This Badam Kesar Kheer / Payasam is an Indian dessert, usually served at the end of the meal. The use of pumpkin in this traditional almond pudding adds a unique flavour, while also reducing the calories in the dessert. Saffron is used for flavouring the pudding.
I’m guilty of not sharing too many Indian sweet recipes on my blog. That’s because my blog is a reflection of whatever I cook and eat, and I rarely make Indian sweets. For one, I find most of them very labour intensive and (confession alert!) I am a lazy cook. Ask me to stir a pot for 30 minutes and I will quickly lose interest in cooking. The second reason is that the best of our Indian sweets usually cannot do without lots of sugar and ghee. But give me a quick recipe (like this badam Kesar kheer) which is not loaded with sugar and ghee and I am happy to oblige.
This badam kesar kheer with pumpkin is my Amma’s super-hit recipe and probably one of my favourite things that she makes. Addition of yellow pumpkin to the kheer not only reduces the quantity of almonds you need for the recipe, but also the calories, and a ++ in terms of antioxidants and vitamins. I know we aren’t exactly looking at health benefits from Diwali / festive recipes, but if we get them anyway, then why look away?
The kheer is very mildly sweet and doesn’t require you to babysit the pot for hours. Texture-wise, it is creamy and thick, and the flavour of saffron that lingers on your tastebuds long after you’re done having this. This is the second in the series of Saffron recipes for Diwali 2016 that I’m sharing with you, that I worked on for a booklet for the brand Kesari Saffron.
I have used pure saffron powder in this recipe, but you can replace it with a few strands of saffron toasted on a very gentle heat and powdered using a tiny mortar-pestle.
Print it / bookmark it and make it a part of your festive meal. I promise you that your friends will be asking you for the recipe.
Kesar Badam Kheer with Pumpkin
- 1/3 cup almonds (whole)
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 200 grams yellow pumpkin grated
- 2.5 cups milk (full cream)
- 1 sachet saffron (powder)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 8 - 10 cashewnut halves
- 2 - 3 tbsps raisins
- few strands saffron
- Soak the almonds in boiling water for 1 hour. Remove skins and keep aside.
- In a pan, heat ghee and saute the pumpkin for 3-4 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water, cover and cook the pumpkin until done. Allow all the water to evaporate.
- Grind the almonds with 1/2 cup milk and saffron powder to get a smooth puree.
- Grind the cooked pumpkin with 1/4 cup milk to get a smooth puree.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the almond puree, pumpkin puree, remaining milk and sugar.
- Bring this to a gentle simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat ghee in a small pan. Add cashews and raisins. Once cashews are golden brown, transfer it over the kheer. Garnish with saffron strands.
- Serve chilled or warm.