On the blessed occasion of Easter I wish to offer you my readers mouthfuls of this wonderful, traditional Mangalorean coconut milk based kheer that is called as 'Guliyanchi Kheer'. In Konkani 'Gulio' stands for 'tiny balls or tablets' and this wonderful kheer has abundance of tiny rice balls swimming in a rich thick sauce of coconut milk & jaggery aromatic with powdered cardamom. Traditionally this kheer is also prepared for the new mother as part of her post natal diet in which case it is prepared using palm jaggery instead of regular jaggery. Palm jaggery made from the palmyra palm (also called as the 'Eerol/Irvol' palm tree) is considered to be richer in nutrients than the regular cane jaggery made from sugarcane.
The guliyanchi kheer is part of a dying tradition of Mangalore. Not many people have eaten this kheer, especially today's generation whose chances of eating it is very slim. Probably only those women who have had the opportunity to hire post delivery care givers (the traditional Mangalorean 'balnti posteli') and have been fortunate enough to have eaten this preparation if made by them at home. I lucked out both times when this traditional care giver was hired to help me with my postpartum recovery. I fell in love with this kheer when it was made the first time but I didn't bother to ask for the recipe as the blog was not born as yet. After the blog was created and I slowly started recording the traditional recipes of Mangalore I received many requests from readers for this recipe. I then decided to make sure that I got all the traditional post natal recipes from my balnti posteli who came to help me when my second child was born. Although the recipe has been sitting in my drafts since 2012 I never got the time to try it out again in my own kitchen. I finally made this a few weeks ago and I am happy to share this lovely recipe with you.
I know for sure that there are plenty of you who will be delighted to see this recipe and many who will exclaim that the process is too complicated. Well, sometimes it is important to go that extra mile, to work a little hard to enjoy something truly delicious. However there is a short cut to this recipe - the rice balls needn't be rolled out if you don't have the time, patience or inclination to do so. You can grind the batter slightly thin and run it through a slotted spoon so that they drop directly into a pan of bubbling hot, boiling water placed over a high flame so that what you get are 'droplets' of dough that quickly cook in the hot water. You can then fish these droplets out using the same slotted spoon, drain them and add them to the kheer. Easy way, but not so impressive in appearance as the rice droplets don't hold a particular shape so may not look very appetising for some. However, to each his own. There is no hard & fast rule that you shouldn't depart from traditional methods to make life easy and enjoy what you love and crave for. So go ahead & experiment! Break the boundries, change the rules, make this kheer & enjoy it too :-)
Happy Easter! May the risen Lord bless and protect you today & always!
Prep time: 8 hours + 45 mins (approx) | Cook time: 20-25 mins | Servings 4-6
To Make the Guliyo (Rice Balls) (see notes for alternate method)
- 1/2 cup boiled rice (ukda chawal /ukdo/katsambar akki)
- 1/2 cup parboiled rice (mutambo/idli rice/ponni rice)
- 1-1/2 - 2 cups thick coconut milk / first extract *see notes
- 5 cups thin coconut milk /second extract
- 150 gm palm jaggery, powdered * see notes
- 1/4 cup (or more) Cashewnuts
- 1 tablespoon ghee to fry the cashewnuts
- salt to taste (approx 1/4 teaspoon)
1. Wash the two types of rice till the water runs clear. Soak them in plenty of water for 8 hours or overnight.
2. Completely drain the water and grind the rice to a fine thick paste. Use water sparingly. We need a thick dryish batter and not a runny one so use just 2-3 teaspoons of water at a time if required to help grind (if you are using a mixer grinder)
3. Transfer the batter into a non stick kadhai/wok. Place the pan on a low heat and stir the contents using a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together like a ball. This process is called 'ubzounche' in Konkani where the excess moisture gets evaporated & the dough gets partially cooked and turns stiff enough to help roll out balls.
4. When the dough looks dry enough and forms a ball, transfer it onto a wide plate. When it is cool enough to handle knead it gently into a smooth ball taking care to see that there are no cracks on its surface.
5. Pinch out lime sized pieces from the dough and cover the dough ball with a warm wet cloth so that it doesn't dry out quickly. If the dough dries up, rolling it into balls becomes difficult as it tends to crack.
6. Using both your palms roll out the lime sized ball into the shape of a small rope - this makes it faster to make smaller balls. Now pinch out tiny portions of dough and roll them into balls and lightly flatten the balls. Continue with the rest of the dough till everything is used up.
To Make the Kheer:
1. Place the 5 cups of thin coconut milk, jaggery and salt to taste in a sufficiently large pan. Place the pan on a medium heat, stirring the mixture till the jaggery dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil on a medium high heat. Do not cover the pan at any stage as there are chances that the coconut milk may curdle.
2. When the mixture has come to a boil add the prepared rice balls and continue to cook for 15 minutes stirring every now & then. Do not cover the pan.
3. After 15 minutes, add the thick coconut milk and let it come to a gentle boil. Stir every now & then. Continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
4. In a smaller pan heat the ghee and fry the cashew nut halves till they turn golden brown. Add them to the kheer and give it one last boil and remove from heat.
5. Serve immediately. It tastes wonderful anyway, hot, warm or chilled
1. The alternate method to make the rice balls is to grind the batter slightly thin and run it through a slotted spoon so that they drop directly into a pan of bubbling hot, boiling water placed over a high flame so that what you get are 'droplets' of dough that quickly cook in the hot water. You can then fish these droplets out using the same slotted spoon, drain them and add them to the kheer. Easy way, but not so impressive in appearance as the rice droplets don't hold a particular shape so may not look very appetising for some.
2. It is recommended that you use freshly extracted coconut milk. However, you can also use coconut milk powder to reconstruct the milk or canned milk too. 1 cup grated coconut + 3/4th cup warm water yields approx 3/4th cup thick coconut milk.
3. Adjust the amount of jaggery to your taste. If you do not have palm jaggery you may use regular cane jaggery.
Extracting fresh coconut milk
Grate the flesh of one coconut (yield should be approx 2 cups) and transfer it to a mixer grinder. Add about 1/2 - 3/4th cup of warm water and pulse the mixer grinder for a few seconds.
Line a bowl with cheese/muslin cloth and transfer the ground coconut into it. Cover the cloth into a bundle and squeeze to extract thick milk. Keep aside
Add a little water (depending on how much thin milk you desire) and repeat process. This is the thin milk.
Preparing coconut milk from coconut milk powder
To make approx 1 cup thick milk - Dissolve 6 tbsp coconut milk powder in 3/4th cup warm water
To make approx 2 cups thin milk - Dissolve 6 tbsp coconut milk powder in 1-1/2 cups warm water
*I use Maggi coconut milk powder