Fresh seasonal produce never fails to entice me and I simply cannot resist the urge of buying more than I need when it comes to such produce. And when the trips to fresh produce market are few and far a between I tend to buy way more fruits and vegetables than I need. On a recent trip to wet market I laid my hands on moderately priced organic sweet potatoes which is quite rare in this part of the world. I lugged the bag along and struggled with the question of how to use a bag full of these precious roots?? The went into some salad, aloo chat etc. and I was still left with 3-4 shakkariya. Sweet potatoes are called shakkariya deriving its name from saakar/sugar!! Unfortunately, Gujarati cuisine does not have a long list of dishes it cooks using it in fact, we hard use it apart from making a sukhi subzi on days of fast or roasting it over coal fire. I had seen my Ba eating mashed shakkariya and milk occasionally for dinner!! That it, nothing appealing happened with shakkariya in our household that otherwise worshipped potatoes!!
The Shakkariya ni Rabdi is inspired by this bowl of comfort my Ba enjoyed for her supper. I had never tasted it but am sure her bowl of comfort would be laden with sugar as was her cup of tea, always as sweet as honey!! The dish is pretty simple to make and does not require to thicken the milk as much as the sweet potato puree will eventually thicken it, the nutmeg is added to aid digestion as sweet potatoes are believed to be difficult in digesting. Rest of the flavors and garnish add as per your taste.
I had to adjust the milk to the amount of sweet potato puree I had on hand. You can use your judgement to increase the quantity of milk and puree. The gradual shunning of refined sugar from the diet has reduced my sugar tolerance hence, I managed with just very little sugar as the sweetness of shakkariya was enough to sweeten the rabdi. The Gujaratis might call this dish a Basudi as both involve same ingredients and reducing the milk by cooking it continuously. There is very little difference between Basudi and Rabdi. Call it a Rabdi or Basudi or Kheer….. this Shakkariya ni Rabdi is one of the most simple and charming delicacy you would make and look forward to making it again….
As someone who advocates home cooking and making everything from scratch I comprehend the need to keep the ingredient list to minimum and the cooking procedures simple thereby, making the task reasonably daunting for all those who love to cook or would want to explore the joy of cooking!!
Shakkariya ni RabdiPrint Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups full fat milk
- 1 cup sweet potato puree
- 2 tablespoons sugar ( more if you like)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- chironji, almond and pistachio slivers to garnish
- few strands of saffron (optional)
To prepare the sweet potato puree, boil and peel the sweet potatoes. Mash them with a masher and pass it through a steel sieve to have a smooth puree. Keep aside.
Put the milk to boil in a heavy bottom sauce pan or kadai.
Add the sugar, boil and reduce to 2 cups.
While the milk is boiling keep stirring continuously.
Keep scrapping the milk layers from side and mixing it in to the boiling milk.
Turn of the flame once you see the milk has reduced and thickened a little.
Add the freshly grated nutmeg, saffron strands and chirongi/charoli while the milk is still warm.
Once the milk cools down to room temperature, add the sweet potato puree and mix well.
Transfer the Shakkariya ni Rabdi to serving bowl and garnish with slivered almonds and pistachios.