Rinse the sabudana pearls until the water runs clear of the starch.
Take a thick bottomed pan or sauce pan in which you will be making the kheer.
Add the rinsed sabudana pearls and water in the pan.
Cover and let the pearls get soaked in the water for 15 to 20 minutes.
Making sabudana kheer
Later keep this pan on the stove top and begin to cook the sabudana pearls.
Meanwhile heat or warm the milk too. No need to boil the milk.
After 4 to 5 minutes, add the milk to the pan and continue to cook.
Add sugar and cardamom powder and simmer till the sabudana have cooked well for about 20 to 25 minutes on a low to medium flame.
Keep on stirring often so that the kheer or the cooked sabudana does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Switch off the heat and add cashews and raisins.
Garnish with saffron strands.
Serve sabudana kheer hot or warm or chilled.
Soaking: You can choose to soak sabudana in water for 2 to 3 hours. Soaking sabudana reduces the cooking time of the kheer.
Cooked sabudana texture: Sabudana should be soft, slightly sticky, and look translucent after they have been cooked really well. They should not be hard or dense.
Choose the right sabudana: Use the regular-sized sabudana available in the market. Do not use nylon sabudana which comes in large size as well as small size.
Nuts: You can always add your choice of nuts and dry fruits. You can even skip adding the nuts, dry fruits altogether.
Flavorings: You can experiment and add any bright or floral flavors like orange extract, rose water, screw pine water, vanilla extract, lavender extract, cinnamon powder, or anything you fancy.
Sweeteners: In place of sugar, you can add any sweetener. If using jaggery, palm sugar, palm jaggery, or coconut sugar, when the kheer is done, place it on your kitchen counter-top for 4 to 5 minutes. This will cool it a bit. Add grated or chopped jaggery, palm sugar, coconut sugar, or palm jaggery. Mix and serve.
Vegan option: Follow these steps with almond milk – first cook sabudana pearls in water until they are completely softened. Add almond milk, sugar and gently heat to a slight simmer. Do not boil. Finish off with the cashews and raisins. If adding coconut milk, let it become warm or get heated gently and do not boil.
Storage: Leftover kheer can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.