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Chawal Ki Kheer
- Duration: 1 hour
- Serves: 8 to 10 people
Spice Level: Zero
To get that authentic taste, use roughly crushed rice grains to boil in the milk. Also, the time at which the rice is added into the milk is of critical importance. The trick is to allow the milk to boil and get reduced to a little more than half its original volume, and then add in the crushed rice. It helps to remember that the Kheer mixture thickens after it cools down and coagulates even further when refrigerated. You may also not add too much sugar to the Kheer if you are using sweetened condensed milk. For that perfect hue, you could soak a few strands of saffron in warm milk and add them to the Kheer once it is ready.
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Chawal Ki Kheer is a traditional Indian dessert that is prepared in different forms across all states. It is the most preferred sweet dish made to mark weddings and festivals. Authentically, it was prepared by simmering raw rice in full-cream buffalo milk on a slow fire. This would be continued till the rice had cooked through, and the milk had turned an inviting pinkish hue and had started letting off a rich aroma. However, to save time in modern kitchens, people have started using cooked rice and condensed milk instead. Needless to say, the results in taste are not the same. It is said that in the rural belts of India, the first Kheer of the season is prepared using the second batch of milk given by a lactating domestic buffalo of the house.
- Milk, full cream (3 litres)
- Small-grained rice, soaked overnight and crushed (¼ cup)
- Sugar (1 cup)
- Green cardamom (hari elaichi), powdered (5)
- Almond (badam), skinned and shredded (10 to 12)
- Saffron (kesar), soaked in warm milk (3 to 4 strands)
- Pour the milk into an open pressure cooker and bring to a boil on a high flame.
- Lower the flame to a medium and let the milk continue to boil till it reduces to a little more than half of its original volume. Keep stirring continuously or else fat will accumulate at the bottom of the vessel and start to burn.
- After an hour of boiling, further lower the flame and let the milk simmer some more. Stir intermittently.
- Now, add in the rice grains and continue to simmer till the grains are fully cooked and the milk has begun to thicken.
- Add in the sugar and powdered elaichi and turn up the flame to high.
- Keep stirring till the sugar has dissolved completely.
- Turn off the flame and add in the saffron strands, along with the warm milk they were soaked in. Keep stirring continuously.
- Transfer the Kheer to a serving dish and garnish it with almonds. Serve piping hot if it is winter, and chilled if it is summertime.