Most of the shops are filled with people flocking to buy stuffs for Diwali. Streets are lined with people selling diyas, flowers and crackers for the festival. Homes are cleaned, diyas and kandeels brought out, are cleaned and hung, sweets and savories are stocked for guests who visit, crackers are collected for the day, sms messages and phone calls with wishes are sent to everyone. Evenings are spent in lighting diyas and busting crackers. No doubts from kids to adults, from old to young this is one festival which all look forward to.
I love making Diwali a special occasion every year... after all it comes just once a year! This year I had plans to make Chiroti, but I just couldn't make it due to time constraint. However, I did make Sabudana Kheer or Sabakki Payasa as we call in Kannada. It was the first time I tried this one and I admit I was skeptical about it turning out right. Sago needs to be handled with care else it will turn out mushy and can ruin the entire dish. Luckily for me it came out just right.
Sabudana Kheer/Sago Pudding
1 cup sago, washed and soaked for 15 mins
2 cups water
1/2 lt milk (approx 2 cups)
1 cup sugar
A pinch of cardamom powder
1/4 cup chopped nuts (cashews/almonds/raisins)
A pinch of saffron
Wash and soak sago in minimal water for 15 mins. Bring 2 cups of water to boil and add the sago to it. Boil till the sago just begins to swell. Switch off the flame. It should be partially cooked so that we can cook it further in milk. Bring milk to a boil and add sugar. Adjust sugar according to taste. Then add the par cooked sago to it. Cook further for 10 minutes. It may look thick, don't worry. You can adjust with milk later.
Rub a few strands of saffron in warm milk. Saffron gives a nice flavor to the dessert. Add them to the kheer. Add cardamom powder and chopped nuts and serve warm.
Enjoy this kheer with your family and friends. Once again, wishing you all a Happy and a safe Diwali!