I loved trying out Pumpkin Kheer( Parangikai Payasam) as a part of this Dessert Challenge using SugarFree - http://sugarfree-india.com/. There are many variations of this recipe but the one I am going to write about has been passed on to me from my maternal aunt and my mother.
Pumpkin ( Parangikai in Tamil ) Kheer ( Payasam in Tamil ) is the easiest and the most healthiest kheer one can think of. Pumpkin is used very commonly in a variety of dishes in a South Indian cuisine, mainly side dishes like curry and gravy but it is fun to use the same vegetable for making a sweet dish. This dessert is as tasty and delicious as a Badam( Almond) kheer, Basundi or Rabadi.
Since this challenge was about recreating one of my favourite dessert recipes by substituting it with SugarFree I thought of giving the dessert a healthy touch. I have used skimmed milk instead of double toned milk which is generally used for making thick payasam/kheer. The main reason for me to use pumpkin was that it adds an extra nutrition value to the dish. I thought, since we are cutting down on the fat and sugar content by using the right ingredients why not go for a dash of another healthy ingredient?
Pumpkin is widely grown vegetable and is rich in antioxidants, dietary fibers and vitamins. It is a low calorie, easy to cook vegetable and can be easily digested too. The flavonoids, xanthin and carotenes present in it add to the beautiful colour of the dishes made from Pumpkin. Pumpkin seeds are also considered to be a rich source of essential fatty acids and dietary fibers. I have also used almonds and cashew in this which are a rich source of essential fatty acids.
Pumpkin Kheer( Parangikai Payasam)
Recipe type : Dessert
Cuisine : South Indian
Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes
|L-R ( Measuring cup, Measuring bowl)|
Capacity of measuring bowl and measuring cup used = 150 ml
- 1 cup grated pumpkin ( Half of a small pumpkin)
- 2 and half cups of skimmed milk ( Brand used : Nandini Good Life Slim milk)
- 10-12 Almonds ( For grinding and garnishing)
- 5-6 Cashews
- 3-4 pods of Cardamom
- 8-10 Raisins
- 5-6 tbsp SugarFree Natura sugar (The quantity can vary according to the sweetness required)
- Half a tea spoon of ghee
|Keep all the ingredients ready before starting the process|
- Heat one and half cups of skimmed milk in a heavy bottomed pan and add the grated pumpkin to it.
- Allow the pumpkin to cook in the milk for 2-3 minutes.
|Cook grated pumpkin and milk in a pan|
|Allow the mixture to boil|
- Add the almonds, peeled cardamom, cashews and allow them to cook along with the pumpkin.
|Almonds, cashew and peeled cardamom pods have been added|
- I have grated the pumpkin in order to fasten the cooking process. Almonds can be soaked overnight and then added to this mixture if you want a fine paste. I wanted some of the crunchy almonds to be in the kheer/payasam so I did not soak them overnight. It enhances the taste.
- Cook the pumpkin and milk mixture for another 10-15 minutes. Keep stirring in between and remove the condensing milk from the sides.
|Cook for 10-15 minutes|
- Once the pumpkin becomes soft and is cooked , allow it to cool.
|Allow the mixture to cool|
- After this mixture cools down grind it in a mixer. A fine paste will be made within minutes.
- You can choose to grind the almonds till they become a fine paste along with the pumpkin or you can leave them half ground.
- Take one cup skimmed milk in the same pan and add this paste to it. Mix well and allow it to cook for sometime. You can also add water if you want it to be watery in consistency.
|The remaining milk and pumpkin paste is added|
- Once the milk and the pumpkin paste comes to a boil add 5-6 tbsp of Sugar Free Natura and mix well.
- Switch off the flame and stir until the sugar dissolves. Since it is powdered sugar it can dissolve very fast. The heat from the milk and pumpkin is enough to melt the sugar. Stir it and then add raisins. You can add half a tea spoon of ghee for the aroma and flavour.
- Variation : You can also add the sugar to the milk and mix well before before adding the pumpkin paste.
|Pumpkin Kheer is ready|
- Pumpkin Kheer/ Parangikai Payasam is ready. You can serve it hot or transfer to cups and cool it.
- It is going to be a perfect dessert after a sumptuous lunch or dinner.
- I have served them in earthen pot like cups and garnished with grated almonds.
|Parangikai Payasam is served|
This is a short video of the step by step procedure to make this kheer/payasam