Welcoming the Diwali festival with bowls of this delicious Makhana kheer. This traditional Indian dessert pudding is made with makhanas slightly roasted in ghee and then cooked in milk with coconut and cardamom.
Makhane ki kheer recipe is very quick and simple. Roasting the makhanas in ghee before cooking them in milk, gives them a nice crunchy texture. Coconut is not a common ingredient in the makhana kheer but we love the taste and the texture grated coconut adds along with crushed makhanas. Some people add whole makhanas and some add them crushed; I like to crush them coarsely. To make makhane ki kheer faster, I’ve used sweetened condensed milk in this recipe. Condensed milk helps thicken the milk faster and also adds the sweetness.
What is Makhana?
But before we go to recipe, let me tell you a little bit about the key ingredient — MAKHANA.
Makhana is actually puffed lotus seed. In English, it is also popularly known as Fox nut (Don’t ask me why because there is nothing foxy about makhanas) or gorgon nuts. In Hindi, it is also called phool makhana as it is derived from lotus flower.
Lotus seeds are collected from wetlands, cleaned, and processed to get these super light and fluffy, popcorn like makhanas. It is a highly skilled task. While makhanas are a common ingredient in many Indian cuisines, they are mostly produced only in Bihar.
Health Benefits of Makhana
Makhana or fox nuts might look like popcorns, but that’s where the similarity ends. In India, makhanas have been traditionally used as a home remedy for insomnia, diarrhoea, and as a pregnancy food. They are extremely healthy. Makhanas are rich in protein, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium , phosphorous, and thiamin. Health benefits include:
- Helps regulate weight: Makhanas or lotus seeds have a low glycemic index (GI). Low GI means that the food will slowly and gradually release energy to the body. Thus you will feel full for longer and less likely to have hunger pangs n between meal times.
- Better Digestion: Makhanas are rich in soluble fibre, helping insetter digestion and ease constipation or indigestion. They are also known to be helpful in stopping diarrhoea.
- Diabetic Friendly: Makhanas do not have any sugar content and are a very healthy snacking option for people suffering with diabetes. However, this particular recipe because of using condensed milk, is not a diabetic friendly recipe.
- Good for during and post-Pregnancy nutrition: Makhanas are traditionally used as during and post-pregnancy nutrition food in India since ages. It is said that the proteins and the B-vitamins in makhanas help in the development of the foetus.
As most grains are not allowed during festival fasts, Makhane ki kheer is very popular during the Navratri fasts. That’s when I had the makhana kheer for the first time and absolutely loved it. So much that I’m making it again now for Diwali :-). Other popular Navratri dishes are sabudana khichdi, sabudana vada, and peanut laddus.
Sometime back when I had shared this photo on my Facebook page, asking if anyone could guess what it was and what did they make with it, I got so many amazing suggestions! This kheer is just one of the sweet recipes with makhana. You can also make makhana barfi and add them to Laddus! There are also many savory dishes. Roasted makhanas being the most popular, but one can make makhana pulao, makhana and peas curry, and also makhana roti.
Next time when you see these puffy balls in the Asian aisle of your supermarket, don’t give them a pass. This is just the first of my makhana recipes! I have so many more to try and then share. Can’t wait 🙂 If you like this recipe, please take a moment to rate it and/or leave your feedback in comments. It will really encourage me to keep exploring, learning and improving.
Makhana Kheer with Condensed Milk
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- In a wide mouth kadhai/wok, heat 1 tsp ghee and lightly roast the makhanas. Just about a couple of minutes.
- Transfer the roasted makhanas in a zip bag, close, and then coarsely crush with a rolling pin. You don’t want it to become a powder.
- In the same pan that was used for roasting the makhanas, add milk and bring it to a boil.
- Add the crushed makhanas, grated coconut and half of the almonds in the milk. Cook on low-medium heat with frequent stirring for about 10 mins.
- Add in sweetened condensed milk, stir and cook for another 5 mins.
- Mix in green cardamom powder and remove from fire.
- Pour in individual serving bowls and garnish with slivered almonds and, if you have them handy, some rose petals for added festive feel.
- Can be served both hot and cold. I love it cold so I chill it for at least 2 hours before serving.
- *If you want to make makhana kheer without condensed milk start by using 2 ltr milk and reducing the milk to half over a low flame. Takes about 45 mins to an hour. and then add about 1 cup sugar along with makhanas and coconut.
- Nutritional information is the approximate information for 1 serving of Makhana Kheer
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