Next time you make payasam, replace vermicelli with spaghetti squash for low card and low sugar alternative.
Kheer is Indian gods favorite prasadam (offering to god). It is essential sweet made at every puja, festivals, weddings and other occasions. Kheer has many names depending on region – payasam, payasa, Khiri, payesh and payox. The word payasam is derived from payasa, meaning milk and fereni in Persian.
Kheer is a rice pudding made by boiling rice or vermicelli with milk and sugar garnished with cardamom, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios or almonds. It is typically served during a meal or as a dessert. Also offered to god on festivals and pujas.
With cooking, spaghetti squash flesh falls away from the inner cavity into strands reminiscent of spaghetti. These “spaghetti” strands are crisp and mildly sweet in flavor. You can surprise and delight young children by showing them how this vegetable transforms with cooking.
Spaghetti squash is a relative of the cucumber and the melon. The squash is botanically classified as a fruit although it is considered a vegetable in cooking. Also known as vegetable spaghetti and noodle squash, spaghetti squash is a variety of winter squash.
Spaghetti squash has an oblong shape and averages between 4 and 8 pounds. The shell of spaghetti squash is difficult to pierce and the orange or yellow hard flesh surrounds a hollow inner cavity filled with seeds.
The flesh of spaghetti squash ranges from ivory to yellow or even orange in color. The orange variety, now frequently found in grocery stores, was developed in the 1990s and is referred to as “orangetti”. This darker variety is a bit sweeter than its paler ones.
- ¼ spaghetti squash
- 2 cups milk
- 8 tbsp brown sugar
- ⅛th tsp - fresh ground cardamom
- 1 tsp - ghee
- 1 tbsp - your favorite nuts. I used cashew, almonds and pine nuts.
- Heat oven to 350º C. If squash is small, around 3-4", you can bake whole squash.
- If it is big, cut spaghetti into half. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove and cool.
- You will see spaghetti strands separated. Remove strands with fork carefully without mushing them.
- Heat milk in a pan. When it is about to boil, add ½ tbsp ghee and brown sugar. When sugar melts, turn off stove and add spaghetti squash strands.
- In another small pan, add remaining ½ tbsp ghee. Heat to medium.
- Fry nuts in ghee.
- Garnish kheer with nuts.
- Serve hot and enjoy.