Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)
In my kitchen I have a bookshelf built into the side of a cabinet. On the two wooden shelves, I have well over 20 cookbooks and a couple of binders filled with print outs of recipes I’ve found online (this obviously was well before I built Velvet Aroma). I love this little nook. It’s where I go to whenever I need a little inspiration by just randomly flipping pages of cookbooks.
Recently I decided the shelves could use a little organizing. I put all my Indian cookbooks together (I own 8 different Tarla Dalals). All my SCD ones right next to it. A few vegetarian ones that I love. Then at the very edge you’ll find two Indian notebooks. I say “Indian” because they’re nothing like the notebooks that you get in America and yes, because I got them in India. They have cardboard covers, are about the half the size of a standard 8 x 11 notebook and are bound like an old encyclopedia (as opposed to having ring bindings).
One of these notebooks is especially dear to me. On it’s covers, paper with light pink roses printed on it, is carefully glued. If you flip to the last few pages you’ll see a child’s scrawling telling me that “Roses are red. Violets are blue. But memories of U R forever true”.. and that I should “Enjoy”.. followed by three very fat exclamation marks. If you flip to the first few pages of the book the handwriting changes dramatically. It’s artistic, light and feminine. These words unlike the ones in the back instruct me. They instruct me to start a flame in my kitchen. To grind my spices with a mortar and pestle. They instruct me to make Kheer.
This book was given to me by my wonderful Aunt when I left India. A woman who has been such a giver of love in my life. In it she has detailed out some of my favorite Indian recipes…. so that I could recreate a small piece of my childhood in my adult kitchen.
Kheer is a dish eaten often at times of celebration in India. As most Indian recipes, there are many ways you can vary it up. Including even using noodles instead of rice. I personal prefer the rice version I’m sharing today. It has a mild sweetness and is a great alternative to some of the seriously caloric Indian desserts (or even non Indian ones). You can choose how thick you want it by boiling it more or less. Also you can choose if you want to eat it warm or cold. I prefer mine super warm and definitely on the thick side (think oatmeal consistency).
Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)
Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: About 1 hour
Ready in: About 1 hour
- 1/3 cup basmati rice (white rice)
- 1 liter milk (33 oz. / about 1 quart)
- 1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter)
- 4 cardamoms
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey (depending on how sweet you want the pudding)
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds and some more to garnish
2. Stir in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes to an hour till the milk reduces to about a third of what you started out as.
4. Peel the cardamom. Using mortar and pestle or spice grinder, crush the cardamom. Stir in the cardamom, honey, raisins and almonds. You can dry roast some of the almonds and use it as garnishing.