My Nani's Kheer
This recipe is very close to my heart; it's nothing special but the secret is in the technique and all the love and patience that goes into making it. I never thought I'd put this recipe out ever but I realised it was never mine in the first place, nothing is...and you only truly own what you can give away.
Now a lot of us feel that the festive season entails indulging in unhealthy foods and we will all "start" working on our health once it is over. I want to tell you that you can indulge and still be making conscious decisions for your health. One simple way is to chose homemade sweets and that ways you know what goes into your food and you'll always use only the best quality ingredients for your friends and family.
I don't know how to cook any Indian mithais (desserts), but I'm quite a self proclaimed kheer expert because this is the only recipe I learnt from my nani. I will do my best to reiterate it word-by-word here.
Milk, full cream - 1 L
Rice, I use basmati - 1 muthi, which is one palmful, as much as you can hold in your open palm without the rice falling off.
Sugar - 1 muthi, which is one palmful, as much as you can hold in your open palm without the sugar falling off OR as sweet as you like it. I don't like my desserts very sweet so maybe some of you might need more than 1 palmful of sugar.
Nuts - I use almonds, pistachios and walnuts; soaked, peeled and slivered.
Cardamom - 7-8 pods, freshly crushed in a mortar and pestle; discard the peels
Saffron - a pinch
Start with bringing your fresh full-cream milk up to a boil, in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Rinse your rice just once with clean water and add it to the boiling milk.
Add in your crushed cardamom seeds and saffron now, along with the slivered nuts.
The key to a good kheer is to cook it on absolutely low flame, gently stirring throughout. I like to use a silicon spatula to collect the malai from the sides or the pan.
This is where love and patience comes in, keep gently stirring your kheer for about 35-40 minutes on low flame OR till the rice has broken down, amalgamated and starts floating in the kheer.
Another way to tell is when your kheer will reduce to almost half of its original volume.
At this point add in your sugar, gently stir and observe the fragrance changing.
Here, add a few more strands of saffron.
Cook for 10 more minutes and empty your kheer in a glass serving dish.
You may choose to garnish it with silver lead, gold leaf or rose petals.
I like my kheer chilled with hot puffed up puris.
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