Ksheere or Ksheera is a sweet dish similar to Rava Kesari (one of previous blog entry), but is different in the way it is prepared as well as its taste. Infact I prefer Ksheere to Rava Kesari. Ksheere is prepared by konkanis mostly for auspicious occasions such as Sathya Narayana Pooja. I simply relish the taste of this sweet so much that I sometimes used to eat it whenever I felt hungry, when it was time for lunch at home, and my mom used to catch me red- handed stealing it from the fridge as she used to tell that I would lose my appetite later to have proper lunch food if I have something like this first, its never stopped me though to repeat my actions later too ;) ......anyways here I am sharing with you the recipe which you too can try at home. Here I have prepared Ksheere with cracked wheat, as I did not have broken wheat, and I had also read somewhere that cracked wheat can be used in place of broken wheat which is ideally used to make Ksheere.
Cracked wheat: 1 cup
Water: 1 cup
Sugar: 1 cup
Ghee (I melted the "I cant believe its not butter" brand and used it instead of ghee as I was on a diet, the wonderful aroma of ghee may not be there when you prepare it with this, so you can use the Ghee you get in Indian stores): 1/2 cup (1 cup is what should be actually used but it makes it very heavy on the dish).
Cashew nut (saute in oil until the raw taste is gone): a handful (optional)
Raisins (saute in oil until all raisins become plump): a handful (optional)
Nutmeg powder: 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Cardamom powder: 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Roast the cracked wheat in a vessel without oil or ghee until the raw smell of cracked wheat is gone. Be careful to not burn the wheat.
Add milk and water to the cracked wheat and keep the fire high. Let the mixture come to a boil and then lower to medium. All this time keep stirring to avoid the mixture sticking to the bottom of the vessel and also to combine the mixture evenly.
When the cracked wheat absorbs all the milk and water, it starts thickening. This happened to me after like 5 minutes of stirring. At this point add sugar and keep stirring again on high fire. When sugar is added to the mixture, it becomes a bit watery, but that is natural as when we add salt or sugar to any dish, it makes the dish watery. But make it a point to add sugar only after the wheat is completely cooked, else adding sugar stops further cooking.
Keep stirring properly until the mixture thickens again, adjust the fire in between accordingly. It took me around 10-15 minutes for the mixture to thicken after sugar was added.
Add ghee at this stage and stir uniformly. Add cashew nuts, raisins, nutmeg powder, and cardamom powder and stir uniformly. Turn off fire. Ksheere is ready to eat! You can have it cold or warm, usually it is served warm. Actually it is first offered to God Vishnu on occasion of Sathya Narayana Pooja and then after pooja , distributed among people as prasadam.