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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nutty Rice Pudding (Kheer)

























This is one food item that brings back lot of precious memories of my childhood. My mom used to make much simpler version of this with milk, sugar, rice, cardamom, almonds, cardamom and lots of love poured into it. To this day the sweet memory of "Kheer" waters my mouth and takes me back to the nostalgic journey of memory lane of my childhood.

It is amazing to me that almost every where in the world has its own version of almost any kind of food. This is specially true in case of Rice pudding. Rice pudding is a dish made from rice mixed with water or milk and sometimes other ingredients. Different variants are used for either desserts or dinners. When used as a dessert, it is commonly combined with a sweetener. Please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_pudding for different versions and name of rice pudding around the world. It is explained quite nicely.

While my mom would boil and stir the milk for hours, I almost feel guilty using ready made ingredients like condensed milk and evaporated milk, but if it works and saves me time without compromise of taste, I am all for it. Here is my recipe....


Ingredients:

• 3 cups of whole milk (I used 1% as I was also going to use fresh whipping cream)

• 2 cups of fresh heavy whipping cream

• 3 cans (14 oz each) of evaporated milk

• 1 can of condensed milk

• ¼ cup of raw pistachios (unsalted)

• ¼ cup of raw cashew halves (unsalted)

• ¼ cup of slivered almonds + some additional for garnish

• 1 snack box of golden or black raisins (1.5 oz)

• 1 teaspoon of freshly grounded cardamom + additional ¼ teaspoon for garnish

• ¼ Tsp Saffron strands

• 1 cup of Jasmine rice or Basmati Rice (I prefer Jasmine Rice)

• 2¼ cups of water

• 1 teaspoon butter



Method:



* Wash rice in tap water until water is clear, transfer the rice in a 3 quart corning ware casserole with cover.

* Add water and butter to rice.

* Cover and cook the rice in Microwave per my recipe on this blog.

* While rice is cooking you can do following.

* Boil the milk in a wide mouth stainless steel vessel.

* Add evaporated milk, stir well.

* Add whipping cream and condensed milk.

* Stir intermittently and simmer the milk for 15-20 min until reduces to 3/4, let it simmer on medium heat, stir intermittently so it does not stick to bottom or burn.

* In the mean time, roast raw pistachios and cashew in a small frying pan on stove on medium heat until the nut emit roasting aroma. (stir constantly so they don't burn)

* Turn the heat off and let them cool.

* Grind roasted nuts in food processor coarsely. Keep some pistachio and almonds aside for garnishing.

* Add nuts to boiling milk, turn the heat to low and let it simmer, keep stirring in between to avoid burning of milk.

* In a mortal and pastel crush cardamom seeds to powder, keep aside.

* Take 2 table spoon of boiling milk in a bowl and add saffron strand to this small amount of milk and let it sit.

* Once the rice is cooked add raisin to the rice and add rice and raisins to simmering milk.

* Cook rice in milk for 10-15 min to desired consistency on medium low heat stirring in between so it does not get stuck to bottom or burn.

* Turn the heat off.

* Add saffron milk and cardamom powder to the pudding and stir well.

* Transfer the Pudding (Kheer) to serving bowl and garnish with additional nuts and cardamom powder.

* Chill for 3-4 hours before serving and serve chilled. However some people like it served hot and that is fine too.


Enjoy:)

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.

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