Few days back one of my readers asked if I could post more dalia recipes. This lady has recently adopted a daughter who’s one and a half years old. She said her daughter is underweight and refuses to eat dalia. I suggested that if she doesn’t like dalia, feed her something that she likes. I made a few suggestions based on what I had heard from friends/relatives, content read on the net and what Devansh’s pediatrician had suggested regarding ideal food for weigh gain. I also promised her I’ll look up some recipes that will help her daughter gain weight. Kheer is one of the first options that came to my mind. But I had never made kheer before. So I turned to my ever-so-helpful friend Google to see if I could find any recipes of kheer for babies. 🙂
When I searched for kheer recipes, there were many options for ingredients—rice, suji, dalia, even paneer. I was wondering which ingredient to go for. Then I remembered I had this packet of organic, unpolished poha that was just lying there. You must be familiar about my organic food obsession if you have read my earlier posts. I would like to reduce the amount of chemicals and pesticides that creep their way into my child’s food as much as possible. So I had bought this packet of organic, red-coloured, thick poha because my grocer had run out of thin poha. Devansh did not like the thick texture of this poha despite me soaking the poha prior to cooking it. Now visualize me with a light bulb popping out of my head with a picture of poha in it. While searching for recipes, I had come across a carrot kheer recipe. I thought let me add carrots to my kheer; it’ll make the kheer even more nutritious. So now there was carrot added to the light bulb. 🙂
I searched for poha and carrot kheer, and what do you know even that recipe was there. The only problem was this recipe had sugar and you know me, I will try to avoid using sugar whenever I can. I thought no problem I will use jaggery instead. I also read a few recipes for kheer using jaggery for a good measure. Now when I had read so many recipes, making a kheer should be a cakewalk right? WRONG. Turns out that milk cudles if you boil it with jaggery in it. None of the recipes warned me of that. After two unsuccessful attempts at boiling milk with jaggery, I cooked my kheer without jaggery and then added jaggery to it after turning off heat. The kheer turned out well, Devansh devoured three bowls of it. 🙂 But I couldn’t get over this milk curdling with jaggery bit out of mind. I asked mom and she said she always used sugar in kheer. I checked the Internet again and confirmed that most recipes had written boil milk with jaggery in it. Then I came across this recipe from a lady who had provided a simple solution. She had written boil some water and dissolve jaggery in it and then add it to the kheer in the end. Next time I made kheer—dalia this time—I tried this method and blending jaggery with kheer was much easier. So I’m gonna add that in this recipe. Dalia kheer recipe coming up next. 😉
Recipe of a healthy dessert—kheer for babies, toddlers, and kids. To make this kheer, I used flattened rice (poha), carrots and jaggery, instead of sugar.
- 4-5 tbsp thick poha
- 2 medium-sized carrots (steamed and pureed)
- 2 cups whole milk (See note below)
- 1/4th tsp cardamom powder
- Jaggery as per taste
- 1 tbsp homemade ghee
- 3-4 black raisins (optional)
- Wash poha thoroughly.
- Boil milk in a pan, add poha, and then keep stirring the poha.
- Meanwhile heat another pan, add ghee, and then add pureed carrots.
- Stir the carrots for a couple of minutes and then turn off heat.
- After poha is completely cooked, add carrots and stir them for a couple of minutes.
- Add cardamom powder, mix properly, and then turn off heat.
- Boil a little water in a vessel and melt jaggery in it. (Don’t use too much water otherwise the kheer will turn watery.)
- Add this melted jaggery to the kheer and mix well.
- Keep the kheer in the freezer for about 5 minutes after it cools down and then garnish it with black raisins. (Devansh liked this cold kheer. You can choose to serve it hot or at room temperature as per your child's liking. Also, for older kids you may add dry fruits in the kheer. For smaller ones, don't add raisins. You can instead add powdered dry fruits like cashew nuts and almonds. I avoided adding dry fruits because Devansh doesn’t like it when I add pieces that need to be chewed properly to food that can be swallowed without chewing. So he ate the raisins first and then ate his kheer.)
- If you are making this kheer for older kids or grownups, who may not want very mushy kheer, use less milk.
- If you are making this kheer for babies less than one year old, don't use cow/buffalo milk. Instead cook this kheer in little water and then when it is cooked add breast milk or formula. Also, don't add raisins in the kheer.