When talking about recipes for dishes and desserts that have a long history and tradition, it is inadmissible not to mention one of the most well-known desserts around the world and loved by both adults and children: indian rice pudding.
Each region of the world has its own version of rice pudding and along with it, endless anecdotes that make this delightful dessert have a special place in everyone’s life.
Certainly, India is no exception, as that country also has its own version of this traditional recipe: Kheer. Name that comes from the Sanskrit word ksheera which literally means milk.
It’s very similar to the pudding rice we know on this side of the world, the only difference is in the spices they use to give it a particular flavor and aroma.
A little glimpse of Kheer history
Pudding rice is known in India under many names: Kheer, payasa, payasam, or phirni.
Kheer is one of the favorite desserts in India and South Asia and one of the oldest in the world, with about two thousand years of history. The first time Kheer is mentioned in India’s history was around the year 1130, which makes it one of the most well-known Indian desserts.
It is thought to be rejuvenating and favorable to body health. According to one of the many Hindu legends, Shiva, the god of destruction, used to serve it to his worshipers as an act of love.
Although Kheer is widely consumed in India, it is also offered as a tribute at Hindu festivals and to feed babies at the Annaprashan ceremony, an Indian cultural rite of passage.
In countries such as Iran and China, the fruits are first dipped in honey before being prepared. Kheer has traveled from India to Persia and Europe during the course of its life.
This exquisite dessert can also be found in:
- Malaysia, usually called bubur ketan hitam.
- Normandy, known as La teurgoule.
- Portugal and Brazil, called arroz doce.
- Spain and Hispanic America, as arroz con leche.
- Denmark, known as risalamande.
- Turkey, where it’s called sütlaç.
Clearly rice pudding has very ancient origins in Asia and it seems somehow made its way across Asia, Europe and Africa. Later, it was exported to America through centuries of overseas trading and by the people that eventually migrated to the American territory.
Try these easy and quick Kheer recipes
We bet now you want to try this dessert. Don’t worry, we don’t want you to be craving this Indian pudding rice all day. That’s why we prepared a couple of easy recipes for you to try:
Kheer rice pudding
- ½ cup of Basmati rice.
- 5 cups of whole milk.
- 2/5 cup of sugar.
- 5 cardamom seeds.
- 5 or 6 saffron strands.
- 1 cinnamon stick.
- 3 tbsp. of pistachios.
- 3 tbsp. of almonds.
- 1 tbsp. of raisins.
- 3 o 4 rose water drops (optional).
- Wash the rice until water is transparent, completely remove the starch from the rice, let it soak for a few minutes and put water back and gently rub it a little more with your hands.
- Put the milk to boil and throw the rice well drained together with the cardamom seeds (previously crushed), the saffron strands and the cinnamon.
- Let simmer for about 30 minutes.
- After this half hour, the laminated almonds are added, add the raisins, peeled pistachios, drops of rose water and sugar.
- Another 5 or 6 minutes at low heat.
- Remove the cinnamon stick. Let temper.
- Since it must be served cold, leave it 2 to 3 hours in the fridge.
- Serve it with laminated almonds and pieces of pistachios on top.
- 1 ½ cup of water.
- 1 cup of Basmati rice.
- 1 cup of rice milk.
- ¾ cup of coconut milk.
- ½ cup of soy cream.
- ¼ cup of white sugar.
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom.
- ⅓ cup of raisins.
- ⅓ cup of sliced, roasted pistachios.
- Put the rice in a saucepan of boiling water. Lower heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until rice is soft and water has been absorbed (about 20 to 25 minutes).
- Add the rice milk, and let it boil. Lower heat to minimum and let it simmer until mixture thickens a bit, which would take about 5 minutes.
- Put back to medium heat, add soy cream, coconut milk, cardamom and sugar and wait until it boils again.
- Reduce the heat again and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until it thickens.
- Once you take out the heat, you can decor it with pistachios and raisins. A bit of sugar can be added before serving warm. You may also put it in the fridge for an hour or two if you prefer to enjoy it cold.