LITTLE MILLET KHEER – SAMAI KHEER
Little millet Kheer with Saffron; Creamy millet pudding with subtle saffron flavors.
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Here’s why you should make this little millet kheer pronto:
❊ Our star ingredient in this recipe is millet! This is definitely a great place to start if you are looking to include millet in your diet.
❊ I solemnly promise that there won’t be any need to keep stirring and stirring the kheer for what feels like forever. We have a neat trick to skip this thickening part.
❊ Its got saffron, nuts and ghee ( obviously) and makes a very pretty dessert for a party.
❊ I’ll also share how to fancify this further and make sure everyone at the table tells you how cool you are.
- What is Little Millet?
- Little Millet Kheer- Ingredients
- Thickening the Kheer without all that baby-sitting
- Evaporated Milk for thickening Kheer
- Where to buy Evaporated Milk?
- Meal planning and Prep work
- Serving Suggestions- Fancifying Saame Kheer
- More Millet Recipes
- Little Millet Kheer With Saffron- Step by Step
- More Kheer Recipes
What is Little Millet?
Little Millet is one of the positive millets. This is rich in fibre and is a great substitute for rice in your diet. Little millet and pretty much any variety of millet is gluten-free. This makes it a great option for people who are intolerant to gluten.
Little Millet is also called as Saame in Kannada, Samai in Tamil, Moriyo or Kutki in Hindi and Samalu in Telugu.
As the title suggests, this recipe uses Little Millet as its main ingredient. I have used polished Little Millet to make this kheer here today. And I highly recommend that you use polished millets for best results in dessert recipes.
While I have used little millet, you can also use Kodo millet ( Varagu arisi) or Barnyard millet ( Kuthiravali) in place of this and make this kheer. The proportions and the cooking time are all the same.
Click here to buy Little Millet- Little millet
Little Millet Kheer- Ingredients
❊ Little Millet– Also called as Samai in Tamil, this is our main ingredient. You can also use Barnyard millet or Kodo millet in place of this to make Little millet kheer.
❊ Sugar– I have used regular white sugar to make this today because this is a milk based recipe. I won’t recommend switching to other sweeteners like Jaggery. Jaggery tends to curdle the milk and hence it is not recommended.
❊ Nuts– We are going to be using cashews to garnish our kheer. You can skip this entirely for a nut-free kheer.
❊ Saffron– Delicate and subtle- that s how I will describe saffron. It s amazing how so very little of this ingredient can do wonders to a dish. And this millet kheer will just prove that once more.
❊ Ghee– I have used ghee to fry the cashews and added the ghee and the fried cashews to the kheer. However, if you are feeling very calorie-conscious, you can skip ghee entirely. And this kheer tastes just as good!
❊ Milk– In this recipe, we’ll be cooking the millet in full-fat milk. You can switch to low-fat milk but the result won’t be a creamy kheer.
And finally, let s get to the most time consuming part in a kheer- reducing it.
Thickening the Kheer without all that baby-sitting
I m sure you will agree with me when I say that the most trying part of a kheer recipe is when you have to keep stirring it and slaving over the stove while waiting for it to thicken and reduce.
And I m not even willing to discuss the scrubbing that ensues. Agreed? Well, let me share a simpler way to do it.
Evaporated Milk for thickening Kheer
While condensed milk used to be a very popular option for thickening kheer, it comes with loads of sugar. So, what is the next best bet? Move over, condensed milk. Because we have this can of magic- Evaporated Milk.
I discovered evaporated milk after moving to Singapore. I use it in umpteen ways and i m quite surprised that I have never written about it. I use it to thicken curries, make creamier soups and in Kheer recipes such as this.
Evaporated milk is my go-to when I m pressed for time and yet, I want to churn out this pot of creamy Kheer. They make evaporated milk by simmering it on low heat for a long time until it is dreamy-creamy thick.
Shall we say that someone very sweet decided to make your work so much easier?
Where to buy Evaporated Milk?
If you are in the US, finding evaporated milk is quite easy. You will find it in almost all grocery stores.
In Singapore, you can find evaporated milk sitting in the same shelves where you will find condensed milk. Fairprice or Giant is a sure bet.
Finding evaporated milk in India used to be tough earlier but not anymore. You can buy a stash from Amazon.
Click here to buy evaporated milk in India- Evaporated Milk in India
Meal planning and Prep work
Are you planning to serve this at a party? Then, you can make this ahead of a day and let it chill in the fridge. The flavors intensify as they sit and the result is this “heaven in every spoon” kind of kheer.
Begin by washing and soaking the millet for at least 20 mins. While the millet is soaking, you can prep the saffron, crush the cardamom and chop the nuts.
Serving Suggestions- Fancifying Saame Kheer
Like i mentioned, let me share a few tips to make this fancier. Serve this topped with fresh fruits and a dollop of whipped cream on top. Or you can convert this into a layered dessert.
To a glass, add crushed Parle-G biscuits or Good Day cardamom flavored biscuits. Press them firmly using your thumbs to the base of the glass. Now, add ¼ c of the kheer. Add chopped fresh berries- strawberries and blueberries work well. Or add some chopped fresh mangoes and bananas. Add chopped nuts as garnish. Serve chilled.
Before we go on with the Little Millet Kheer recipes, here are some more Millet recipes.
More Millet Recipes
Little Millet Kheer With Saffron- Step by Step
Washing and soaking
Wash the little millet in water thoroughly. Because we are using polished millet, you need not wash it multiple times. When done, soak the millet in 2 c water for 30 mins. I recommend soaking at least for 20 mins to reduce cooking time.
Prepping the saffron
While the millet is soaking, combine the saffron with 1.5 tbsp warm water and set aside.
Cooking the millet
Drain all the water from the millet. Add this to a heavy-bottomed sauce pan with the milk.
Now, cook this mixture on low flame until the millet is soft and cooked. We are not going to cook the millet to a mush. Our millet grains must be cooked and yet hold shape. Only then, they will look pretty too.
It takes around 10 mins for the millet to be cooked fully. As the millet cooks, you can see that it absorbs the milk and thickens too.
When the millet is completely cooked, add the sugar. Mix well. Add crushed cardamom and saffron water at this stage. Mix well. You can see that the mixture changes to a pale yellow color. Continue to cook till sugar dissolves completely. Once the sugar dissolves, continue to cook till the milk froths up. This takes about 3 mins on medium flame.
Combining the evaporated milk
Now, add the evaporated milk and mix well. Continue to simmer for 5 mins on low flame, stirring every now and then, to prevent the millet from sticking to the bottom or burning. This simmering is done so that the flavors all mix and mingle well. When the mixture comes to a gentle boil, switch off the flame.
Heat a pan with ghee. Add the chopped cashews and fry them till golden. Now add the ghee+cashews to the kheer and mix well. Our little millet Kheer with saffron is ready.
Let the kheer sit for 15 mins before serving. Serve warm or as suggested in our serving suggestions column.
More Kheer Recipes
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Little Millet Kheer With Saffron
For soaking the millet
- ½ c Polished little millet
- 2 c Water
For infusing the saffron
- 10 to 12 strands Saffron
- 1.5 tbsp Warm water
For the kheer
- 2 c full-fat milk
- 3 green cardamoms crushed
- 8 tbsp Sugar
- 1 c Evaporated milk
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- 10 whole Cashews broken
Washing and soaking
- Wash the little millet in water thoroughly.
- When done, soak the millet in 2 c water for 30 mins.
Prepping the saffron
- While the millet is soaking, combine the saffron with 1.5 tbsp warm water and set aside.
Cooking the millet
- Drain all the water from the millet. Add this to a heavy-bottomed sauce pan with the milk.
- Now, cook this mixture on low flame until the millet is soft and cooked.
- It takes around 10 mins for the millet to be cooked fully. As the millet cooks, you can see that it absorbs the milk and thickens too.
- When the millet is completely cooked, add the sugar. Mix well. Continue to cook till sugar dissolves completely.
- Add crushed cardamom and saffron water at this stage. Mix well. You can see that the mixture changes to a pale yellow color.
- Once the sugar dissolves, continue to cook till the milk froths up. This takes about 3 mins on medium flame.
Combining the evaporated milk
- Now, add the evaporated milk and mix well.
- Continue to simmer for 5 mins on low flame, stirring every now and then, to prevent the millet from sticking to the bottom or burning.
- When the mixture comes to a gentle boil, switch off the flame.
- Heat a pan with ghee.
- Add the chopped cashews and fry them till golden.
- Now add the ghee+cashews to the kheer and mix well.
- Let the kheer sit for 15 mins before serving. Serve warm or as suggested in our serving sugge