A few weeks ago someone fed me some incredibly lovely Indian-style rice pudding. It was the first time I’d ever had any. Since being vegan, rice pudding has been off the menu and had become nothing but a distant, not very pleasant childhood memory of something from a tin.
Now it’s time to think again! This Indian Rice Pudding is totally delicious, fragrant, creamy and warming. It is made using a combination of almond and coconut milk, basmati rice, coconut, cardamom and the highest quality Organic Saffron strands and Rose Water, from specialist Fairtrade supplier, Steenbergs. Both the saffron and the rose water boast a delicate, precious quality with their origin and fragrance.
This kheer would make a special dessert for supper time over the festive season.. or a mid evening snack with a hint of luxury.
Indian Rice Pudding (kheer)
Preparation/cooking time 1.5 hours
5 cups plant milk (I used 3 coconut milk, 2 sweetened almond) plus extra to add at the end
1/2 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup caster sugar
6 almonds, roughly chopped
1/8 tsp rose water
12 strands of saffron
4 cardamom pods, lightly cracked
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
1. Pour the milks and rice into a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Stir with a wooden spoon, then turn down to simmer for around 20 mins, or until the rice becomes soft and creamy.
3. Add in the almonds, rose water, saffron and cardamom.
4. Stir in another 3/4 cup of coconut or almond milk.
5. Now place a lid on the saucepan and leave the rice pudding to stand for around an hour. It will soften even more in this time and the flavours will infuse.
6. When you return to the pudding, stir in the desiccated coconut and some more milk if it is too thick and return to the heat to warm thoroughly, before serving (you can also eat it cold of course). I also broke the rice down a bit more by mashing the pudding a few times with a potato masher.
7. Sprinkle with a few flaked almonds or pistachio nuts to serve.