Saturday, December 5, 2009

Easy Rice Kheer

Using Asian sweet rice for making kheer was a great discovery for me. Since I have a lot of unused 'sweet rice' (or sticky rice/glutinous rice) left over from a previous Thai recipe, I decided to find other uses for it. As it turns out, glutinous rice is perfect for making Indian Kheer. We make kheer in my family the traditional North Indian way: boil plain rice in heavy milk and add sugar. By using the glutinous rice I didn't have to use full-fat whole milk or add cream for thickness as the glutinous rice makes a perfect consistency kheer. Here's my recipe:

Easy Rice Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

1/2 cup uncooked sweet rice (glutinous rice, found in Asian food section)
7 cups low fat milk (1%)
1 1/4 cup sugar (or more/less according to taste)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sliced almonds or pistachios (toasted gently without oil, on a small pan)
seeds from 3 green cardamoms (crushed)
1/4 tsp saffron threads

Wash and drain rice.
Place rice in a large pot with milk, bring carefully to a boil, lower heat and simmer gently for 40-45 minutes. Watch carefully, stirring often so milk does not stick to bottom of pan or burn.
Add sugar, cardamoms, raisins, and most of almonds (saving 1/2 Tbs. for garnish).
Gently simmer until raisins are plump, and the consistency is a rich sauce (about 5-10 min.)
Pour into a glass serving dish, and while still hot add saffron threads and stir through.
Garnish with remaining toasted nuts and let it cool.
If kheer gets too thick upon cooling, you can add a bit of sweetened evaporated milk, or cream, or even milk. Some like the kheer cold from the fridge, others like to warm slightly before eating. The flavors really develop after kheer has cooled in the fridge overnight.

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