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Recipe #24: Try A Healthier Version of Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

Posted Jan 11 2008 12:00am

As promised, here's the kheer recipe that I plan to make for dessert for this Saturday's dinner with my friend & fiancé chez moi.

As most people who make the following recipe surely know, most kheer recipes call for several gallons of cream or full-fat/whole milk! OK, that's only a slight exaggeration (Hahahaha!), but I'd like to instead offer my own recipe which is much lower in butter-fat & yes, people, still tastes rather delicious!

Below is my own modified recipe of an old family favorite (or rather more accurately, it's a favorite of my sister & me!)
(Original recipe source: Saroj's Cookbook .)


1 quart (4 c.) low-fat (1%) milk (NOTE: If you've got milk allergies, substitute with light/low-fat plain or vanilla soy milk.)
1/4 cup long-grain (basmati) rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes & then drained. (NOTE: To make this recipe healthier, you can also use brown basmati rice, which still tastes really good. Please note that brown basmati rice is NOT the same thing as regular brown rice. Brown basmati rice, does in fact, taste MUCH better in this recipe than just using plain ole' brown rice, which I'd strongly advise against using due to its consistency!)
3/4 cup sugar (Or, if you'd like to use less sugar, try using only 2-3 Tbsp sugar instead.)
1/4 tsp. cardamom powder (Or better yet, use 1/4 tsp. cardamom seeds, crushed.)
10-15 strands saffron, crushed, soaked in 1 tsp. warm milk
10 almonds (about 2 tbsp almonds, blanched & slivered)
10 unsalted pistachios (about 1 tbsp shelled pistachio nuts, chopped)


  1. Crush almonds & pistachios coarsely using a mortar & pestle, & then put aside.
  2. Boil rice in plenty of water till half done.
  3. Drain, spread on a plate, to cool grains.
  4. Heat milk, bring to a boil.
  5. Add rice, stirring continuously, till boiling resumes.
  6. Simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep rice from sticking to bottom.
  7. Allow rice to cook fully, but not get mushy. Cook until the rice is soft & the grains are starting to break up.
  8. Add sugar & stir until completely dissolved.
  9. Add cardamom, saffron, almonds and pistachios.
  10. Stir, simmer for 2 minutes.
  11. Remove the kheer from heat and serve either warm or chilled.

Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Servings: Makes 5 servings.
Shelf-life: 1 day.

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