All things dairy connect us to one state in the country- Punjab. The lush green khets and the large cultivation of fresh produce is what the region is all about. On entering the state, if you are not welcomed with the fragrance of sarson and a tall glass of lassi, we bet you’ve lost your way. As Indians, our sweet counter is never empty. We always have some piping hot gulab jamuns and jalebis ready for winters and some kheer and kulfi for summers. No season should go without a hearty dessert fare. 

Our love for desserts has also made us accept a ton of foreign short-crust pastries, donuts, bagels, waffles and what not. However, have you ever stopped to wonder about the rich variety of sweets that were once a common sight but now, are a rarity? One such lost recipe is that of Raoh ki kheer. A type of summer time special in Punjab, this local variation is quite different in taste from our regular kheer. 

Diving Into Raoh Ki Kheer

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Made with rice and sugarcane juice, raoh ki kheer is everything minus the milk. The logic behind this was that milk and cream take time to digest and in summers, you need to keep yourself cool and hydrated so sugarcane acts as a great substitute in this regard. In Punjab, the Raoh ki kheer was a festive delicacy of Baisakh. 

Lucknow’s Rasawal Kheer 

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Interestingly, a close cousin of raoh ki kheer from Punjab is this Lucknow ki Rasawal. Quite similar in taste and recipe, the rasawal is also made of rice and kheer. This is a festive treat during the Holi celebrations in the City of Nawabs. In fact, both Hindus and Muslims heartily gulp down a bowl of this refreshing pudding during that time. 

The idea of making kheer was linked to social and cultural gatherings, giving women a space to get together and prepare the dish in a large pot, stirring and chatting away. 

If someone told you kheer can only be milk-based, now you can tell them otherwise. Here are some kheer recipes in case you were planning to make one.