In addition to cardamom, I like to add a touch of saffron to this dish which makes it even more rich and fragrant in addition to imparting a slight color to this dish. When it comes to saffron little goes a long way. This dessert can be served hot or cold, choice is yours. Which ever way you decide it tastes equally delicious. In fact you can make this dish in advance and refrigerate. The flavors really marry well and taste even better the next day. It tends to thicken when refrigerated so if you don't like it too thick, add some milk and adjust consistency before serving. Occasion could be any - wedding, festivals, parties, potlucks, or simply a dessert craving this dish is surely a big hit always.
Now to the recipe...
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
1/4 cup of rice (using basmati rice)
4 cups of milk (using whole milk)
1/2 cup of sugar (or to taste)
4-5 shelled pistachios for garnishing
2 tbsp of raisins
pinch of cardamom powder
couple of strands of saffron (optional)
Wash and soak the rice for 20-30 mins then drain and keep aside. Soak the almonds in hot water for 10 mins, peel the skin off and roughly slice them. Similarly roughly chop the pistachios and cashews and keep them aside with raisins. In a thick bottomed pot bring milk to a boil and then add the soaked and drained rice to it. Stir well and cover and cook on low flame until the rice is 3/4th cooked (approximately 20 mins). Keep stirring intermittently to prevent the milk and rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Once you see that Rice is almost cooked, add the sugar, cardamom powder, saffron, dry fruits -cashews, raisins and almonds (reserving few for garnishing along with pistachios). Mix well and cook on low heat until the mixture thickens. (approximately 30-40 mins) Keep stirring intermittently to prevent the milk and rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- I have used Basmati Rice for this recipe, but any kind will work.
- Whole milk gives it a nice and creamy texture but low fat milk will work too. If you want to take the creaminess to the next level you can substitute 1 cup of milk with half n half or cream.
- You can use dry fruits of choice. I prefer to add cashews, almonds and raisins and they go very well with this kheer. Prefer to reserve the pistachios for garnishing. But you can alter it based on your preference.
That's it, creamy, thick and delicious Rice Kheer (Pudding) is ready, Serve it hot or cold garnished some more dry fruits on top. Enjoy!!