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Friday, 15 November 2019

Aliv Kheer / Garden Cress Seeds Jaggery Pudding

Alivachi kheer is a delicious Maharashtrian pudding made with iron and calcium rich Garden Cress seeds, sweetened milk and nuts. This dessert is refined sugar free as i have used jaggery as a sweetener. Aliv kheer provides warmth to the body and is a nutritious winter delicacy. Aliv or Halim seeds boosts milk in nursing mothers hence kheer and ladoos are made with it typically for lactating mothers but people of all age can enjoy this healthy and delicious winter treat either as breakfast or as dessert. The kheer tastes equally good when served hot or chilled.

What exactly is Aliv or Garden Cress Seeds ?

Garden cress is called Aliv in Marathi and Halim in Hindi. It is a rich source of iron, folic acid, calcium, dietary fiber,protein, vitamin C, E and A. The seeds are high in calories and protein and contain essential fatty acids. Since they contain phytochemicals that resemble estrogen to some extent, intake of these seeds help to regulate menstruation and stimulate milk production in lactating mothers. That is why women are given foods containing Garden Cress following childbirth. I relished on Aliv kheer when i was a new mom. Even today i make Aliv Ladoos every year at least once during winter months. This time i made it especially for Kiran , as he needs calcium and iron rich food after our recent accident.

Health Benefits of Consuming Garden Cress Seeds
  • Helps treat Anemia: Being a rich source of iron and fol-ate, consumption of this seeds helps treat iron deficiency and Anemia.
  • Helps to treat Diabetes: Garden cress contains vegetable gum that secrets phytochemical. Phytochemical has properties that help reduce blood sugar, which helps control Glucose levels in diabetics.
  • Treats menstrual cycle disorders: As garden cress contains estrogen like phytochemicals, its consumption helps create hormonal environment to regulate menstrual periods.
  • Treats high blood pressure: Garden cress is characterized by anti-hypertensive properties. It has also diuretic property that helps reduce blood pressure.
  • Strengthens immune system:  Garden cress contains 69 mg of vitamin C and 346 micrograms of Vitamin A. These 2 vitamins are key to good immunity. Click here to know more about this wonder food. 

How is Aliv consumed ?

Aliv or Halim are washed thoroughly and then soaked either in coconut water or normal drinking water for 2-3 hours. The seeds swell on soaking and turn like jelly. Now, these can be consumed directly my mixing in water as it is, added to health drinks, milk , smoothies or consumed as sweetened preparations like as porridge, kheer or ladoos.

What goes into this Aliv Kheer?

Soaked Aliv is cooked in milk. You can use a low fat cow milk, full fat milk or even coconut milk to make this pudding. Using coconut milk will make this aliv kheer vegan. After boiling soaked aliv n mulk for few minutes will give a lovely creamy texture. Now this pudding can be sweetened with either sugar or jaggery. I have used powdered jaggery, which not only makes the kheer more nutritious and guilt free but also provides warmth to the body in winter and definitely adds to the taste of the pudding. You may use any nuts to garnish this kheer. I have used slivered almonds and pistachio in this kheer. Green cardamom powder is used to flavor this aliv kheer which compliments very well with the jaggery flavor.

I am submitting this healthy and nutritious Aliv kheer to the A to Z recipe challenge group, a gourmet group on Facebook where i post every alternate month. Members of this group post different food recipes with a key ingredient having particular alphabet. As per the alphabetical order, this month we had to cook a dish startig with alphabet J. I chose jaggery as my key ingredient and made this healthy Maharashtrian delicacy, Alivachi Kheer - Garden Cress seeds Jaggery Pudding. This post is my 9th contribution towards this group.The other recipes i have shared here, so far are

Preparation Time: 2-3 hours
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4-5

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 Cup= 250 ml
  • 2-3 tablespoon  Garden cress seeds / Aliv / Halim
  • 2 cups / 1/2 liter milk, cow or coconut milk 
  • 1/2 cup jaggery, crushed or grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 2 tablespoon Almond slivers
  • 2 tablespoon Pistachio slivers
  1. Wash the garden cress seeds in water and soak them in either plain or coconut water for 2-3 hours. 

2. On soaking, the seeds swell and become sticky and jelly like.

3. Heat milk in a pan on medium flame. Once it boils, add the soaked Aliv and give a good stir. Allow the seeds to cook in milk for about 7-10 minutes while stirring occasionally.

4. The kheer will turn thick and creamy. Now add jaggery powder to it, stir well. cook for 2-3 minutes more and put off the flame. Do not boil the kheer for longer time after addition of jaggery as it might split. Also, the kheer thickens further on cooling, so adjust the cooking time accordingly.

5. Lastly, flavor the kheer with cardamon powder and garnish it with slivered almonds and pistachio and serve.

6.Enjoy the healthy and delicious Aliv kheer warm or chilled with your loved ones !


Recipe Notes:
  • Coconut milk can be used to make this kheer to make it vegan.
  • Jaggery can be used in grated or powdered form.
  • The color of the kheer will depend upon the color of the jaggery used.
  • You may use any nuts of your choice to garnish the kheer.
I hope some of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. You appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipe and new updates follow us on social media.
For more desserts with jaggery as sweetener, checkout the following recipe links:



  1. I've not heard or used halim or aliv. After being soaked they look so much like chia seeds but brownish red in colour. An interesting recipe and now my hunt for this nutrition rich seeds begins.

    1. Aliv is common ingredient in Maharashtrian homes especially during winters. You get Halim seeds easily on Amazon.

  2. I have got some garden cress seeds lying around at home, but have somehow never used them. This kheer looks so delicious - you're tempting me to get out that packet of garden cress and use it! :)

    They look a lot like chia seeds, no?

    1. You should use them Priya. I am sure you will like itas much as we do. Make sure the seeds are not too old as they turn rancid on prolonged storage and the kheer might turn bitter. Yes, these seeds resemble chia seeds and sabha seeds especially after soaking.

  3. My mom gave me some powder mixed with milk which had Halim in it and it is really very beneficial to lactating mothers.. Kheer looks so delicious creamy and inviting.. will love to try it when I get these seeds.

    1. Yes Swaty, Halim seeds are very beneficial to lactating mothers but they also have many other health benefits to people of all age. You get these seeds easily online.

  4. This kheer looks so tempting Poonam. Though Aali vidhai is famous I have not tried making kheer with it. Loved this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Such a delicious looking kheer, Poonam. Isn't India a treasure trove of nutritious ingredients that can be used to make delicious dishes?

  6. This is indeed a very healthy recipe Poonam and making it with Jaggery you have made it guilt free. Wonderful explanation of the recipe

  7. Interesting. I have never used this grain. Will surely try to get them and make some recipe. Kheer looks delicious.

  8. Aliv seeds are now regarded as Superfoods and it rightly deserves that status. Has umpteen health benefits which you have mentioned above. The Kheer looks delicious, looks thick just like basundi. I also love the ladoos but one cannot have more than one ladoo, quite heavy to eat.

  9. Kheer with Halim seeds sounds interesting and delicious. I always wanted to know how and where to use it these seeds. This is a perfect recipe to try.Thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe!

  10. jaggery sweetened kheers are such great treats. SO glad to see this watercress seeds recipe, i have never tried them but surely will keep an eye out for them.

  11. Kheer looks so good. Never heard about Aliv seeds.

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