Firstly heat 1.5 cups of milk in a thick bottomed pan until it comes to a boil.
Keep the hot milk aside.
Roasting ragi flour
Then in another thick bottomed pan or kadai, heat one tablespoon of ghee.
Reduce the flame. Add 1.5 tablespoons ragi flour.
Roast and stir continuously. Soon the ragi flour will release its aroma. It takes about 2 to 3 minutes on low heat. Stir continuously so that the ragi flour gets roasted well.
Now add 2 tablespoons of hot milk. Overall we will be adding 1.5 cups of hot milk but the milk needs to be added in small batches so that you do not get lumps in the kheer.
After adding 2 tablespoons of hot milk, keep continuously stirring so the ragi flour combines well in the milk, the mixture should be smooth and lump free.
Now add more 2 tablespoons of hot milk, continuously keep stirring. Ensure that there are no lumps formed. We need a smooth mixture for the kheer. Now pour the rest of hot milk and stir well.
Add ¼ cup of sugar and mix well.
Add chopped cashews, pistachios and almonds.
Sprinkle cardamom powder. Add 6 to 7 saffron strands.
Making ragi kheer
Mix well and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes on low flame. You will see the ragi kheer thickening.
The kheer will start bubbling & rising. Keep stirring the kheer.
The kheer has to be of medium consistency. After 1 to 2 minutes switch off the heat.
You can serve ragi kheer hot or warm or chilled as a dessert or for breakfast.
Garnish with sliced or chopped almonds, cashews or pistachios or a few saffron strands while serving.
Do note that on cooling, ragi kheer will become thick. When the kheer has come to a room temperature, then refrigerate it.
You can also refrigerate any leftovers. On cooling ragi kheer will thicken.
Before serving, mix a bit of milk to dilute the thick consistency and warm or heat the milk in a small pan.
Ragi Flour: The ragi flour has to be fresh and in its shelf period. Make sure it is not rancid. You can also make this kheer with sprouted ragi flour. Sweeteners: You can add your choice of sweeteners, but do make sure that the milk does not curdle after adding sweeteners. For sweeteners like palm sugar, coconut sugar and jaggery, it is best to add them after a waiting of 4 to 5 minutes once the cooking is complete. Nuts and dry fruits: Various nuts and dry fruits like raisins, pine nuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios can be added. Vegan options: Almond milk and coconut milk work best in this recipe. However do make sure not to overheat these nuts milk after you mix with the ragi flour. When adding, keep the flame to the lowest. Once all the milk is incorporated, simply heat through gently. Do not boil or simmer. Coconut milk will curdle and separate if boiled or overheated. Use a neutral oil or coconut oil in place of ghee. Scaling: You can halve or double this recipe easily. Spices: Traditionally, in Indian kheer recipes, cardamom powder is always added. If you are feeling adventurous, experiment with vanilla, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder or clove powder.