Kheer is a rice pudding that is a very common dessert in India. It is made from a simple yet flavorful preparation of rice and milk. This pudding is made with either toasted rice or vermicelli and can be served warm or cold. The essential ingredients are rice, milk and sugar but different preferences will vary the thickness or thinness of the pudding.
For those of you who are not familiar with Cardamom, it is a common spice used in Indian cuisine, native to the forests of the western ghats in southern India. You can find ground cardamom powder or maybe even whole cardamom pods at your local grocery store in the spice aisle. The pods are stronger in flavor, but will be more troublesome because you would have to take out the seeds and ground them. (But well worth the effort if they are readily available)
Ingredients for Kheer:
- 3 – 4 cups of whole milk, diluted with 1 – 2 cups of water depending on what kind of consistency preferred (less water will make it thicker and more water will make it runny)
- 1 cup basamati rice
- 1 cup condensed milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 1 tablespoon of pistachios
- 1 tablespoon of almonds
- 1 teaspoon finely powdered cardamom seeds
In a medium saucepan, boil the rice in the milk on medium heat until thoroughly cooked. (About 15 minutes) Continuously whisk the milk to prevent the bottom from burning. Slowly incorporate the condensed milk and then add the sugar, raisins, and nuts. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens. If you prefer the Kheer to be more of a drink than a pudding, simply add more milk and water until the preferred consistency is achieved. Add the cardamom and garnish with nuts and cinnamon. Can be served hot or cold.
This is actually a great recipe if you have some left over white rice in the fridge. It will save you the cooking time for the rice. I sometimes add 1/2 cup of coconut milk in place of the condensed milk to the Kheer which seems to compliment the Caradmom really well. You can also make this a low-fat recipe by using skim milk instead of whole milk and using honey or agave syrup in place of sugar.