Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Chawal Ki Kheer

From Navratri garba beats to preparations for Diwali-the festive mood is in full swing. I have started to clean the house, prepare the diyas and think about what should be the food menu for three days of diwali. In all this planning I forgot to think about Karva Chauth- another Indian festival wherein the married ladies fast from sunrise to moonrise for the long life and prosperity of her husband.

These festivals add a bit of sparkle and fun to the otherwise daily routine. As always an indain sweet is a must in the end and this time I decided to put together Chawal Ki Kheer. Chawal Ki Kheer is like rice pudding made by boiling the milk on low heat, which is then thickened by rice and sweetened with sugar or goor (jaggery).

To be honest I find indian sweets very complicated sometimes; most of sweets like jalebi, gulab jamun or barfi asks for sugar syrup and I just can’t craft a good sugar syrup (chasni)-I just don’t understand the art of one thread or two thread consistency syrup. So for people like me I believe Kheer is a saviour. Kheer can be made with very basic ingredients and is very easy to prepare. Another variation of kheer that is very popular is Seviyan Ki Kheer.

Here are some tips on how to make a good Chaval Ki Kheer-
  • Use good quality full fat milk. Boil the milk on low heat in a heavy bottom utensil.
  • Always pre-soak the rice for atleast an hour. Do not use thick or fat rice. I recommend basmati rice.
  • Before adding the rice to the milk, break the rice with your hand, like crumble the rice.
  • Use saffron (kesar) as it brings beautiful colour to otherwise pale white kheer.
  • Keep stirring the kheer, it will help it to thicken and also avoid burning.

4 cups milk
1/4 cup rice (soaked in water for one hour)
2 green cardamom/elaychi
3-4 threads of saffron/kesar
Sugar to taste

Take a heavy bottom pan and boil the milk on low heat.
In the meantime strain the water from soaked rice and crumble the rice. Rice should be broken into small pieces.
Add the broken rice to boiling milk. Keep stirring the milk in between. Keep boiling the milk till the rice is cooked and milk is reduced to half quantity.
Then add sugar, cardamom and saffron. Let it boil for 1-2 minutes.

Everyone have their own sweet taste preference, that’s why I said sugar to taste :-)
You can add gud/goor/jaggery as well instead of sugar.
If you like coconut, feel free to add grated coconut as well.
Kheer can be served hot or cold-again totally depends on an individual’s taste.
I mixed 2-3 threads of saffron 2 tablespoons of warm milk and used it as garnish (the yellow liquid on the kheer in the pictures). 

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