Kheer or Payasam is a must-have on the menu for all auspicious Indian occasions. The Western rice pudding recipe has it’s origin in the Kheer, as it’s called in the Northern states of India. The same dish is called Payasam in the Southern states and the words originate from the Sanskrit words ‘Ksheer’ meaning milk and ‘Peeyusham’ meaning nectar, which are two of the main ingredients for the recipe, though now-a-days, sugar substitutes honey or nectar. In India, it’s the kheer, like a few other dishes that cuts across languages and religions to unite people in its sweet ‘gastronomics’ in festivals and on occasions. For, the Hindus, Muslims and Christians, all celebrate their respective festivals with kheer. Having said this, I don’t need an excuse of an occasion to make this easy-to-make yet delectable dessert. Yesterday, I was in a happy mood for no reason: so I cooked kheer as a surprise for my husband. Though this dish is most often made with rice, it can also be made with vermicelli too.
Total time: 1/2 h
- Milk: 500 ml
- Condensed milk: 1/2 tin
- Rice: 250 g
- Sugar: 200 g
- Ghee: 50 g
- Cardamom pods (powdered): 2
- Chopped nuts (almonds/pistachio) and raisins: 3 tbsp
- Wash the rice and keep it aside.
- In a thick-bottomed pan, boil rice and milk together on medium flame until the rice is soft and completely cooked.
- Stir continuously.
- Add condensed milk, sugar and stir till sugar gets completely dissolved and the mixture thickens.
- Add cardamom powder and stir.
- Garnish with nuts and raisins.
- Serve hot or cold.