Friday, October 20, 2017

Recipe : Rice Kheer / Payasam - Happy Diwali

This Diwali we really didn't have the time to make a major celebration out of it. I've started another course (with Oxford this time), signed up for some other commitments and he had to work late on the 19th. I had signed up for a lecture at the Royal College of Nursing on Food and Culture.

Also, we are still eating light, so no snacks or deep fried or store bought sweets this year. But Ganesh needs something sweet to be offered as prasad, hence this light kheer with most of the sweetness coming from raisins.

While this time I made it really light on sugar, the recipe I give below is my normal recipe with a full tin of condensed milk. You can halve that and increase the raisins, or ignore the condensed milk and use sugar or only raisins / dates (but then you have to cook it for longer)

Ingredients :
100 gms / 1 katori basmati rice rinsed and soaked.
1-2 tbsp ghee
1 handful broken cashewnuts
1 handful raisins (rinse and remove the stalks if any)
1 liter milk preferably at room temperature or warmer
1 cardamom (if you want stronger flavour crush before using)
1 tin condensed milk - carnation / milk maid
pinch of saffron or cardamom powder (optional)

Method :
Take a large pan, preferably non-stick.
Heat the ghee.
Fry the cashewnuts till light brown, remove from pan with a slotted spoon.
Saute the raisins lightly and remove with a slotted spoon.

Now drain the rice and add it to the pan. Fry for 1-2 minutes
Lower the heat to medium and add the milk and cardamom.
Let the rice cook completely in the milk.
If it is a non stick pan, it won't need to be stirred, but you can keep stirring gently if you like.
Keep an eye on it, so it doesn't bubble over when the milk boils.
Stir or lower the heat, if it is on the verge of bubbling over.

Once the milk is cooked, add the condensed milk and most of the raisins.
Keep cooking on medium heat, until the kheer is nice and thick.
Sprinkle the saffron or cardamom powder on top if using.

The kheer can be served hot immediately, at room temperature or chilled.

Garnish with fried cashewnuts and raisins.

Tip :
Cold milk has a higher chance of splitting, so better to bring the milk to room temperature.

If you like the flavour of cardamom, you can use more, crush it and add it when frying the rice  instead of waiting to add it with the milk.

I prefer to leave the cardamom whole and add it with the milk. This imparts the flavour of cardamom, without the bits exploding in my mouth when eating (its too strong a spice for me to bite into)

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