“Go Veg!” and “Love Peace” are two simple mottoes I live by. Today, October 1 is World Vegetarian Day, the kick-off of worldwide Vegetarian Awareness Month. Tomorrow is the birthday of one of our greatest peacemakers – Mohandas Karamchand “Mahatma” Gandhi.
An essential part of Gandhi’s personal recipe for peace was being vegetarian. I hope Mango Power Girl helps you learn about and enjoy vegetarian food.
To honor Gandhi and all peacemakers around the world, I give you my mom’s recipe for Kheer. Kheer is the popular rice pudding often found in Indian restaurants.
1 teaspoon ghee (unsalted, clarified butter)
1/4 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup water
2 cups warm whole milk, 2% will work!
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
a pinch of saffron
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly crushed cardamom
some chopped almonds
some chopped pistachios
1. In a sauce pan, roast the rice in ghee for a few minutes, on medium heat, until lightly toasted and aromatic.
2. Add the water, cover, and let the rice cook until it is almost cooked, but not completely.
3. Add the milk, bring it up to a simmer, and then turn the heat to medium, stirring constantly. I use a whisk to prevent breaking rice.
4. Once the liquid is reduced to half or less, add the saffron, nutmeg, cardamom, and sugar, and cook some more on low heat until the kheer thickens. Crush saffron strands in a tablespoon of warm milk, so they break up and and dissolve in the dish quickly.
5. Keep stirring and reducing the milk until it comes together with a porridge-like consistency.
6. Top with nuts and serve hot; or, chill, add nuts and enjoy cold!
Today at a peaceful protest with local monks and students in Seattle, I signed a petition to try and stop the current atrocities in Burma/Myanmar. It was a small act of peace but if you look around, online or in your daily life, you will find many opportunities of your own.
Enjoy this Peace Kheer, and while you do, think: what will you do to stand up for peace? As Gandhi said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”