Poppy seeds and almond kheer/dessert

A warm and intoxicating kheer, is true to its name, pure bliss. Poppy seeds and almonds roasted to perfection, then ground to a fine paste and cooked with coconut and saffron. It is just the right right finish to a great Indian lunch or dinner. It will also have you sleeping in no time, and through the night!

What you need: Serves 6   
1 cup raw poppy seeds/khus-khus/gasgase
1 cup whole raw almonds
1 Tbsp fresh or dry coconut flakes
1/2 tsp saffron
1 tsp raisins
1 tsp clarified butter/ghee
1 cup warm milk
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
2 green cardamom pods/elaichi

Dry roast the poppy seeds, almonds and cardamoms in a pan on medium heat. Take care to toss the poppy seeds regularly so they roast evenly on dry heat. When you smell the aroma of roasted almonds and poppy seeds, turn off the heat and let it cool.

Grind the almond-poppy seed mixture, coconut flakes and saffron together in a blender. Once the mixture begins to crumble to a sticky powder, add milk and grind it down to smooth paste.

In a pan on medium heat, add the brown sugar and water. Cook until the brown sugar mixture starts foaming.  Add the almond-poppy seed paste to this and cook on medium heat. Cook the mixture until it comes to a boil; turn off the heat.You can add more milk and sugar depending on how thick or thin you like your kheer or how sweet you like it to be.

In the meantime, in a small pan, warm up the ghee and add raisins to it. When the raisins warm up and swell, toss it on the kheer as a garnish. The kheer can be served warm or chilled. Enjoy!