November 2, 2011

Indian Spiced Rice Pudding (Kheer)

Kheer is an Indian dessert. It's a creamy, soupy rice pudding and is supposed to be soupy, not thick like an American rice pudding. This recipe comes out soupy when served immediately, but when refrigerated it sets up like an American rice pudding. To keep it soupy even when chilled, you should omit the cornstarch and use only 1/2 cup of rice. This recipe makes more than 6 cups of cooked pudding and serves 6-8.

  • 8 cups almond milk (I used Almond Breeze vanilla almond milk. Yes, it's the entire half-gallon carton. No, it's not too much milk for the amount of rice. I promise.)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice (basmati rice would be more authentic)
  • 6 green cardamom pods, ground
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Sweetener to taste: about 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4-1/2 cup agave nectar, or artificial sweetener. I wouldn't use maple syrup or honey, as they have strong flavors and it would affect the flavor of the dessert.
  • 3 Tablespoons raisins
  • 6 Tablespoons almonds and/or pistachios, sliced or chopped (I only had almonds on hand)
  • In a large pot stir together the almond milk, rice and cardamom and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently until the rice is cooked and the liquid has thickened and reduced almost to half (about 40 minutes to an hour). Stir frequently to avoid burning on the bottom of the pan and reduce "skin" formation of the milk (but don't worry, a little skin won't foil the recipe).
  • Spoon a ladle full of the reduced milk into a separate bowl and add the cornstarch. Stir well until smooth and thoroughly combined (no lumps!). Return this mixture to the pot and simmer a few more minutes.
  • Add the sweetener to taste, raisins, and nuts and cook a few more minutes.
You can serve the kheer warm or chilled. Here's what it looked like when warm and soupy:

What warm desserts do you like?

Vegan on a Shoestring

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