I’ve come full circle to why I started cooking in the first place, which was mainly to use up the bazillion bananas bestowed on us by my grandma who didn’t seem to accurately anticipate just how many bananas a family of four could eat in a week.
I have made so many banana breads in my life, I almost don’t even want to look at one anymore. Almost.
But, I’ve found a new, easy, delicious use for using up ripe bananas.
Enter: Kheer, a sort of pudding-like dessert flavored with jaggery/sugar, dry fruits (aka raisins, etc), nuts (usually kaju, or cashews but also badam(almonds) and pista(pistachios), and a yummy mix of spices. Yet another indian dessert that is malleable to many different versions (like halwa). Usually it’s made with rice; I replaced the rice with banana!
Adapted from what I watched my postdoc do:
3 large, overripe bananas, peeled and mashed/chopped
0.5 – 1 L milk (i’ve had success with both)
1-1.5 cubes jaggery (how sweet do you like it?)
1 tablespoon ghee (butter could work)
a handful of cashews, raisins
2 whole cardamom pods
Milk masala mix, which includes cardamom powder, mace, saffron, and nutmeg
Heat the ghee in a pan and toast the cashews/raisins, stirring quickly, until golden brown. Set aside.
Bring milk to a boil (watch that pot!!) and then add bananas; cook and continuously stir until the milk reduces a bit.
Add the jaggery and let it melt. Taste-test.
Continue to stir for a while until the milk reduces a lot and the mixture becomes super thick.
Add the spices (watch out, the milk may curdle. It’ll still taste good).
Finally, stir in the cashews and raisins, with the ghee.
Enjoy banana kheer for breakfast, dessert, snack, lunch, dinner… if you’re like me and don’t mind having dessert for dinner sometimes.
Chocolate banana kheer!
Because… how could this not happen?
And it’s so easy!
Basically, towards the end of cooking, add 2-3 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder.
Use a fork to stir it in so you don’t get cocoa powder everywhere. This also smooths banana clumps.
Let it continue to cook until desired thickness.
Bam. Chocolate kheer.
I didn’t have any, but I’d totally top this with whipped cream.
Now where’s the peanut butter? Because I’m getting more ideas…