Kheer – Indian Rice Pudding
Kheer is this beautiful, creamy, sweet Asian pudding made with rice, tapioca, or vermicelli cooked in milk and sugar. Kheer is usually flavoured with cardamom, raisins, coconut and saffron. It is a quick and easy recipe, it does not require any complicated cooking skills, and you can even use leftover cooked rice as well to make it. Kheer is usually made with long grain rice such a Basmati, but I once made it with Jasmine Thai rice and it was so flavoursome. The fragrance of Jasmine rice and the starchy consistency makes it very creamy and really nice…but by all means if your favour Basmati Rice the recipe is the same. Rice is a staple food in so many household and to combine it with aromatic ingredients I can only imagine heaven on plate.
Rice Kheer is a special sweet usually made for any festival or celebration just like sevai. But it can be made anytime as well as a sweet dessert which can be served after meals.
Kheer reminds of the New Year feeling starting the New Year’s Day with sweet rice has always been a tradition in our household. Mum used to prepare kheer, we used to call it “Jawa” accompanied with hot fluffy puris for breakfast. This was a speciality on New Year’s Day since we would all eat only vegetarian food on that day, so starting on a sweet note was a real treat. The other important reason was 1st January was my late grandmother’s (mame bofemme)birthday and kheer and puri was her favourite – so preparing this dish will always play an important part of my life, a must have on the 1st January. Our dear “Mame” will always remain in our lives, she looked after us when mum was busy doing other house chores, spoilt us, read stories to us (some were invented stories, and us kids believed) I guess that the beauty of being kids – innocent. Miss you everyday “mame bofemme”, and I know you still watching upon all your grandchildren – Love always
Now just imagine having Puri & Kheer for breakfast, I say bring it on – I love my rice and I could eat it everyday.
Ingredients Serves 6-8
- 1.1 litres/2 pints whole milk
- ½ cup long grain rice such as Basmati or Jasmine rice (cooked)
- ½ tsp ground green cardamom
- ½ vanilla pod – cut and scrape the seed
- 2 tbsp sugar (depends on how sweet you like it)
- ½ can condensed milk
- Few Almond blanched and chopped
- Handful of chopped pistachios
- 1-1 apple – peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes
- 1-2 Tbs sugar cups water
- ½ vanilla bean, split in half
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Optional: apple compote to serve
- Pour the milk into a heavy-based pan and heat gently.
- Add the ground cardamom, vanilla seeds and rice to the milk.
- Slowly bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer rapidly, stirring from time to time to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the condensed milk.
- Simmer stirring occasionally, until the milk is reduced by about half; this may take some time but be patient. This cooking process is slow by worthwhile.
- When the milk has reduced by half, taste to check for sweetness and add sugar if needed.
- Transfer the rice pudding to a bowl. Add the chopped nuts, stir well, and leave to cool.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and cool in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, spoon into individual serving bowls.
- Serve with a sprinkle of chopped pistachio and a spoonful of apple compote.
For the Apple Compote:
- In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Boil gently until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Add the apple cubes and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Brinda’s Note: Apple compote is optional as kheer is delicious on its own.