Kheer: Kheer, also known as Payasam, Payasa is a rice pudding, which is a traditional South Asian sweet dish. It is made by boiling rice or broken wheat with milk and sugar, and flavoured with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios or almonds. It is typically served during a meal or also consumed alone as a dessert.
Kheer is prepared in festivals, temples, and all special occasions. The term Kheer (used in North India) is derived from Sanskrit words Ksheeram (which means milk). It is prepared using milk, rice, ghee, sugar/jaggery, Khoya. Some also add a little bit of Heavy Cream to give it more richness in taste. It is often garnished using almonds, cashews, raisins and pistachios.
It is an essential dish in many Hindu feasts and celebrations. While the dish is most often made with rice, it can also be made with other ingredients such as vermicelli.
- 1/4 cup short/medium grained rice
- 2 cups whole milk (go for low fat only if absolutely necessary)
- 200 grams Condensed Milk
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 1-2 tbsp chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios and cashews)
- 4-5 raisins (or more if you like it)
- 1 tsp Ghee (preferred more than butter)
- In a saucepan, heat the ghee.
- Add the chopped nuts along with raisins.
- Set aside when raisins get plump and nuts turn reddish brown.
- In the same pan, roast the rice for 2-3 minutes in low heat.
- Now add the milk.
- Increase the heat to med-high and let it come to a boil.
- Add condensed milk.
- Give it an occasional stir so that the milk does not stick to the bottom. Non stick pan works great for this.
- Take care not to let the milk burn. Even a little burn spoils the milk.
- Add sugar and give it a stir.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the milk has reduced in half.
- Keep stirring often.
- You know its done when the milk has reduced and also the rice has cooked and is soft (not mushy).
- Add cardamom and half of the roasted nuts.
- Give it a stir until combined and serve garnished with the remaining nuts.
- Serve hot or cold.
- For golden yellow colour, you can add a pinch of saffron to the milk
- The pudding thickens with time – you can rectify it by adding some warm milk to it.
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