Kheer or Rice Pudding is a typical Punjabi dessert. It is said that women love candy and research has begun to show that having a sweet tooth really is a girl thing, while men, on the other hand, would rather snack on a bag of potato chips than a box of chocolates. But why am I the odd one here. I think I have a salt tooth and mind you there is nothing manly about me!! I just need my salt fix! Anything chocolaty would do anytime of the day for me, but Indian sweets are much sweeter for my liking.
Our tongue can detect four flavors — salt, sour, bitter and sweet, but we are naturally drawn to sweet because we hail from primates, animals that evolved eating fruit in the trees. Is it any wonder then that we followed our sweet tooth out of the forest? Can we imagine a world without sugar, honey or jaggery? The food industry too cashes in on this point and all processed food has sugar as an additive even though sugar is not good for us.
I know many people around me who are addicted to sweets, ignoring the harsh consequences of painful cavities and widening waistlines. My daughter-in-law Karina is Mexican but loves almost all Indian desserts. So much so that, she can have a bowl of rice pudding for dinner.
It is rare for me to make a dessert and I made one the other day on demand from a friend. I made Kheer, a rice pudding that was extra creamy, nutty, infused with the intoxicating flavors of basmati rice and oriental cardamoms. It is easy to make and almost anyone can make it, and its history dates back to the ancient era and even Ayurveda recommends in its list of happy food for good health. It is an extremely flexible dish as you can make kheer out of most of the fruits and vegetables, known to the culinary world – from the famous apple kheer to bottle gourd; yes I make it with bottle gourd too and it tastes just as yummy. You can garnish it with anything; from almonds to rose petals.
Recipe for Kheer or Rice Pudding
1/4 cup long grained rice basmati rice
1 cup sugar,
4 ground cardamoms
12 almonds soaked, peeled and chopped into slivers
Soak the rice for an hour. Bring the milk to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally until reduced to half. Add the soaked rice to the milk. Keep stirring occasionally till the rice softens and the milk becomes thick. Add the cardamom and the sugar and simmer the mixture until it reaches one-fourth of its original volume, and is thick and creamy.
Serve it hot in winters but in summer, cool to room temperature and refrigerate until chilled. Serve garnished with the almond slivers.
The Kheer looked too virginal and plain, so I added some rose colour to the almonds and gave a pretty pink hue to my rice pudding.(see. I am so feminine)
Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you like my Kheer or Rice Pudding? Then please leave your footprints on this page 🙂