Growing up carrot kheer/payasam was quite regular in our house. Then a couple of years back my mother made a similar payasam using pumpkin instead of carrots. I think she came across the recipe in some magazine. The taste was so good that it became a regular too. Last week I tried a vegan version of it using soy milk and was surprised by the fact that it tasted as good as the kheer made with dairy milk.
Recipe: Vegan Pumpkin Kheer
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3-4 people
Shelf Life: 2-3 days in the refrigerator
Recipe Level: Basic/Beginner/Easy
Recipe/Post by: Madhuram
Pumpkin Puree - 1 cup
Soy Milk (I used So Good brand, Original) - 2 cups
Sugar - 1/3 to 1/2 cup (more or less according to your taste)
Saffron strands - 5 to 6
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cashews, broken into pieces - 1 tablespoon
- Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and cut into small cubes with the skin. I use a pressure cooker to cook the pumpkin. Drop the pumpkin cubes and add water just to cover it and leave it for 1 whistle and switch off the stove. Once the pressure releases, take out the pumpkin, remove the skin (it will peel off easily) and blend it smooth in a blender. Alternatively, you can also peel the skin and then pressure cook it. The pumpkins can also be cooked in a microwave oven. Remove the skin cut into cubes or grate the pumpkin, place it in a microwave safe bowl with little water, cook it for 5-6 minutes and then blend it.
- Meanwhile in a saucepan bring the soy milk to a boil.
- Add the pumpkin puree to the milk and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Keep the stove in low heat otherwise the bottom of the saucepan will scorch. This mixture has to be heated until we don't get any raw smell from the pumpkin.
- In a small cup take the saffron strands and add few teaspoons of the hot milk and dissolve it with your fingers. Add this saffron mixture to the pumpkin milk. Heat the mixture for another 2-3 minutes.
- Switch of the stove and add the sugar and cardamom powder. The sugar will melt in the heat itself. Just stir it with a ladle a couple of times. Taste the kheer and add sugar if necessary.
- Heat a small frying pan and dry roast the broken cashew pieces and add it to the kheer. Serve the kheer hot or cold.
- I would suggest making this vegan pumpkin kheer once you have found a brand of soy milk you like the most. I have found in my experience that each brand has a different taste and smell and at least I don't like all of them. I finally found this brand (So Good) which suits everybody's palate in my house. This soy milk had an interesting flavor which really enhanced the taste of the kheer.
- I have tried making pumpkin kheer with store bought canned pumpkin puree and it did not come out well. The milk curdled immediately after adding the puree. I did not experiment this once again. So I'm not sure if it was just that once or it is always bound to happen with canned pumpkin puree.
- You can also prepare this kheer with carrot puree, beet puree and ridge gourd puree. Yes, ridge gourd (beerakaya/peerkangai). I have tried all these 3 with dairy milk only. I pressure cook pumpkin, beets and carrot in 3 different vessels in one go itself. Puree them separately; store them in 1/2 cup measure plastic cups and freeze it for later use. Thaw it overnight to use it the next day. By preparing these purees ahead of time you can treat your kids with a variety of healthy and home made colorful beverage in no time.
This Vegan Pumpkin Kheer goes to this month's JFI - Saffron hosted by DK. JFI originally started by Indira.