I am all for effortless cooking. I thoroughly enjoy becoming a good cook and taking my time to meander my way through a new recipe. I also adore a recipe I can whip together in a minute or easily walk away from, come back and find something amazing. Last night, I was craving kheer. I pulled out my pot but realized I was feeling too lazy to stand over the stove, stirring for an hour. So I put the pot back and that’s when I noticed, stuffed into the back of my lowest cabinet, the slow cooker my father had given me a year ago which I had completely forgotten about. Once I saw it, I remembered testing a slow cooker kheer recipe about a year ago which I had never finished testing.
Completely effortless kheer…I’m in heaven…but it took a little while to get there. At first, I tried making the kheer set on low for six hours, which means it would cook completely without burning to the sides and causing some cleanup. In the end, the kheer cooked great, but for some reason, the milk would separate.
The second time I made this kheer, I wondered how it would do cooking overnight for seven hours or so. I turned the pot on around midnight and checked it when I got up at seven. Amazingly, the kheer was only half cooked. So I turned it on high and decided to let it cook for two hours. When I checked it at nine, the milk had completely seperated and curdled. So I wasn’t sure if I had overcooked it, or if cooking it on high causes separation.
When I tried the kheer again for a third time I set it on high for four hours and stirred it about once an hour. It came out great.
So, upon trying the kheer last night for the fourth time, I put it on high, set the timer for four hours and walked away.
The result: perfect effort-free kheer.
It is best to use Indian basmati rice, which can be found at the Indian grocery store. I don’t have a favorite brand, I usually just buy the cheapest.
Makes: 8 (1/2 – cup servings)
1/2 cup white basmati rice, washed – make sure it’s basmati rice)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. of ground cardamom seeds * if you can’t find cardamom seeds you can use green cardamom pods. Just break them open and take out the seeds, then grind them.
1/2 gallon (8 cups) low-fat milk
1/4 cup slivered almonds – optional
1/4 cup golden raisins – optional
1. Rinse 1/2 cup rice 3 times to wash away excess starch, then add the rice to the slow cooker.
2. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, 1/4 cup slivered almonds and 1/4 cup golden raisins. If you cannot find golden raisins, dark raisins will do just fine.
3. Add the half gallon of milk.
4. To prevent a skin from forming over the top of the kheer, I like to cut a piece of parchment paper and lay it on the top of the milk. I trace the lid onto a piece of parchment to get the right fit.
4. Turn the slow cooker on low and set the timer for 5 hours.
5. To prevent a skin from forming while the kheer cools, I poured it into the bowl of my electric mixer and using the paddle attachment, I left it on the lowest setting until it cooled enough to store in the refrigerator. About 2 hours.