The “Peshwa” (hindi:पेशवा, plural Peshwe, Marathi:पेशवे) were Brahmin Prime Ministers to the Maratha Chattrapatis (Kings), who lead Maratha armies and became the hereditary rulers of the Maratha empire of central India from 1749 to 1818. Prior to 1700 Peshwa enjoyed the status of king for eight or nine years. They oversaw the greatest expansion of the Maratha Empire in 1760’s.Their culture,heritage & luxurious style of living has had a great influence on the way of life of the entire civilization in Pune.
My paternal grand-mother hailed from Hasabnis family who served as Sardars (generals) to Peshwas.
Vasant Kaka (Rohan’s father,I fondly address him as uncle) reminds me of the Peshwe era in some ways.His charm,wit,sophistication, love for art & good food make him perfect to be born a Peshwa!In his own way,he is a King.The king who is generous at heart yet a family man.
“Badam Sheera” (Almond thick porridge) is one thing he loves to eat and Hema Athya (Rohan’s mother,I fondly address her as paternal aunty) has to make efforts to keep him away from sweets (for obvious reasons).However,its Diwali and I could not stop myself from finding a suitable recipe for his likes.Although,Ruchira did not have a recipe for Badam Sheera,it did have one for “Badam Kheer” (an almond liquid consistency porridge) which I m going to enrich with other dry fruits.
This is my Diwali Gift for Vasant Kaka (hopefully,Hema Athya would relax the diet restrictions for a day in Diwali & make it soon :)
- 1/4 muffin-full bowl of Finely powdered Dry Fruits.I used raisins,walnuts,pistachios,almonds,cashews.One may follow the book’s method of soaking almonds in hot water to de-skin and later crush them thoroughly with pestle & mortar ,which I skipped.
- 1/2 muffin-full bowl of dates+poppy seed+sugar mixture (left over of the dates paratha i had made earlier this week,my addition)
- 2 tsp cardamom powder
- 2 tsp nutmeg powder
- 2 mugs full of low fat milk
- 1/8 muffin-full bowl of heavy cream
- 4-5 strands of saffron-soaked in 2-3 tbsp of milk
- 1 tbsp pure ghee-I would not suggest any thing else for this recipe.(my addition)
- 2 cloves-powdered (my addition)
- 1 small piece of cinnamon-powdered (my addition)
Stir thy Soul
The Book’s method: Its pretty simple and non-fuss.Boil the milk and add the crushed almonds in it along with cardamom powder & sugar.Allow this porridge to cook for 5-8 minutes or until the milk thickens considerably.
I want it my way: I sautéed the powdered dry fruits & dates mix in some ghee on medium flame.Simultaneously,I boiled the milk and heavy cream.I pushed the sautéed dry fruits and dates mix into the boiled,thick milk.Allowed it to boil for some time,I transferred the saffron,cardamom powder,clove powder,cinnamon powder & nutmeg powder into it.I was stirring it continually,until my hand and back paved way for a tired fall on sofa (:P)!!
Anyway,the Kheer was awesome! I love it chilled as well as hot! Choose your pick!!