Rice with coconut milk and turmeric leaves (Cheppi kheeri/Kheeri)

Rice with coconut milk and turmeric leaves (Cheppi kheeri/Kheeri)

Kheeri is a Konkani rice dish must for festivals during monsoon. Rice is cooked with turmeric leaves and coconut milk to make it flavourful, tasty, creamy yet not heavy. Just the addition of coconut milk and turmeric leaves makes mundane rice so flavourful, tasty and special. The richness of coconut milk and the heavenly aroma of turmeric leaves gets incorporated into the rice on cooking.

This simple rice dish has loads of flavour in it. Kheeri can be enjoyed by adding just a pinch of salt. To add to the taste, you should pair kheeri with a spicy raw mango pickle. Pure bliss of life! Yum!!! Traditionally, this rice dish is eaten with cucumbers in a spicy coconut chutney (called thoushe sasam in Konkani) and a curry, with all kinds of veggies in a spicy coconut gravy (called as gajbaj ambat in Konkani). 

Kheeri is served as a part of main course for lunch and dinner. After enjoying a few laddles of kheeri you move onto your normal rice and curry. And while you enjoy kheeri don’t be surprised if everybody goes slurp.. slurp.. :-) Kheeri will make you go slurp.. slurp.. It tastes that heavenly and delicious..

Kheeri is also called cheppi kheeri in Konkani. (Cheepi means bland in Konkani.) 

With the onset of monsoons, as turmeric leaves grow in abundance, Konkani homes fill up with the heavenly aroma of turmeric leaves. The turmeric leaves when are used in cooking, fill your house with their heavenly aroma. In my head I co-relate this turmeric fragrance to festivities. And the reason being kheeri and patholi (a sweet rice dumpling steamed in turmeric leaves) are a must for festivals during monsoon. Kheeri is served as an offering to god (naivedyam) on Krishna Janmashtami, Vayana pooja (a Konkani festival for married women), Ganesh chaturthi etc. How many of you feel the same nostalgia every time you cook with turmeric leaves? Even while I cook some cucumber idlis (thoushe muddo in Konkani) in turmeric leaves I feel festivities in my mind. :-)

Here goes the recipe for Kheeri. Do make some with love and enjoy with your family. :-)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1.5 cups of fresh grated coconut
  • 2 fresh turmeric leaves

Serves: 1-2 depending on your love for kheeri. :-)

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Preparation Method:

1. Cook rice directly on a flame or in a rice cooker until done. 

Mushy rice is better for kheeri instead of well separated rice grains. So, add in a little extra water while cooking the rice or cook rice for a little longer than normal, when you’re cooking rice for kheeri. 

Sona masuri is best suited for making kheeri.

Meanwhile extract fresh coconut milk from grated fresh coconut. 

Extracting fresh coconut milk: 

There’s nothing that beats some fresh coconut milk from freshly grated coconut.

2. Take 1.5 cups of grated coconut in a blender with 1.5 cups of water and grind it for a minute. 

3. Strain the coconut mixture using a strainer and collect the coconut milk in a vessel.

4. Squeeze out all the coconut milk and grind the grated coconut again with another cup of water for a minute. 

5. Strain the coconut milk in a different vessel as this batch of coconut milk would be diluted.

6. Add cooked rice, diluted coconut milk into a cooking vessel and bring it to boil on a medium flame.

7. Wash the turmeric leaves well, chop them into pieces and add them to the cooking kheeri.

8. Traditionally, whole turmeric leaves are rolled and made into knots like in the picture below and are added into boiling kheeri. Knots ensure the leaves don't become a hassle while eating kheeri.

9. Stir the kheeri every once in a while to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the cooking vessel.

10. Once the kheeri comes to a boil and the diluted coconut milk has combined well with the cooked rice, add in the thick, concentrated coconut milk you had extracted first and mix well.

11. Allow it to simmer for a minute or two. 

12. Once the coconut milk blends in well with the cooked rice, remove it off heat. Kheeri should be a little watery and shouldn’t be too dry as it’ll dry out and thicken with time.

Serving suggestions:

1. Serve kheeri piping hot with a pinch of salt and spicy, raw mango pickle.

2. Serve kheeri piping hot with salt, cucumbers in a spicy coconut chutney (called thoushe sasam in Konkani) and with a mixed vegetable coconut curry (called as gajbaj ambat in Konkani).

3. You can enjoy kheeri with just salt to savour its taste in its purity.

Most important: The more coconut milk you add to kheeri the most tasty kheeri turns out to be. Use generous amounts of fresh grated coconut to get lots of coconut milk. Don’t be stingy with the amount of coconut milk you add.

Tags: Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food, lunch, festival food, dinner, turmeric leaves, cheppi kheeri, Ganesh chathurthi special, Janmashtami special, vayana pooja dishes, kheeri.