Kheer. The essence of India. A labor of love. Rice, milk, and sugar come together and create the most beautiful medley of flavors and textures in my honest opinion.
Kheer is made across our country. Be it a festival, a celebration, a milestone, or an ordinary day when you crave something sweet yet simple and comforting. My grandmothers and my mother have made it for as long as I can remember. Kheer would always be made at home for a celebration or festival even if any other fancy sweet/ dessert could not be possible.
We also make kheer as an offering to God on an auspicious day; one of the purest forms of prasad as we all know.
Kheer. A very versatile milk-based pudding. While the traditional version has rice, milk, and sugar; we can make kheer using fruits, vegetables, tapioca, vermicelli, broken wheat, and even millets.
Kheer also has a mention in Ayurveda which makes it even more popular and integral to our cuisine.
Slow cooking and patiently watching over the rice simmering in milk, is mandatory here, resulting in a very smooth and creamy kheer.
I like my kheer simple and without any extra adds or flavors; honestly, the best way to enjoy kheer is as such in all its natural glory.
Feel free to add on any favorite dried fruit and/ or nuts of your choice.
- 1/2 cup rice I used basmati rice
- 6 cups whole milk
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 4 tbsp sugar/ jaggery powder
- any chopped/ sliced nuts of your choice
- Wash the rice well and soak for a minimum of 1 hour.
- Drain the water and keep the rice aside.
- Add milk to a heavy-bottomed pan and place the pan on low to medium flame.
- Let the milk come to a boil and make sure the flame is not high while the milk simmers.
- Add the rice to the milk and give this a good mix.
- Let the milk and rice continue to simmer on low flame, stirring every now and then. I usually slow cook, uncovered for about an hour until the milk starts to turn thick and creamy.
- If using cardamom, add the pods while the mixture simmers so as to incorporate the flavor well. Make sure the milk/ rice doesn’t burn.
- When the rice is well cooked, you may add sugar/ jaggery and mix well. Continue to simmer for about 5-7 minutes further and switch off the flame. If the consistency is very thick, you may add a couple of tablespoons of warm milk if need be.
- Mix in any nuts/ dried fruit of your choice and serve in individual bowls either warm or at room temperature or chilled as per your choice.