Sunday, January 22, 2006

Indian Rice Pudding

I am sitting here eating a bowl full of this right now, and it is very good. I tend to over-eat this when we eat out Indian Food OUT... so this might have been a dangerous move to cook it at home. With a whole pot waiting to devour in the ice-box, my weight loss goals might be pretty far fetched, eh? I have been wandering about with this bowl in my hands muttering in my finest Hindi accent... "I am going to eat rice pudding until I puke. Thank you my friend. Yes." I have made some marginal changes to the recipe after cooking it tonight. Feel free to surf for a few to compare this one to.

Indian Rice Pudding Recipe (Kheer)

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1 quart half-and-half (I would use 1/2 the amount and maybe a cup of milk)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I would add a bit more sugar, but not quite 3/4 cup)

  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (remove seeds from enough pods to measure 1/2 teaspoon - about six small green pods)

  • 1/4 cup chopped FINELY GROUND pistachio nuts (I would use 2 tablespoons, reserving 1 of them for sprinkling on top of the dish instead of mixing all of them in to the pudding)

  • 1 teaspoon rosewater (1/2 teaspoon is plenty)

  • You can also add in a tablespoon of golden raisins or dried currents (we like both)

This recipe requests for two ingredients that are NOT in most American supermarkets
without some searching. You can get rosewater and whole cardamom pods (fresh ones) at a Jerusalem Market or an Indian Market. Buy the green cardamom pods for this recipe. They are easy to crack open with your fingers and you just empty the contents into the rice and milk mixture when the recipe calls for it. If you can not find the rosewater, you can leave it out. I don't think it will alter the flavor much. Also important: YOU NEED TO START THIS DISH BEFORE DINNER IS COOKED because it requires an hour of simmering time, ten to twenty minutes of cooling time, and an additional hour or two of chilling time (about 3 or 4 hours from start to serve). I would start it after lunch if you were going to serve it for dinner. Or, be a real organized chef and cook it the night before!

Wash rice well and soak in water to cover generously for 15 minutes. Drain rice. Place rice in saucepan, adding 3/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook gently until rice is tender and water is absorbed (10-15 minutes). Drain any remaining water off of rice. Stir in the cream, sugar and cardamom seeds. Stir continually while you bring mixture to a boil. If milk burns on the bottom of the pan, you will have nasty black stuff floating in your pretty white pudding (so be attentive). Reduce heat and simmer for ONE HOUR uncovered (stirring to prevent sticking about every 5-10 minutes). Don't try and hurry (or skip) this part - it is essential to the flavor of the dish. Cool the pudding on a cold burner. Stir in pistachios and rosewater. Chill for around an hour. Pudding should be served cold (stir when ready to serve in case pudding films over in the refrigerator).

Recipe Adapted from Cooks Recipes.


sailu said...

First time commenting here.I am impressed.I am from India and the way you have cooked the rice pudding and the explanation given in cooking up the can pass of as a professional Indian chef...:)

Sprittibee said...

That is the sweetest thing anyone could ever say to me (especially someone from India!). :) *grin*