A recipe for Indian kheer (rice pudding)
Kheer is one of the most favourite desserts in India, made on nearly every occasion, half-occasion or non-occasion. Much of this popularity is owed to its simplicity: it’s easy to make, you need a short list of ingredients and barely an hour of patience. It is also the most pan-Indian of desserts; kheer is loved in north India, especially Punjab, almost a ritual in east India particularly Bengal, and savoured just as much in the south of India. It is called payesh in Bengal (in the east of India), and payasam in Tamil Nadu (in the south of the country).
Milk: One litre, full fat
Plain rice: 25-30 gms (avoid Basmati grain for this dish)
Sugar: 3.5 tablespoons (or a little more or less, according to taste)
Almonds: about 30 odd: crushed
Raisins: 30 odd
Wash the rice and soak it in a little water. Start boiling the milk in a large pot on a high flame. When the milk boils, simmer the flame. Drain the rice and add it to the milk. Keep stirring the milk with a ladle, so it thickens evenly.
When the milk has reduced to about half its volume, check the rice to see if it has boiled. If it is done, add the sugar slowly to the milk while stirring the milk continuously. Check the taste to see if sugar is fine.
Keep the milk on a simmer, and stir for ten minutes more. Take it off the heat and pour it into another dish to cool.
In a separate pan, dry roast the crushed almonds. Sprinkle them liberally over the pudding. Also, throw in the raisins.