Indian Brown Rice Pudding (Kheer).


There are some foods so special that when you eat them they feed your heart and lift your spirit. Does that happen to you? That is the case of this dish for me, I don’t know exactly why, but it might be thanks to the brown rice in it, its creamy goodness and the nutty taste…creamy, nutty and healthy, what’s not to love, right?!

I am sure that you have tried rice pudding before, or at least heard of it, but if you haven’t, then you should know that it is a popular dish/dessert almost everywhere around the world and every culture has its own version of it.

In the Caribbean, we prepare a very sweet version, made with white rice and lots of sugar, or even with sweetened condensed milk, and it is usually served as a dessert, warm or cold. Although I do like this version, after trying the Indian rice pudding I fell in love with it immediately. Actually, I love Indian food in general. Everything about it, from the wonderful spices to the vast healthy, vegetarian options it offers.

Indian rice pudding, as all of the other rice puddings I know of, is normally made with white rice and whole cow milk, but I personally prefer to use brown rice which is healthier (it has more nutrients and it is easier to digest, thus better for your digestive system) and there is a nutty taste to it that just goes perfect with the pistachios on top. I like to complement these flavors with soy milk and since soy milk is naturally sweet (somewhat) I do not add any sugar to my pudding. Also, we are using raisins which add extra sweetness to the dish. And last, but not least, the delicate taste, color and aroma of the saffron and the exotic cardamon make this pudding irresistible!

Go ahead and try it for brunch (that’s how I like to eat mine) and feel free to add any sweeteners of your choice, if you need to.

I adapted my pudding from  this recipe .

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 cup Basmati brown rice. Rinsed and soaked in fresh water for 30 minutes to 1 hour (this reduces the cooking time)

2 cups water

3 cups organic soy milk

4 cardamon seeds, crushed

A pinch of saffron threads (about 1/8 tsp.)

¼ cup of golden raisins

1½ Tbs. of Ghee (clarified butter) (This is optional, but highly recommended)

2 Tbs. of unsalted pistachios, peeled and chopped.

Method:

In a sauce pan, bring the water and the soaked rice to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Uncover and make sure that all or almost all the water has been absorbed. Add the milk, stir, cover again and cook on low heat for 15 more minutes.

Add the cardamon, saffron and raisins, stirring to combine.

Cook uncovered for 1o minutes longer or until the rice is tender and creamy and most of the milk has been absorbed.

Remove from the heat, add the Ghee and stir gently to combine.

Serve in individual bowls and top with the chopped pistachios.

I hope this dish will feed you heart!

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