thick coconut milk. This is the preferred method. However, I use ready made coconut milk for convenience.


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