Kaddu ki Kheer is a special dessert from the land of Hyderabad, India. It is generally made with raw White Pumpkin (known as Kaddu in local language) as well as Bottle Gourd.
Occasionally, it is also called as “Gil-e-Firdaus“, which translates to the clay of paradise.
Although the taste of this vegetable is not so great, you will love it in Kheer style. The ingredients and preparation method used to make this delicacy transform the overall bland taste, and you won’t feel like you’re eating same vegetable.
Kaddu ki Kheer can also be prepared during Navaratri vrat. It just makes the whole vrat experience more delightful.
Apart from that, this Kheer serves best accompaniment for spicy Biryani dishes. You can easily replace it with other traditional desserts like Khubani ka Meetha, Gulab Jamun, Phirni and Shahi Tukda.
So, let’s see how to prepare this sweet dish with simple method.
- Kaddu – 200 gm, cleaned and grated
- Full-Fat Milk – Half Litre
- Sugar – 2 cups
- Cardamom Powder – 1 teaspoon
- Saffron Strands – 1/4 teaspoon, dissolved in milk
- Cashew Nuts – 5-6 pieces, sliced into halves
- Almonds – 5-6 pieces, slivered
- Raisins – 7-8 pieces
- Ghee – 1-1/2 tablespoon
1. Heat some ghee in a heavy bottom pan or kadai on medium flame.
2. Add the cashew nuts in it and fry till they turn light golden brown.
3. Add the raisins and almonds (Keep some almond pieces aside for garnishing part). Fry them for a minute.
4. Now, add the grated Kaddu and cook for 4-5 minutes till it loses most of the moisture. Don’t forget to stir it in between.
5. Pour the milk and sugar into it. Mix it gently.
6. Switch the flame to medium-high and boil the milk.
7. Once the milk mixture starts to thicken a bit, reduce the flame to low-medium. Add the cardamom powder and saffron strands in it.
8. Cover this mixture with the lid and cook for about 10 minutes.
9. Finally, check the consistency and taste of your Kheer. If it looks alright, garnish with remaining slivered almonds.
For more royal presentation, some people also use Silver Varakh (foil).
How to serve Kaddu ki Kheer?
Many times I like to enjoy my desserts served at low temperature. I think chilled sweet dishes taste way better than the ones that are served on hot or room temperature.
For you, I’d suggest go for what you or your guests like. However, if you’re serving it with Biryani or Pulao, it should be served chilled or at room temperature. It will help balance the spicy taste and hot temperature of your mouthwatering rice preparation.
So, please don’t serve it hot with such dishes.
On auspicious occasions like Navratri Vrat or Fasts, you can serve it warm. It’ll taste devine, if you’re super hungry on such days.
For kids, you can present it with cool Tutti-Frutti garnish.
Variations for Kaddu ki Kheer
As you know, I love to suggest some twists and tricks with most of the recipes. With this dessert, you can definitely experiment with certain things like colors, flavors, etc.
So, have a look at the following variations for this kheer –
Flavorful Kaddu ki Kheer –
Do you like Chocolate flavor or Vanilla flavor?
Well, you can use some easily available food essences to bring your favorite flavors to this dish.
And if you don’t like artificial flavors, simply cut fresh fruits of your choice and put them in this kheer. It will help you enhance your kheer with these natural resources.
Rice & Sabudana Kheer –
It is a well known variation of this Kheer. Many people prefer to enjoy Kaddu Kheer with the addition of these two ingredients.
Here’s how they do it –
- Soak Basmati Rice in water for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook Sabudana in water until it’s done.
- Now, grind both of them into a fine paste.
- Add the paste to boiling milk and cook well.
There is another method that helps you add more substance. Check it out below.
- Just like earlier step, soak Basmati Rice in water for 20 minutes.
- Cook Sabudana in water for few minutes.
- Then, put strained Sabudana and Rice into the milk.
- Cook it thoroughly and make sure Sabudana seeds are not completely dissolved in the kheer.
If you’re going to make this type of Kheer at home, do use good quality of Basmati rice. It will impart really nice aroma in your preparation.
As I said earlier, Kaddu or White Pumpkin is not a very tasty vegetable. But if you try it in Kheer version, I’m pretty sure you won’t look for anything else.
I, sometimes, wonder how simple addition of one or two ingredients change the complete look and taste of the dish. And this is one of the reasons why I respect our Indian chefs. They somehow magically create such delicious food with limited resources.
Some of our dishes like Kaddu ki Kheer, Gajar ka Halwa and Dudhi Halwa are fine example of what you can make with your imagination. Hats off to these creative folks!
Over to you –
What’s your style of making this kheer? Do you add Sabudana and Rice in it?
Do let me know in the comments below.