Happy Holi! For those who don’t know about this festival, it’s an ancient Hindu spring festival in India and also in Nepal. Popularly known for its celebration with colors and spreading cheer. Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika bonfire where people gather, do religious rituals infront of the bonfire and pray that their internal evil should get destroyed as the Holika Dahan or bonfire starts. The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi – a free-for-all carnival of colors, where participants play, chase and color each other with dry powder and colored water, with some carrying water guns and colored water-filled balloons for their water fight. Everything is allowed this day. People visit family, friends and foes to throw color powders on each other, laugh and gossip, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. Some drinks are intoxicating as well. It’s a very colorful and cheerful festival of ours. Needless to say, it’s my favorite!
I have some amazing memories of celebrating this festival in my hometown, Mumbai. We use to start throwing water balloons at each other a week prior to Holi. I would always land up going home all drenched and hear a good hearing from my mom. That would not deter me from doing the same thing the next day. My dad would get us lots of colors and water guns a day before the festival. One of my most fondest memory of this festival is that till late night, me and my brother would keep filling the water balloons and place them in buckets. In the morning, I would divide these balloons into 2 bags. One for him and one for me and off we go to play Holi! We would play till we were famished. After cleaning us, we friends would again meet up for an elaborate lunch. Evenings called for a second round of water balloon fight! Sharing some of my personal Holi pics with all of you. You can see for yourself how colorful and fun it is.
Coming to the US, the closest I got to this festival was when we did the color run. You must participate in this colorful marathon at least once in a lifetime. Its my favorite marathon after Disney. Anyways, coming back to Holi, I realized that here, none of our Indian friends hosted a Holi party and so we decided to host one. Now it has been 3 years and the tradition continues. I try to revive my childhood memories by filling water balloons the previous night along with my husband, I prepare Holi delicacies for all and we celebrate the festival of colors with our friends here.
I love giving traditional recipes my own twist. Some months ago I revamped the conventional Pongal and made Cherry flavored Sweet Pongal and everyone loved it. So this time while talking to my MIL, she just assumed that I will make a traditional recipe but with my flavor to it. 🙂 I was not going to disappoint her. So this time I created Blueberry Vermicelli Kheer/Pudding. Kheer is prepared in festivals, temples, and all special occasions. It’s a pudding made with rice/vermicelli/sago cooked with whole milk and sugar. Its garnished with dry fruits and is considered a very rich dessert. It’s usually served after a wholesome meal. Sometimes we even host internal competitions for fun on who can drink the most cups of kheer. It’s a very celebrated dish.
Here is how you make this simple yet appetizing dessert. In a pan, heat the ghee/clarified butter. Fry the cashews till they turn golden. Take it off onto a plate. In the leftover ghee, fry the vermicelli till they turn golden too.
Now add the whole milk, saffron and condensed milk. Give it a good mix and bring to a boil on a medium flame. This should take 7-10 mins.
Make a pulp of blueberries and this to the pan. Sprinkle milk masala and add the fried cashews.
Blueberry Vermicelli Kheer/Pudding is now ready. Blueberries and milkmaid give this pudding the required sweetening and make this dessert lip smacking.
- 2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
- 8-10 cashews
- 1/2 cup vermicelli
- 3 cups whole milk
- Pinch of saffron
- 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tbsp milk masala
- 1 cup blueberries
- In a pan, heat the ghee/clarified butter. Fry the cashews till they turn golden. Take it off onto a plate. In the leftover ghee, fry the vermicelli till they turn golden too.
- Now add the whole milk, saffron and condensed milk. Give it a good mix and bring to a boil on a medium flame. This should take 7-10 mins.
- Make a pulp of blueberries and this to the pan. Sprinkle milk masala and add the fried cashews.
- Blueberry Vermicelli Kheer/Pudding is now ready.
- Instead of milk masala, you add home made dry fruits powder.
- You can use fat free condensed milk as well.
- Preferably use whole milk for this recipe.
Try this recipe on any festive occasion and wow your guests with this different kind of kheer/Indian pudding. The fruits in it surely enhance the dish making it very appetizing.
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