I never thought I would be eating rice pudding.  I’ve never been a fan of any type of pudding unless it contains chocolate.

What could be yummy about a rice dessert?  Rice and dessert just don’t go together.

Well, I stand corrected.  Indeed those Indians know what they are doing.  Whenever I doubt their odd flavor combinations, I’m always put in my place.

This dessert is SOOOO GOOD!!!  Plus, it just feels healthier.  No butter, hardly any sugar.  Yet it still tastes heavenly.

I’m on a goal to find the best recipe for Kheer.  I’m starting with Madhu Gadia’s New Indian Home Cooking (published in 2000).  I just got her cookbook from the library.  I was drawn to her recipes because of her emphasis on nutrition (she’s also a certified nutritionist) and low-fat versions while keeping them all delicious.

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I had my doubts about her recipe for Kheer.  It seemed not to have enough rice and way too much milk.  She also doesn’t say to cook the nuts and raisins along with the rice and I thought that was strange.  However, the verdict is a glowing two-thumbs up!!

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This is high quality restaurant-style Kheer.  Not your everyday homemade version.  It takes a while, but it is worth it.

This is recipe number two that I am trying from  Madhu’s book.  So far, a great success!

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Indian Rice Pudding

Kheer

adapted from New Indian Home Cooking by Madhu Gadia

This recipe takes a long time and is high maintenance because of the constant stirring.  I’m just going to let you know that right off the bat.  If you want something easier and you happen to have a slow cooker, try this recipe for Slow Cooker Kheer.

Rinse the rice a few times in cold water to remove the excess starch.  Make sure you are using Indian basmati long-grain rice.

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In a large heavy sauce pan, heat the milk over medium heat.

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Add the rice,

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sugar,

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ground cardamom seeds,

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Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours over low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the pudding does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

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you can add slivered almonds, chopped pistachios, halved or whole cashews, raisins

Simmer until the pudding has reduced by about half.  Remove from the heat, the kheer will thicken as it cools.  To prevent a skin from forming while the kheer cools, I poured it into the bowl of my electric mixture and using the paddle attachment, let it stir on the lowest setting until it was at room temperature.  Then I stored it in the refrigerator until we had it after dinner.  If you like chilled kheer and you can’t wait to taste it, cover the kheer in plastic wrap so that the plastic is touching the surface of the kheer.  If you don’t like to use plastic, you can also use a lint free cloth.  Cheese cloth works great.   Put it in the freezer for an hour.  Set a timer so you don’t forget about it.

Why the plastic? Well, as the kheer cools, it will form a skin on top.  If you place the plastic directly on the surface of the kheer, it will not form a skin while it cools.

 

Here here for yummy kheer!!

 RICE PUDDING

Kheer

Makes: 8 (1/2 – cup servings)

1/2 gallon low-fat milk (8 cups)

1/3 cup white basmati rice, washed – make sure it’s basmati rice)

4 cardamom pods – seeded (use only the seeds) – I was lazy and used 1/4 tsp. of pre-seeded cardamom

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

2 tablespoons golden raisins – I only had the normal kind so that’s what I used

In a large heavy sauce pan, heat the milk over medium heat. Add the rice, sugar and cardamom powder.  If you are using them, add the almonds and raisins to the pudding.  Stir to mix.  Simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the pudding has reduced by a third.  Stir every five to ten minutes to make sure the pudding does not stick to the bottom of the pan.  Remove from the heat, cover with plastic wrap or lint-free cloth so that it is touch the surface of the kheer and place in the refrigerator, the kheer will thicken as it cools down.

Transfer to a serving container and cover.  Serve chilled.

 

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