Many a friends of mine wonder why I prefer to eat at home, or why I insist on home cooked food or waste time in cooking when I live in the heart of Silicon valley where literally every strip mall on El Camino either has an Indian food outlet or an Indian grocery store. They cannot comprehend what makes me so eager to sweat in the kitchen; it’s not like it snows in Cali that I find comfort in the warmth of the gas burner.
Honestly, I didn’t know the reason either. Until, I started peeling the onion.
From those cold Chicago days, where I first started cooking/making phulka to get that home-feeling aka feel comforted in the food, to running a full fledged blodg, even if it is irregular at most times, I truly believe that cooking has helped me grow – as a person, an individual to a provider, a feeder, kitchen manager, grocer, and a chef. And besides this, I cook to bring people together, to host potlucks, to wow people, to feel incredible, to celebrate, to carry on traditions, to show I love, to share recipes, to share moments, and to share with family and friends. Simply, because food is comforting.
Cooking has such a feel good factor as it is tremendously therapeutic. All the chopping, cutting, scraping, baking, rolling, is such a stress buster. And because of all the reasons above, I enjoy cooking and am not doing this out of force. Let’s just say, cooking at home, helps me sleep better.
And more than anything, cooking at home, helps me identify with my mom. All our growing years, we sisters were spoilt to our bones. Served with hot fresh food after school, tuition, activities, we never knew how two-days-old food tasted. Rolls, chats, rajma, mangodi, biryani, dahi vada, custard, or whatever we named, were whipped at home by mom. Now, when I look back at those golden years, I am so intrigued. I want to identify with her and play my part in my own family. I want to extend that food culture, etiquettes, mannerism to my family. Pressed for time, if not twice or thrice a day, it gives great pleasure to at least provide fresh dinner, daily.
Ok, enough of my stories, let’s discuss about today’s post. Apologies, for sharing this recipe tad a bit late. I prepared this one during Diwali festivities. But just my (good) luck that I am getting to share this during Thanksgiving – a time of meeting, greeting and being together. Hope you all are having a splendid holiday season – season full of food and family time, a time of nourishing, sharing and making memories. So, I leave you with a simple phool makhane recipe that is a light milk based dessert. Mostly made for festive and fasting occasions, the main ingredient here is phool makhane also called fox nut, especially found in lotus ponds of Northern regions of India, in states of Bihar, and Jharkhand. Hope you like this one, and have an awesome Thanksgiving break!
- Cooking Time: 25 min
- Recipe Level: Easy
- Serves many
- Source: Mom
- Cuisine: North Indian
- 1 cup phool makhana
- 300-350 ml milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp strands of saffron (optional)
- 1 tbsp crushed almonds (optional)
- 1 tbsp crushed pistachios (optional)
- Dry roast makhane in a pan for about 5-10 minutes until crisp (without any oil/ghee).
- In a separate kadhai or heavy bottomed pan, add milk and let it boil.
- Add saffron in the boiling milk after a few minutes.
- After milk has boiled once, reduce the burner and let it heat on slow heat.
- Add the dry roasted, crisp makhane in a food processor bowl. Churn the makhane in the processor for a couple of rounds until reduced to small chunks. Ensure that it is not completely powdered. Keep makhane aside.
- In the kadhai, when the boiling milk has reduced to 1/3 of the original quantity, add the small chunks of makhane to the milk.
- Also add crushed almonds and pistachios. Mix well.
- Let the mix boil for 8-10 minutes, on reduced heat. When makhane are completely soaked in milk, switch off the gas.
- Now add sugar to the milk. Mix well.
- Let the kheer cool down to room temperature. Once cool refrigerate kheer. Serve cold.
- When picking makhana for roasting, ensure to knife out the black and hard part of makhana.
- Ensure gas is not too hot, otherwise milk will burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
- In makhane kheer, traditionally chironji is used for added taste instead of dry fruits. I preferred pistachios and almonds because I am very fond of them and also I didn’t have any chironji at that moment.
- You may choose to let milk remain thick instead of reducing to 2/3 of its original quantity. Traditionally makhane kheer is thick.