Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Simple Kheer (Rice Pudding)

Singapore, today, saw the start of the rainy season and with dark clouds hovering all over and thunder storms raging the skies, I suddenly had this craving for some kheer. I hadn't tasted it since quite some time now and quickly checked my pantry for all the ingredients. All that I did not have were a handful of raisins and that wasn't too big a miss. I was also aching to try my new terracota pots which my Father-in-Law got for me from India and what better start than a kheer in an earthen pot. Imagine the subtle earthy flavor in that rich and creamy chilled kheer loaded with dry fruits!!! Heaven!!!

1/4 cup small grain aromatic rice (I used Assam special Joha rice)
750 ml milk (I used 450 ml evaporated milk and 300 ml low fat milk)
75-100 ml condensed milk (I used the low fat condensed milk; you can increase or decrease the quantity as per your taste)
Few pods of cardamom
A bay leaf
Dry fruits of your choice

Wash and soak the rice in some water for 1/2 hour. 
Mix the milk and condensed milk together in a pot and put it on the gas stove. Keep stirring and bring it to a boil. Add the bay leaf and the cardamom pod and reduce the flame to minimum. Keep stirring the milk every 5-7 minutes till the milk thickens and reduces to 2/3. Check the sweetness now and if required add more condensed milk. However, remember that as the milk thickens further, the sweetness will increase further too. So adjust accordingly. 
Meanwhile, drain the soaked rice and with the help of a mortar pestle or the back of a heavy spoon, pound the raw rice roughly. This step ensures a creamy kheer with not too big chunks of rice. Add this to the reduced milk and stir. Keep the flame on the lowest and let the rice cook. Do not forget to stir in between and keep breaking the film that will form on top of the milk. When the milk reduces to almost 1/3 and rice is cooked through, add the dry fruits. Be careful not to reduce the kheer to a very thick consistency else when it cools down it will turn into a lump of rice. The consistency should be the same as hot custard when just done. 
Pour the kheer to your serving ware or earthen pot if using and garnish with some more dry fruits if desired. Bring it to room temperature and then chill completely before serving!

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