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  • Kheer
    Rice Pudding

    YIELD: 5 CUPS / 1.2 L
    TOOLS: You’ll need a heavy-bottomed, 4-quart / 4-L stockpot or Dutch oven with a lid and a mortar and pestle.
    VEGANIZE IT! It’s very easy to make a vegan version of this dessert–I do it all the time. Just substitute unsweetened soy milk for the whole milk and sweetened coconut milk instead of the condensed milk. You’ll never even notice the difference. If you use thinner milk alternatives, such as rice, almond, or hemp, just be sure not to simmer them too long. Simmer for no more than 10 to 15 minutes, until the rice cooks through. Turn the burner off, cover the pot, and let the pudding sit for about 10 minutes. This delicately spiced rice pudding is comfort food, no matter what you were raised eating. Green cardamom pods give this dish a hint of spice without overwhelming it.

    This delicately spiced rice pudding is comfort food, no matter what you were raised eating. Green cardamom pods give this dish a hint of spice without overwhelming it.

    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • 6 cups /1.4 L whole milk
    • 1/2 cup /90 g uncooked white basmati rice
    • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle
    • 1/3 cup /60 g golden raisins
    • 1/3 cup /80 mL sweetened condensed milk
    • 1/2 cup / 100 g granulated sugar (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon ground almonds or pistachios, for sprinkling
    1. Grease the inside of a heavy-bottomed, 4-quart / 4-L stockpot or Dutch oven with the oil. This step is not essential, but it helps to prevent the kheer from sticking later.
    2. Combine the milk, rice, cardamom, and raisins in the stockpot over medium–high heat. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
    3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Low heat and stirring are key here. Don’t give the milk a chance to stick to the bottom of the pot. If it does, it can burn quickly, and you’ll ruin the kheer. If a film forms on the top, just skim it off and discard it.
    4. Add the condensed milk to the stockpot. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the pudding to thicken. If you are not using sweetened condensed milk, add the ½ cup / 100 g of granulated sugar. I use an equal amount of agave nectar instead of the sugar, but you should only add agave at the end—otherwise it can discolor the kheer. Transfer the pudding to a shallow container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
    5. Sprinkle with the ground almonds and serve cold. You can also serve it warm and garnish with anything you like. One night, my buddy Patrick Glenn and I got majorly creative and topped our guests’ kheer with ground-up dark chocolate and peppermint candies. Yum!

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

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