Indian Rice Pudding Recipe
The traditional method of preparing kheer is a long process that requires attention to detail (lots & lots of stirring!). But my grandmother always had a shortcut in her bag of culinary tips & tricks. This quick & simple kheer recipe is easy to prepare & just as delicious as the traditional version. Trust me, your friends & family will never know the difference.
KHEER (Indian Rice Pudding)
2 cups cooked Basmati rice (or any long grain rice variety)*
4 cups milk (you can use 2% milk or coconut milk or a combination of both)
a good pinch of saffron (around ¼ tsp)
½ tsp ground cardamom powder
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup sugar (to taste)
2 tbsp toasted unsalted cashews (or toasted unsalted pistachios/almonds or a mix), chopped
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp ghee or butter
mix of chopped toasted nuts & raisins for garnish
*Cook the rice as you normally would in either a pressure cooker or on the stovetop. You will need 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. One the rice has finished cooking and has slightly cooled, spread the rice out on a baking tray. Using a fork or your fingers, carefully separate the rice grains. Keep aside until needed. If you have leftover rice, even better – this is a perfect way to dress it up.
In a small skillet on medium heat, add the ghee (or butter). When hot, add the cashews & raisins. Stir & let them cook for a few minutes until the raisins have plumped nicely. Remove the saucepan from the heat & set aside until needed. Don’t forget to reserve some nuts & raisins for the garnish.
In a medium saucepan on medium low heat, add the milk along with the saffron & ground cardamom powder. Next, add the sugar & stir well to dissolve. Now add the rice, stir well and bring to a gentle boil. Turn the heat to low & let the milk reduce until thick & creamy, about 12-15 minutes. Add the toasted nuts and raisins (along with any ghee or butter). Stir well to combine all the ingredients & finish the dish with some freshly grated nutmeg. Garnish with some toasted nuts & golden raisins, serve warm.
Add a small drop or two of rosewater or orange blossom honey water just before serving. You could also add some lightly sautéed dried cherries, craisins or chopped dried apricot or dates to the dish as well. Just add them in along with the raisins.
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