Friday, 24 February 2017

Indian Kheer With Puri...

I adore rice puddings. I have discovered that  many countries have some sort of rice pudding in there cuisine. Kheer is an Indian version of rice pudding. This sweet milk based dish is thickened with  rice, and flavoured with cardamom and rose water, enriched with cream and made even more delicious with the addition of pistachios and almonds.

This dish is either served as part of a meal or as a dessert after a meal. I serve it with Puri, an Indian fried bread.

What I love about this dish is the flexibility. You can choose to thicken your kheer with either rice, vermicelli of sago. You can also add whatever nuts or flavouring that you desire. This dish can be served either hot or cold.

The rice is usually cooked in the milk, but I prefer to cook the rice in water and then add the milk as hastens the cooking time slightly.

Ingredients for Kheer:
1/2 - 3/4 cup of jasmine rice (or use any other soft cooking rice)
1 litre milk (preferably full fat)
1 385 gram tin of sweetened condensed milk (or to taste)
250 ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon ground almonds
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup sliced skinless almonds
1/2 cup sliced pistachios
1 tablespoon Charoli nuts, optional*
A splash of rose water
Extra pistachios for garnishing

Rinse and soak the rice in hot water for about 20 minutes. Drain the water and add the rice to a heavy based pot. Cover with fresh water, and boil until most of the water is absorbed. And the milk and cook over low heat for about 40 minutes. Stir regularly to prevent the milk from scorching. The rice should be really soft and mushy. Add the condensed milk, cream, ground almonds and cardamom. I give the kheer a quick whizz with a stick blender at this stage. Do not blend for too long as you want some texture. Just a quick pulse for a second or two!cook for 10 minutes, then add the remaining nuts and the rose water. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve in cups or bowls with some extra pistachio sprinkled over.

* Charoli is a type of nut from India. Also known as chironji, they are creamy white tiny round nuts, with a brown skin. Their texture is similar to pine nuts, although they are closer in flavour to almonds. They are available at Indian grocers.

2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon  sugar
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, optional
3 tablespoons butter
Cold buttermilk to make the dough
Oil for deep frying

 In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Rub in the butter. Add enough  buttermilk to make a
soft dough. Cover the dough and set aside for an hour. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts. Form into little balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a circle, about 3mm thick. Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut each circle into 4 wedges. You can also cut out shapes using a cookie cutter if desired. Heat oil in a small pot, over medium heat. Fry the puri, 1 at a time, until puffed up and pale gold in colour. This only takes a few seconds on each side. Drain on paper towels.