What is Kheer?
I absolutely love this kheer recipe! It’s a dessert that hails from the Indian subcontinent and is made by simmering milk, sugar and rice until it forms a creamy, thick texture. The addition of spices like cardamom and saffron gives it a deliciously unique flavor that I can’t get enough of. To top it off, it’s often garnished with nuts, dried fruits or even rose petals for a touch of elegance. It can be served as a dessert after a healthy brunch comprising of chicken tikka biryani, chicken chilli dry and cotton candy tea.
Kheer has a rich history and is a dessert that’s commonly enjoyed during festivals and special occasions in many Indian households. It’s interesting to note that it’s known by different names in different parts of India, such as payasam in South India and firni in some parts of North India and Pakistan. But no matter what you call it, it’s a dessert that’s loved by many.
What I appreciate most about kheer is that it’s so versatile. It can be made with different grains, like vermicelli or tapioca pearls and with different types of milk such as coconut milk or condensed milk. And for those who prefer a vegan option, non-dairy milk and vegan sweeteners can be used instead.
Kheer is also a traditional dish during festivals such as Eid al-Fitr and Diwali in Muslim and Hindu cultures respectively. It continues to be a beloved dessert in many parts of the world and is often enjoyed as a comfort food.
Kheer, also known as payasam or rice pudding, is a popular dessert in many cultures particularly in South Asia. Its origins can be traced back to ancient India where it was believed to have been first prepared in Hindu temples as an offering to the gods.
Over time, kheer recipe became popular among the wealthy and royalty and it was often served at banquets and other festive occasions. It spread to other parts of the world including Persia (modern-day Iran) and the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Republic of Türkiye) where it was adapted and given new flavors and ingredients.
In India, kheer is typically made with rice, milk, sugar and cardamom and is sometimes flavored with saffron or rose water. Other variations include using semolina, vermicelli, or tapioca pearls instead of rice. In South India, kheer is often made with jaggery, a type of unrefined cane sugar and coconut milk.
Health benefits of kheer
Kheer is one of my favorite traditional desserts, and I’m happy to say that it can actually provide some health benefits depending on the ingredients used. For example, kheer is typically made with milk, which is a great source of calcium, protein, and vitamins like vitamin D and vitamin B12. Plus, if you add ingredients like nuts, fruits, and grains, you can get even more nutrients and fiber.
Another benefit of kheer is that it’s a good source of carbohydrates, which can give you sustained energy throughout the day. This can be especially helpful for athletes or anyone who needs a quick energy boost.
In addition, some versions of kheer – like the ones made with rice or vermicelli – can be good for digestion due to their high fiber content. Fiber is important for healthy bowel movements and can help prevent constipation.
As I mentioned earlier, milk is a rich source of calcium and vitamin D, both of which are essential for maintaining strong bones. This is particularly important for older adults who may be at risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases.
Finally, certain ingredients used in kheer such as saffron, cardamom and nuts may have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can help protect your body against damage from harmful free radicals. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that some variations of kheer may be high in sugar and fat, so it’s best to enjoy this dessert in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, it is important to be mindful of the sugar and fat content in some variations of kheer especially if you are watching your weight or have diabetes.
Perfect Kheer Recipe to try at Home
This traditional kheer recipe is very simple to make. Pair it with ulavacharu biryani for a sweet and savoury combination. The process of making kheer involves slow-cooking rice and milk together, allowing the rice to absorb the flavors and create a thick and creamy consistency. The addition of nuts, such as almonds and pistachios, adds a crunchy and nutty flavor that complements the sweetness of the dish. The aromatic spices such as cardamom and saffron are also added sometime to enhance the fragrance and distinct taste that makes kheer a unique dessert. Whether served warm or chilled, kheer is a beloved dessert that is perfect for satisfying any sweet craving.
Ingredients for Perfect Kheer Delight
- 1/2 cup of Basmati rice
- 1 litre full-fat milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup mixed nuts (chopped almonds, pistachios and cashews)
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/4 tsp saffron strands
- 1 tbsp rose water
- Rinse the rice in cold water and drain.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, add the rice and milk and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer until the rice is cooked and the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Add the chopped nuts, cardamom powder, and saffron strands and stir well.
- Simmer for another 5-7 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the rose water.
- Serve hot or chilled.
Enjoy your creamy and delicious kheer!
around 45-50 minutes (including the time to cook the rice and milk mixture until it thickens)
approximately 4-6 servings
approximately 263 calories per serving
What is the traditional way to make kheer?
The traditional way to make kheer involves cooking rice in milk over low heat until the mixture thickens and the rice is fully cooked. Sugar, nuts and spices such as cardamom and saffron are then added for flavor. The kheer is typically served chilled and garnished with additional nuts and saffron strands.
Can kheer be made with non-dairy milk alternatives?
Yes, kheer can be made with non-dairy milk alternatives such as almond milk, coconut milk or soy milk. These alternatives may have a slightly different flavor and texture than traditional milk, so it is important to experiment and adjust the recipe as needed.
What is the best type of rice to use in any kheer recipe?
The best type of rice to use in kheer is typically a long-grain variety such as Basmati rice. This type of rice is known for its fluffy texture and ability to absorb flavors well. However, other types of rice can also be used depending on personal preference.
How can I prevent the milk from scorching while making kheer?
To prevent the milk from scorching while making kheer, it is important to cook the mixture over low heat and stir frequently. It may also be helpful to use a heavy-bottomed pot or saucepan to distribute the heat more evenly. Adding a small amount of water to the rice before adding the milk can also help prevent scorching.
Can kheer be made ahead of time and reheated?
Yes, kheer can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. To reheat, simply heat the kheer in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until it is heated through.
How can I make my kheer creamier and richer?
To make kheer creamier and richer, use full-fat milk and add a small amount of cream or condensed milk. Cooking the rice in a mixture of milk and cream can also help achieve a creamier texture. Adding a small amount of cornstarch or arrowroot powder can also help thicken the kheer and make it creamier.
Can this kheer recipe be made in a slow cooker?
Yes, kheer can be made in a slow cooker by combining all the ingredients and cooking on low heat for 2-3 hours or until the rice is fully cooked and the mixture has thickened. It is important to stir occasionally and monitor the consistency to prevent scorching.
What are some creative variations of kheer recipe that I can try?
Some creative variations of kheer include using different types of rice or grains such as quinoa or barley. You can also add fruits such as mango or banana or incorporating different flavors such as rose or lavender. Experimenting with different spices and garnishes such as chocolate or caramel can also add a unique twist to the recipe.
How can I adjust the sweetness level of my kheer to my taste preferences?
To adjust the sweetness level of kheer, start by adding a small amount of sugar and tasting the mixture before adding more. Adding a small amount of honey or maple syrup can also add sweetness without altering the texture of the kheer. Alternatively, reducing the amount of sugar used in the recipe and using a low-calorie sweetener like stevia or monk fruit can be an option for those who want to limit their sugar intake.
Keep in mind that the sweetness level of kheer will increase as it cooks, so it’s best to add sweeteners gradually to avoid over-sweetening. Another option is to use sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk instead of regular milk to add sweetness to the kheer. Finally, adding fruits such as raisins, dates or figs can add natural sweetness and a chewy texture to the dessert.
Kheer recipe is a beloved dessert dish that has been a staple in Indian cuisine for centuries. With its rich and creamy texture, as well as aromatic spices and nuts, this dessert is truly unique and delicious. Furthermore, it’s the perfect treat for satisfying any sweet tooth. This traditional kheer recipe is very simple to make. It can be enjoyed warm or chilled making it a versatile dessert for any occasion. Serving it either at a festive celebration or as a sweet treat after dinner to impress anyone who tries it. So why not give this recipe a try and discover the sweet taste of this classic Indian dessert for yourself.