Thursday, September 27, 2007

Much Ado About ..................Hair !

Crowning Glory, Cascading Curls, Tantalizing Tresses ! ....just a couple of expressions to describe got it ...your hair :D ...I think most women (and men too) would give anything to have a head full of luxurious, thick and shiny hair ...I know I would !!! Why, I am sure that the hair care industry must be one the most lucrative ones in almost every part of the globe !
Given that, it should come as no surprise that our fetish with hair begins as early as childhood ! If not ours then our children's ! Well...I am kidding, of course (ahem...)
Even though my hair would never ever fit any of the above descriptions (sob...sob), I was happy to note that my son's hair was thick, curly and abundant (yippee, thus begins the obsession). In most of the households that I know, in India...there are various customs to be observed about cutting a kid's hair for the very first time...there is usually a time period during which this needs to be done (usually the first year or the third year), there could also be a big function where all relatives and friends are invited over.
Well, given that my son's hair was growing at a very fast rate, the husband and I doubted whether we could wait until his third year (he inst even 18 months yet ! ), we spoke with the authorities back home and were told that we could do it at home, on an auspicious day ! (You see, there is an auspicious day for almost everything). Its believed that you should not cut one's hair on the day of your birth, on Amavasya ( the new moon day), on Ashtami (the 8th day after the new moon or the full moon .....
So then, keeping all these missives in mind, we selected a date and set out to make our son's head a bit lighter !! It wasn't as difficult or traumatic as we expected...little P was happily playing with something at his dad's feet in the tub and his dad was merrily snipping away at P's curls (sigh)...
Once everybody involved was bathed and clean, it was time to think about the dessert to be made for see, we don't believe in missing out on any opportunity to celebrate...with sweets of course !!
I didn't have time to prepare anything elaborate and I had the perfect recipe in mind...This was something that my mother used to make when the dessert was only for family...when the occasion didn't warrant anything lavish and yet...some sweet had to be made ....

kaDale beLe rave paayasa (Chana dal and semolina kheer)

Servings: 8


1/4 cup chana dal
1/2 cup semolina (rava)
2 cups milk (tastes better if whole milk, but any kind of milk will do)
1 cup grated jaggery ( can substitute brown sugar)
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 cup cashews and raisins (optional)
2 tbsp heavy cream (optional)


1. Place the chana dal in a large sauce pan, cover the dal with plenty of water and bring to a boil..Continue to boil until the dal can easily be crushed between your fingers, but hasn't turned to mush yet.(about 25 minutes)
2. Lightly roast the semolina in a tsp of ghee.
3. Once the chana dal is done, drain away the excess water (this water is quite nutritious and can be used to make delicious rasams), add the milk, jaggery and bring to a boil again.
4. Add the roasted rava and mix thoroughly well.
5. Add the heavy cream, if using, cardamom powder and the nuts and raisins and stir.
6. If the kheer seems thick, you can add more milk.

The kheer is best served hot...but I enjoy it cold as well. It does become thicker as it cools. The creaminess of the rava complements the bite of the chana dal...This is a homely, simple kheer. I am not sure if I would serve it to guests at a party, but it is a great recipe to make in a pinch

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