Indian Rice Pudding (Kheer)
And just like that, it's my second trimester. It's really strange to move in the space of about 24 hours from being nauseated by the very color of the paint on my walls (it's a soft light brown, soothing in almost every case, except for when you can't stop thinking about how it looks like the color of rotten eggplant) to suddenly craving every little thing (mostly ranch dressing...copious amounts of ranch dressing...you're serving a white truffle champagne vinaigrette? BRING ME RANCH!).
But the good news is this: I seem to have survived, and as of yesterday, baby has a confirmed heartbeat. Hooray! And now, bring on the second trimester. By all accounts, this is supposed to be the good one.
And please, thank you, let me start cooking again! How I missed it. I started out simple though, I'm not yet completely back on my feet, and made this delicious yet easy Indian rice pudding.
I'm not sure if you've had kheer before. You probably have. If you've been to an Indian restaurant they almost always have it. If you've been to an Indian buffet, it's almost always there. It's warm, soft, delicately sweet, and just rich enough to feel indulgent, without leaving you gasping.
I made a few variations on the original recipe, billed as Alton Brown's Indian Rice Pudding from the Food Network (what could go wrong?). I substituted arborio rice for long grain or basmati, although I'm sure either of those would do fine. I like arborio for rice puddings because its high starch content gives it a creamier texture. Also I just had all this arborio rice hanging around, and I'm not a big fan of risotto, its other traditional use.
I used almond slivers instead of crumbled pistachios simply because I couldn't find pistachios in time. My store only had roasted on offer. Disappointing, store. Disappointing.
Anyway, this rice pudding was quickly made and quickly vanished down the hatch. It's so light and sweet, it makes the perfect ending to any meal, especially a spicy one.
Anna's Indian Rice Pudding (kheer), adapted from Alton Brown
1 cup cooked arborio rice
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 ounces raisins, approximately 1/3 cup
1 1/2 ounces slivered almonds, approximately 1/3 cup
In a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat, combine the cooked rice and milk. Heat until the mixture begins to boil. Decrease the heat to low and cook at a simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring frequently, approximately 5 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium, add the heavy cream, coconut milk, sugar, and cardamom and continue to cook until the mixture just begins to thicken again, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Use a whisk to help prevent the cardamom from clumping. Once the mixture just begins to thicken, remove from the heat and stir in the raisins and almonds. Transfer the mixture to individual serving dishes or a glass bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding. It will set as it cools. Serve chilled or at room temperature.