Cracked Wheat, Dates, and Fig Payasam (Kheer)

This is a very simple and quick dessert that I whipped for last week puja. Instead of using regular sweetener, I wanted to include some dry fruits to make this more nutritious for the kids. I have used coconut palm sugar to give some more sweetness, if desired it can be omitted. The dates and fig give enough sweetness to the dish without the sugar. The dates and fig can also be pressure cooked than microwaved before making the payasam. Here I have made it a little thicker, you can add more milk, probably half a cup more to make it a little thinner.

1. Cracked wheat, small variety, 1 cup.
2. Dates, 5-6.
3. Fig, 3-4.
4. Cardamom powder, 1/4 teaspoon.
5. Milk, 1 cup. (I used almond milk here).
6. Broken cashews and raisins fried in a little bit of ghee, 1 tablespoon.
7. Coconut palm sugar, 1 tablespoon or more. (Jaggery can also be used here).
8. Chopped dates and fig for garnishing, 1 tablespoon.

Chop the dates and fig into small pieces and microwave them in a bowl with water just in to cover them for 4 minutes.  This will turn a little mushy. Heat a pot with a cup of milk and 3 cups of water. Once it comes to a boil, add the cracked wheat, cardamom powder, cooked dry fruits mixture and the palm sugar. Cook it under low-to-medium flame for around 7 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. Once the desired consistency is reached, switch off the stove, add the fried cashews and raisins and the chopped dates and nuts and serve hot or cold.

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