Monday, March 9, 2009
Of all the puddings in the world, rice is my favorite. I do Kozy Shack rice pudding, I do Greek diner rice pudding, but my favorite is Indian rice pudding, or kheer. It's a thinner, milkier pudding, and with the delicate taste of cardamom, it makes for a refreshing and subtly sweet dessert.
I've attempted kheer before, and failed miserably. But this weekend, as I was cooking a fairly sizable Indian dinner for my brother's birthday, I decided to attempt it again. I know how much that boy loves his rice pudding. This time I used Vij's recipe. Five ingredients, and an hour and ten minutes later, kheer royale.
(from Vij's Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine)
Note: I halved the recipe and it served six people. This is the full recipe, as printed.
10 to 12 green cardamom pods
3/4 cup basmati rice
12 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
raw, unsalted almonds for garnish.
Lightly pound cardamom and peel off the pods. Empty brownish-black seeds into a medium pot. Discard the pods. Add rice and milk and bring to a gentle boil on medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring gently and regular, for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Never scrape the bottom of the pot while stirring, otherwise you maybe get bits of slightly burned milk in your pudding.
As the rice and milk cook, the consistency will become more and more like pudding. Stir often, or turn down the heat slightly if the rice begins to clump.
Remove the pot from the heat and add sugar. Stir well. If you wish to serve it chilled, wait until the pudding is at room temperature before putting it into the refrigerator.
Sprinkle almonds (or pistachios) over pudding before serving.