Winter is here and so are the oranges. As a kid, during winters I used to sit under the sun for hours and eat orange. Come January, it was always our favourite time to prepare sweets at home. Back home, our Makar Sankranti celebration used to start atleast ten days prior and while Maa used to handle Kheer and Payesh, Baba and I were the experts in Pitha – my sister used to act as helper for both the sides. Maa and Baba still celebrates Sankranti with great zeal, but it is not as grand as it used to be – reason being, both my sister and me are far away from home 🙁
I love festivals and Sankranti is one of my favourites. The smell of freshly cooked Payesh, the Pithas are drowning into syrup, the sweet and milky grated coconuts, the struggle for breaking Tiler Naru, the crunch of Murir Moa and the tangy-sweet taste of oranges, I love them so much. Usually, my pre-Sankranti preparation starts with Pitha, but this year, it started with kheer. This is rather a special kheer and it is called Kheer Komola or Orange Kheer. How it tastes? Well, you have to try it to believe it 🙂
If you are a Bengali, you must have sweet tooth – I do have, I confess. My sweet extravaganza for this Makar Sankranti has already started and here I present my very first sweet dish of 2019, Kheer Komola. Here’s the recipe for you all.
- 1 ltr full fat milk
- 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
- 5 table-spoon sugar
- 1 tea-spoon cardamom powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pinch saffron
- 4-5 almond, chopped for garnishing
- 4-5 thin slices of orange peel for garnishing
- Peel off the transparent shell for the orange segments and keep aside.
- Heat the milk by adding bay leaves on low to medium flame by constantly stirring it. Reduce it to little less than half. It should take around 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Once the milk is reduced, add cardamom powder, saffron and sugar and cook for another 8-10 minutes on low flame.
- Turn off the flame, remove the bay leaves and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Add the orange segments to the milk and give a quick mix.
- Garnish with almond and orange peel and keep it in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours. Serve chilled.
The longer time it will be in the refrigerator, the more flavourful it will be. I made this in the night and refrigerated it overnight. Do try this kheer and let me know in comments about how you like it. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.
Happy Makar Sankranti in advance!