Nepal is a country rich in culture and traditions hence, festivals and celebrations are very common in Nepal. Whether it is a festival like Vijaya Dashami or special occasions like Mother’s day. Nepalis observe these revelries with equal zeal. Among many celebrations, we mark Shrawan 15 as Kheer Khane Din (or day to eat rice pudding or kheer) in Nepali calendar annually. So, the day, as well as the dish, holds quite a significance.
Kheer or rice pudding is known to be an integral part of parties and ceremonies in Nepali culture. It is regarded as a pure dish or food in Nepal, as it is rice cooked in milk. From marriage parties to funerals, we serve and eat kheer on different occasions. It is mainly eaten as a dessert or side dish with Puri or Sel.
How to make Kheer?
The process of making kheer is not that complicated. You just need milk, rice, and sugar plus some dry fruits or nuts (raisins, coconuts, cashew, pistachio, almond) and even cardamom in a pot to make it.
Start off by placing a pot on the gas with milk in it. Let the milk boil. Then take the rice grains and wash it thoroughly for two to three times. When the milk gets thick and starts to condense, pour the rice grains into the pot and cook on medium heat. You can also cook the rice separately and mix with boiled milk later.
You need to keep checking on the rice. Stir frequently so that rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot or burn. You will see that the rice will start absorbing the milk. After a while, add sugar and stir well so that the sugar mixes well with the rice and milk.
You can stop at this point to make a simple kheer. Or also add some chopped dry fruits or nuts in the kheer to add the taste. After adding nuts, stir well five minutes before you turn the gas off. When the mixture is thick, then your kheer is ready. Turn the gas off and let it cool and you are ready to eat it.
Shrawan 15 as kheer khane din
In Nepal, paddy farming is a joyful occasion. Nepali months Asar and Shrawan are marked as the rice harvesting seasons for the farmers. Men and women, from different social backgrounds, work in unity to plant the saplings and pray for a good harvest.
On Asar 15, they mark the start of the harvest season with dahi and chiura. Whereas Shrawan 15 marks the end of the harvest period, and they offer Kheer as prasad (holy offering) to the deities and enjoy themselves as well. Kheer khane Din marks the achievement of farmers in Nepal.
This food is a popular holy offering made during religious rituals and rites. It is usually also served as a sweet dish during family gatherings and get-togethers. Kheer is a favorite food for people of all ages. Some people like to eat it when it is warm while some like it chilled.