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Indian Rice Pudding with Cardamom and Pistachios

Posted Dec 08 2012 4:19am
Well this is embarrassing. The busier I am, the more my short attention span kicks into play and the more my attention to detail goes away. Case in point, this Indian Rice Pudding with Cardamom and Pistachios from Madhur Jaffrey was simmering away for 30 minutes on the stove, scenting the kitchen with a delicious aroma before I realized I made an error. When I skimmed the recipe to make sure I had all of the ingredients, I had it in my head that it was one cup of rice to 5 cups of milk (or in my case coconut milk), which seems logical in the grand scheme of rice pudding making. Wrong! It was one tablespoon of rice. Apparently, this pudding is supposed to be more about the boiled down milk than the rice. Whoops! ;-) No matter... it ended up working fine and was a fun variation on a classic. 

My changes to the recipe are in red below.

Jaffrey says, "This is my mother's recipe for kheer, which she set in shallow half-baked earthware bowls called shakoras. As a result it picked up the delicious fragrance of freshly moistened earth. You could serve your kheer in individual custard bowls or, if you prefer, in one shallow serving bowl."

Indian Rice Pudding with Cardamom and Pistachios (Kheer)
Madhur Jaffrey's Step-By-Step Cookbook
(Serves 4)

5 cups (I used coconut milk)
1 tablespoon long-grain rice (I used 1 cup {whoops!} basmati rice)
4 whole cardamom pods, bruised
(I added: 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp rose water)
2 Tbsp sugar (I used 1 1/2 Tbsp agave)
10 unsalted pistachio nuts, slivered
(1 added 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped)
extra pistachio nuts to garnish 

Combine the milk, rice, and  and cardamom pods in a heavy-based pan or cooking pot. Slowly bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer steadily until the milk is reduced to approximately 2 1/2 cups; this may take about 1 1/4 hours. Turn off the heat.

Remove and discard the cardamom pods. Add the sugar and pistachio nuts, stir well, then leave to cool.

Stir the kheer again. Pour into a serving bowl. Sprinkle a few more pistachio on top of the pudding to garnish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes/Results: Creamy, not too sweet and colorful with the dried apricots and pistachio nuts. I liked the flavor of this rice pudding with the presence of the cardamom as well as the additions of the cinnamon, vanilla and rosewater. Texturally, I was hoping for more firmness--personally, I prefer the chewiness-factor that brown rice adds so next time I would try a brown basmati. Although with my rice miscalculation, it isn't how Jaffrey's mother made it, this is  was still a tasty variation.  Great for breakfast, it would also be a good ending for an Indian dinner. I would make it again.

It's Potluck week at IHCC, so stop by and check out what everyone made. 
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