Kheer or Rice Pudding, is a dessert everyone from India everyone is familiar with – From North to South and East to West and this is one dessert, which need no occasion and the best part about kheer that makes it such an endearing sweet dish is, almost anyone can make it, and second, you can make a kheer out of most of the fruits and grains – from the famous apple kheer to bottle gourd to jackfruit and even almond that is usually used as a garnish.
The first mention of kheer, was derived from the Sanskrit word kshirika (meaning a dish prepared with milk), is found in the fourteenth century, not as a rice pudding but a sweet preparation of jowar and milk. The records of Jagannath Puri talks about how the kheer was tweaked further to create the famous kheer prasad. The Odia version of rice kheer, originated in the city of Puri, in Odisha about 2,000 years ago. It is cooked to this day within the Jagannath temple precincts there. Every single day, hundreds of temple cooks work around 752 hearths in what is supposed to be the world’s largest kitchen.
1 litre or, 2 pints whole milk
2 tbsp long-grain rice, such as basmati
2 whole green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup almonds – soaked, blanched and sliced
vark (edible silver or gold leaf, available from specialist cake shops or some Asian grocers), optional
Few more almonds and cashews
Full recipe: Chawal Kheer