I have a big sweet tooth!! Like the biggest one anybody can have!! Since my childhood, I have been so fond of having desserts and sweets. Mostly the ones which we prepare at home, with love and efforts, like Mawa Laddos, Gajar ka halwa,Badam Halwa, Vermicelli Kheer etc. Although these desserts, from no angle can be termed as healthy on a diet scale; but are way better than gulping down Jalebis and Rasgullas from the Sweet shop next door. Weekend was the “treat” day ( rather than “cheat” day, since we were always on binge ) and usually these desserts were prepared for friends and family. Where Gajar ka Halwa was a winters’ favourite, this Rice kheer was a summers’ treat. Having it chilled with some hot snack like Daal ki Kachori , Khasta Kachori etc was a luxury.
Preparing this kheer is not difficult at all. That’s the reason why usually in north India, the newly-wed bride is asked to prepare either Kheer or halwa as the first thing in household’s kitchen. It’s a fairly simple dessert, and loved by everyone in general.
There are two methods of using rice for the kheer. Either you can roast it in ghee before mixing with milk, or you may simply soak it for some time and then use it for kheer. Both the versions taste good, a bit different in texture that’s all. You may choose your pick, I have roasted the rice first here in this recipe
Another difference in some recipes is that – some people cook rice first separately in water and then add it to milk.. While some prefer to cook rice directly in milk itself, which I have done here.
The choice of nut is varied again. I like to crush/blend some almonds and mix the course powder to my Kheers. It gives that thick and course texture, which I love. Pistachios, almonds and raisins work best for this type of Kheer. Though you may use walnuts and cashews as well
Type of rice:- People use basmati rice, but I prefer the smaller variety, which gets mashed easily. In U.P. it’s called Khichdi wala chaawal, toota basmati, kinki chaawal etc. Don’t confuse it with Sama ke Chaawal, that’s another variety all together.
Cuisine:- North Indian, states of U.P. / Punjab / Bihar etc.
Serves:- 4-5 people
What you need?
- 1 cup rice- rinsed well and soaked for 15 minutes
- 5 cups whole milk
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup fresh double cream ( If using condensed milk, see notes below ** )
- 1 ½ cups sugar ( adjust accordingly to your taste )
- 1 tsp rose essence / rose water
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ¼ cup almonds, blended into a course powder or simply pounded roughly
- A handful of pistachios
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 5-6 cashews
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- 3-4 strands of saffron
How to make ?
- Rinse the soaked rice once, drain and keep aside.
- Heat Ghee in a big pan, add in rice and roast on a low-medium flame for 2-3 minutes . Keep stirring else it will get stuck at the bottom. Rice turns almost translucent after a while, not completely transparent as some recipe might suggest
- Now add water, mix well and get it to a boil. Turn the flame to the lowest, and start pouring in milk gently little by little stirring continuously. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook on low-medium flame for 10-12 minutes. You have to check it a few times in between, and stir else you will find the milk spilling out soon
- Take the lid off now and add cream, mix well. Then simmer it for next 30-35 minutes stirring frequently in between. Scrap any layers depositing at the sides of the pan and keep mixing them to the simmering kheer.
- After this time, you will notice that the rice is all broken and a bit mashed up. That’s the point when add sugar, almond powder, raisins and mix everything well. The kheer should be almost ¾ of its initial quantity
- Simmer for next 7-8 minutes. Finally add cardamom powder, saffron strands and rose water, mix once and turn off.
- Garnish with chopped pistachios and cashews before serving hot or chilled.
- This can be stored in fridge for up to 48 hours. At room temperature, it stays good for 7-8 hours.
- Like I said above, there a few variations in the recipe and you may choose as per your preference
- If using Condensed milk, reduce the amount of sugar to ½ cup. Add condensed milk, at the time of adding sugar, almond powder etc. and cook for 10-12 minutes after that. The rest of the recipe remains the same.
- You may roast the cashews before adding as we do in South Indian payasams.
- Instead of rose water, you may also use Kewra essence. If you don’t have any essence, that’s fine too.. Saffron imparts a great flavour of its own
- If preparing in winters, you may add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg powder towards the end.. only if you like the taste of it. It’s very comforting in winters..