Yes it is that time of the year again! The festival season! Being a transplant from India settled in the US, the holiday season for us starts from September itself! Our celebrations first begin with Onam which is a harvest festival celebrated by southern Indians (yes that would be us 🙂 ) followed by Diwali which falls in October or November every year. And then there is Thanksgiving and Christmas! Plenty of festivals to keep us busy!
I absolutely love the festive season and even being on the AIP diet has not dampened the festive spirit in me! Of course it can be depressing since you cannot have most of the traditional foods and sweets served during these festivals. However, I have always been up for a good challenge and so I try to create AIP versions of a lot of foods that are now ‘off limits’ for me.
Diwali, the Indian festival of lights and the Hindu New Year, which symbolizes the victory of good over evil, is coming up this weekend. Last year I had made a diary free and refined sugar free version of Kaju barfi (Cashew nut fudge). Since cashew nuts have been a successful re-introduction for me, this is one treat that I am excited to enjoy this year too! Kheer or Rice Pudding is a dessert that is very popular in India during Diwali. Since rice is problematic for me, I have been meaning to create a Paleo and AIP version for myself. I first tried making kheer using cauliflower ‘rice’ and although it tasted OK, it didn’t feel as delectable as the traditional kheer where the rice gives it a lot of creaminess. And so I had to try again and this time I tried using grated sweet potato and it came out just perfect! Creamy and yummy 🙂
This sweet potato ‘kheer’ is so delicious and is grain free, dairy free and refined sugar free! What are you waiting for? Give it a try this Diwali! And I am sure it will become a regular dessert in your home!
I made a video of this recipe too – Click below to watch! Hope you can make this paleo version of ‘kheer’! Happy Diwali to all those who celebrate this wonderful festival!
- 2 tbsp palm shortening (or coconut oil)
- 10-12 cashew nuts, sliced in half (omit for AIP)
- 1 cup grated sweet potato ( white sweet potato or yellow sweet potato)
- 1 can (about 2 cups) coconut milk ( Native Forest brand or homemade)
- pinch sea salt
- ⅛ cup or about 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- ¼ tsp saffron strands, about 12-16 strands
- 2 tbsp collagen peptides (optional; omit for vegan)
- In a medium size cooking pot, heat the palm shortening (or coconut oil). Add the cashew nut pieces (if adding and saute on low heat for 3 to 4 mins until they turn golden. Immediately add the grated sweet potato and stir gently to coat the sweet potato pieces with the fat. Next add the coconut milk, the sea salt, the maple syrup and the saffron. Stir gently to mix well. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 5 mins.
- Open the lid and stir gently making sure the sweet potato pieces are not sticking to the pot. Let cook on low heat for 3-4 mins until the mixture attains a thick pudding consistency. Turn heat off and let cool for 10 mins keeping it uncovered.
- Finally add the collagen peptides if adding and stir well.
- Place the pudding in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. The pudding will thicken further upon cooling.