So lately I’ve found a new obsession…Indian food. I absolutely love it. I went to an Indian restaurant not that long ago, and every dish I tried was totally and completely wonderful. My favorites, though, were probably the navratan korma and the kheer. I’ve tried making both myself. So you know what that means. Now, my friends, I bring you kheer. That’s right. Just like those used car ads always say, “I’m passing the savings on to you!”
Actually, that doesn’t make any sense. Just ignore that bit. I must be a little excited about this big beautiful bowl of rice loveliness. So what exactly is kheer? Well, it’s basically an Indian rice pudding. Some versions have raisins like the ‘ol American style. But this one does not. I won’t tell you not to put any in if you feel the compulsion, though. That’s between you and your kitchen. It’s also flavored in a wonderfully delicate, yet zesty way with cardomom, saffron (if you held up a bank to afford it), and a few pinches of nutmeg. And then you are well on your way to rice paradise.
I’m not going to tell you that this lil recipe doesn’t take a tiny bit of time. You have jasmine rice you need to simmer, folks. This isn’t something you make when you want rice in five minutes. But I think it’s well worth it. The original kheer recipe I found on Saveur had a cooking time that ended up being waaaay too long for what I needed. However, what you have to know is that everyone is dealing with a stove that heats things up a little faster or slower, and sometimes you might get things bubbling a little more vigorously than you mean to. That means you have to watch it. My kheer took about 45 minutes on the stove on a low heat, but she was a bubblin’ and a poppin’. If your stove is put on low and doesn’t react quite like the fire of Hades, you might be looking at more like an hour, or a tad longer. I’m looking into doing a slow cooker version of this, to take some of the guess work out of it. Doesn’t that sound dandy? But really, all you have to do it take a little taste as the mixture reduces, to see if it’s to the softness you want. Sneaking a nibble here and there doesn’t seem like the worst fate ever, does it?
Cook on, brave readers! Cook on!
- 6 tbsp. Jasmine rice
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ½ tsp crushed saffron (if you have it)
- ½ tsp. ground cardamom
- a few pinches of nutmeg
- 6 tbsp. light brown sugar
- ½ cup toasted slivered almonds
- Put the rice in a strainer and give it a rinse, then drain it.
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat the butter.
- Add the rice, saffron, cardamom, and nutmeg. Cook this for two minutes.
- Add the milk to the pan and cook on low heat until the mixture has reduced by half, making sure to stir it and keep and eye on it. This took me 45 minutes, but depending on your stove's temperature sensitivity, it could take an hour or a little more.
- When the rice is soft, add the brown sugar and almonds.
- Stir the mixture until everything is incorporated. This should take about 2 minutes.
- This can be eaten hot, cold, or at room temperature.
- This thickens up even more after being in the fridge. If you like it a little thinner, add a dash of milk when you eat the leftovers.