Rice kheer is probably the most common sweet dish in every Indian household. Everyone has their own variations, but nothing can beat the classic one with white rice and full fat milk. As simple as the recipe is, it is also very easy to mess it up. Because more than anything else, the perfect rice kheer is a result of the right proportions of ingredients and a lot of love and patience. There are no shortcuts to making it. And 30-40 minutes of your time.
The secret to a good kheer is the perfect consistency and sweetness. I grew up eating paayokh, which is the rice pudding we make in Assam. It’s usually made with the aromatic joha rice, and can be sweetened with sugar or jaggery. It has taken me years to understand and create the perfect recipe for rice kheer, and this is exactly that. The consistency of this kheer is thick, and keeps getting thicker with time. However, it never reaches the point where it’s lumpy. It always has that extra bit of creaminess and the separation of the milk and rice. The texture remains uniform even if you freeze it. That’s the beauty of this recipe. As for sweetness, it is just the right amount of sweet for a festive occasion. You can always add more or reduce the amount of sugar as per your preference.
How to Make The Perfect Rice Kheer Every Single Time
Though this recipe is extremely simple and minimal, it can only taste so good if you take care of a few technicalities. These are very easy to follow, and important to keep in mind if you want the creamiest and tastiest kheer in your kitchen. Let’s take a look.
1.Get the ratio right
The secret to a great rice kheer is the correct ratio of milk to rice. The amount of rice is very less and we let it slow cook and merge with the reducing milk. If you get the ratio right, there is no stopping you from creating the best rice kheer at home.
2. Use the best ingredients
Like every simple recipe using a handful of ingredients, this rice kheer recipe also calls for sourcing the best ingredients. Make sure you use really good variety of aromatic rice. The grains should be small. I love to use joha rice, which is a local Assamese variety. You can opt for Bengali gobindbhog rice or a very good quality of broken basmati rice. The rice grains need to have their own scent.
This recipe cannot be replaced with low fat milk. The milk has to be full fat to get that perfectly thick and creamy consistency of the rice kheer. Get your hands on the best quality full-fat milk for this recipe.
3. Mind the heat
Cooking the rice kheer at the optimal temperature is very important to get it right. Once the milk comes to a boil, the flame will keep oscillating between low to medium, but it will never touch high. The temperature needs to be checked and regulated throughout the cooking process you would not want the milk to stick or worse, burn at any point. Keeping the flame high will also make the milk evaporate faster than it should, and affect the final consistency of the kheer.
4. Use a heavy bottomed pan
Make sure you use a heavy bottomed pan like a heavy stainless steel pot or kadhai or a cast iron pot. This will ensure that the kheer does not burn and cooks uniformly.
4. Be patient
This is probably the most important virtue to have while making kheer. I know it sounds exaggerated, but it is true! There are no shortcuts to making a good kheer. Trust me, I have tried it over many years. Nothing can match the taste and excellence of slow cooking. So you will have to have patience and give your undivided attention to this recipe for at least 30 minutes. The results will really be worth it, I promise.
Now that you know all the secrets to making the perfect rice kheer, let’s take a look at the recipe.
Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cook time – 30 minutes
Serves – 4
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 15 cashews, separated from the centre
- 15 soaked raisins
- 1/4 cup aromatic rice (gobindbhog rice/joha rice/jasmine rice/broken basmati rice)
- 1 litre full fat milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- Soak raisins for an hour.
- Wash the rice thoroughly under running water. Set them out to dry on a sieve.
- Heat ghee in a kadhai. Once it heats up, add the cashews and fry on low flame for a few minutes till they turn golden brown. Set them aside.
- Heat milk in a heavy bottomed pan. Let it come to a boil.
- Once the milk comes to a boil, add the rice. Keep stirring continuously till milk reduces to half and rice cooks completely. The rice should disintegrate completely when you press it in between your index finger and thumb. This process will take time, so be patient and do not stop stirring. Keep the flame at medium to low.
- Once the rice is cooked completely and the milk has reduced by half (or more), add the sugar. The sugar has to be added once the rice is cooked, because the rice won’t cook after the sugar is added.
- Stir and cook till you achieve a creamy consistency (see video). The kheer should look slightly runny, yet be creamy. This is because it will keep getting thicker with time.
- Turn off the flame and add the fried cashews, soaked raisins and cardamom powder. Give it one last mix.
- Serve hot or freeze and serve cold. Enjoy!
I hope you try this delicious and fool-proof rice kheer this festive season. If you have any doubts, comments, or feedback, please reach out to me in comments or my social media handles.
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