Growing up in India, my Nani (maternal grandmother) made this kheer or rice pudding on the regular. I have fond memories of devouring bowlfuls of this stuff and feeling utterly filled with so much love and comfort.
Now you guys know I talk a lot about healthy foods and one could argue that this white sugar laden kheer is far from ‘healthy’. As much as I’m a fan of science and micronutrients and real, unprocessed foods, I also believe that we eat to satisfy our soul. And sometimes, that means enjoying Nani’s kheer
- 1/4 cup white basmati rice, soaked for 1-2 hours
- 4 cups whole milk or oat milk
- 1/4 cup rose petals
- 1-2 pinches saffron threads
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
- 6-8 whole cardamon pods, gently crushed to expose the black seeds
- 4-6 tablespoons sugar
- pinch of salt (optional)
- 2 tablespoons crushed pistachios
- rose petals and saffron threads for garnish
Drain the rice and blend roughly in a food processor so the grains are shorter but not a powder.
Bring the milk to a gentle boil, stirring often to prevent burning. Add the rice and cook on a low simmer, stirring often.
While the rice cooks, add 1/2 cup water to the dried rose petals and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until all the color has left the rose petals. Strain, press with a spoon to make sure you get everything out from the rose petals and set aside.
Once the rice has nearly softened and the milk has thickened a bit (20 minutes), transfer a tablespoon worth of the hot milk into a small bowl. Add the saffron and press down with the back of a spoon to release the aroma and color. Let stand for a couple minutes then transfer the saffron infused milk to the pot of milk and rice and stir in to mix well. Add the cardamom and cardamom pods, sugar, pinch of salt if using and mix well.
Simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring often.
Let the kheer cool, then chill it in the fridge for a couple hours.
Serve it cold (that’s how I like it) sprinkled with pistachios, rose petals and saffron threads.