Zaffrani Kheer..with Butterscotch drops!


"Celebrate who you are in your deepest heart. Love yourself and the world will love you.” ― Amy Leigh Mercree.
I made this dish to bring to my friend and fellow blogger Angie's Friday Fiesta #36... Have you been there yet?? No ????Well, you have no idea how much you have been missing out on... Angie's amazing blog is simply fantabulous...  I don't know what I love more about her blog.. the wonderful writing... the beautiful beautiful images or the delicious mouth watering food!!

She herself bought the most incredible"Crepas de Mole" to the party..and I am dying to take it and add my special "S" spin to it...esp for you lovely peeps!!

DO hop over and enjoy the wonderful lovely bloggers and their amazing spread at the fiesta... So happy to be part of such an awesome crowd!
Hi five FF!!

I am a true believer of being  myself..and I am not just saying it. People often call me transparent..I don't know if they want to snidely imply that I am stupid or dumb...or simple mean that I am tactless.
I feel I am....tactless that is. And if not transparent, I am most definitely translucent!! 
My feelings and emotions are clearly visible on my face...In fact I have always lost at the game of poker, coz I can never keep a poker face!!! And if I am happy, I am gleefully so..if angry, it shows...and if sad, it creeps out ( no matter how much I try to keep in under covers)!
It can be exasperating at times...knowing that most people can read your emotions so easily..
It can also be liberating knowing that people will never accuse you of double standards!
I am what I am, take it or leave it...
Thats me... :)

Anyways lets come to the point now, shall we?? You guys make me digress too much :P

Coming to emotions, as I mentioned earlier, when I am happy, I am gleefully so, and tell me, what can make you happier than your brother sending you a prized box of authentic heavenly saffron (zaffraan) all the way from his Kashmir trip!!???

Isn't that the most awesome kind of surprise ever!!???
I love Kashmir.
I love Saffron.
But I love my brother much much more :D

I fell in love with Kashmir long back.... I think I was 11 yrs old when I first visited this darling charming little valley set amidst rolling clouds, green fields and beautiful people... I was awestruck by the ethereal beauty of Kashmir that was..I remember my first Dal Lake and House boat experience...I have suffered from a very bad case of vertigo and motion sickness for as long as I can remember...And I remember being soo NOT thrilled at the idea of the house boat...and sleeping in it at night.. !
My mortal fear was " mama, I don't know swimming,, what if the boat over turns while we are asleep"!!!
But after many manyyyy reassurances from my mom, and the rower, I finally decided to let nature take its natural course, and to simple Not sleep for the night. Easy Solution.
Even then I had such amazing managerial skills, wow...I am amazed at myself..LOL...Now if only someone at work would get amazed too :) 
Later on I have revisited this beauty of a state with my friends...
and more recently frolicked about in the mesmerizing beauty of Kashmir with a newly "enamored-by-me" P ;)

With each visit my love for Kashmir simply grew..and so did my love for everything Kashmiri..
So when my brother surprised me with the perfect little box of priceless saffron ,the foodie in me did a few somersaults and jumped up and down with the box clutched tightly in my palms!

Yes..I got Saffron!! From Kashmir...!!
Now this was a sign that I needed to make something delicious with it...
And given that we are in the midst of celebrating Navratri or Durga Puja now, I thought of giving my paella thoughts a rein check, and opted for a much more Indian and festive dessert... Something that every Indian knows how to make ..and loves to savour..somethings that kind of a prerequisite for all festivals...something I am sure you must have made innumerable times  too...
And so did I..after all a "Classic's a classic for a reason".

Twists added along the way.....

1. Kesar /Zaffraan/ Saffron.....whatever you might desire to call it by, you cannot deny the beauty it lends to dishes..the color and the undeniably warmth evoking fragrance of saffron is perhaps one of my fave fragrances in the world.. ( Old books are a close second)
PS: don't you just love to know me better ? ;

2. Butterscotch Drops....And did I mention I am butterscotch kinda gal..much more than a vanilla or chocolate kind.. I am. I love the crunch..the texture..the caramelized taste that butterscotch brings to a dish...Vanilla is simply that..plain ol' vanilla.....and chocolate....well as sinful and fave as it is, there are times a gal simply wants a break !
3. Pistachio Slivers.... Coz there is absolutely something breathtaking about the way the sweet green slivers look against the ghee colored pot of gold and caramelized goodness thats my bowl of kheer...

Rice  100 gms (small grained, washed and soaked for atleast 30 mins)
Sugar 100gms
Milk 1.5L ( Full cream)
Condensed Milk 2 tbsp
Saffron 5-6 strands  (soaked in warm milk and kept aside)
Butterscotch drops/chips - as desired
Pistachio slivers - handful
Cardamom 4

1. Start off by washing the rice and letting it soak in water for atleast 30 minutes.
2. Take some warm milk in a bowl, Place the saffron strands in it and let stand till needed.
3. Take a heavy bottom sauce pan, pour the milk in and bring to a quick boil
4. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium, add the drained rice to the milk.
5. Bring to another quick boil, then reduce heat to medium and add the cardamoms...
6. Keep stirring in between to ensure it doesn't stick...
7. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 20 mins..Never forget to keep stirring in between..
8. After the mlk has reduced by 3/4 , add the sugar and condensed milk, the saffron and stir well.
9. Bring the heat to medium and continue to cook stirring all the time for 5 mins...
10. Reduce and simmer for 15 mins or so till thick and rice has soaked almost all the milk.
11. Serve garnished with butterscotch and pistachio slivers...
12. Serve either hot,warm,or cold.. ( we love it cold, even better the next morning)

1. It is most important that you use a heavy, thick bottomed pan for the rice pudding...or else, it will get burnt. Trust me...I have burnt it!!
2. You can make changes to the timing depending on the quality of your milk...and the consistency you like.
3. The key to a creamy kheer is cooking on low heat...don't try to rush it... let it take its own sweet time...
4. But obviously adjust sweetness acc to taste...Ours seemed perfect for our taste buds...Sweet is how we like it.
5. Condensed milk is optional....its creamy even without it.
6. You can add dryfruits of your choice..I love Pistachios.

A translucently happy,
S <3

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