Sabudana Kheer | Sabudana Payasam For Ganesh Chaturthi

Today the whole of India and Indians across the globe are celebrating the birth of Lord Ganesha. We call this festival Ganesh Chaturthi. This festival is celebrated on the 4th day in the month of Bhadrapad according to the Hindu calendar.The festive morning starts by welcoming Lord Ganesha in the homes. A small idol of the Lord is brought in the homes and we worship him all though the days of celebrations. The celebration continues for days, sometimes 2,5,11 or 21 or as per people's wish. During this time, people pray by chanting holy songs and prayers. We Indian's call it Aarthi. The aarthi concludes by offering lots of yummy food to the Lord. This is known as Prasadam/Prasad. After offering it to the Lord, it is offered to people in the house. We offer fruits and sweet dish. At the end of the celebrations, the idol is immersed in water after chanting a lot of holy songs. Today I made Sabudana Kheer or Sabudana Payasam as as an offering to Lord Ganesh.

This kheer is simple to prepare and turns really yummy. When the sago turns into nice transparent balls, it looks even more appealing. You can make this for any occasion, like birthdays or any other function. It is always a nice gesture to make kheer when we welcome a special person in our house. People in India make kheer even when they make some business deals or buy property or new vehicles. When I first got a job, my Mom made kheer to celebrate the occasion. So you can try this any time and make everyone happy. This kheer can be served in small serving bowls and can be had as it is. But I love to have kheer with pooris.

Ingredients:                                        Prep. Time: 20 Min's, Serves: 5-6 people                                           
500 ml milk
1 cup sabudana/sago
4 tablespoon sugar
5-10 cashew nuts
3-4 Almonds
1 tsp elaichi powder/5-6 cardamom pods
A pinch of salt

For making this kheer/payasam keep everything ready.
Wash the sabudana, drain the water and keep aside for 2 hours.

Crush the dry fruits - cashew nuts and almonds and microwave them in 1/2 cup water for 1 minute. This ensures that the dry fruits become soft.
 If you don't have a microwave, boil the crushed dry fruits in 1/2 cup water for 10 Min's. Switch off the gas/heat and let the dry fruits remain in hot water.

If you do not have elaichi powder, crush the elaichi pods and powder the elaichi seeds using a mortar and pestel.

After 2 hours, add the milk to a pan and switch on the heat. Start boiling it, when it is about to boil, i.e. when small bubbles start appearing on the sides, add sabudana and stir mildly. Add sugar and mix well.
Then add the dry fruits along with little water from the boiled dry fruits. Add a pinch of salt and stir well.
Garnish with elaichi powder, stir and switch off the gas/heat.

Note: You can increase/decrease the sugar quantity as per your taste. You can add a few strands of saffron to add more taste and little color too.
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