In India auspicious occasions, festivals, get-together, family functions or new beginnings in any form are celebrated with sweets and desserts and the most popular and favorite among all is Rice Pudding. Known as Chawal ki Kheer in the northern part and popular as Paal Payasam/Annam Payasam in the southern part of India. It is one of the most ancient desserts and is offered to God in temples as Prasad. Kheer is one of my favorite desserts since my childhood and now my elder one just loves it. Mom always used to make kheer along with other sweets on festivals such as Deepawali, Shivratri and Krishna Janamasthmi and it is regular at my home too. It is a kind of whole food with rice for carbs, milk for calcium and proteins and nuts for vitamins and minerals. Kheer or Payasam is made by boiling and cooking milk with other the ingredients till it is thickened. Kheer is made using other ingredients like vermicelli, tapioca pearls(saboodana), foxnuts, almonds etc. along with nuts and other non-acidic fruits like apple and flavored with cardamom, nutmeg, saffron or rose water. Chawal ki Kheer flavored with cardamom with added raisins and almonds remains one of the favorites among the masses as it is easy to make though making it the traditional way takes some time and can be served to a large number of people at a time.
It is Ganpati Festival and like every year I made Chawal Ki Kheer for offering to Ganesha for morning Prasad and then I also serve it as prasad to my guests who come to visit us during this time. I make it in the morning before Ganapati Sthapana( I also made Besan Ladoos and Motichoor Ladoos(Ganesh’s favorite) will be soon updating the posts for the same.I always make Chawal ki Kheer the traditional way. I have adapted to the making of a lot of Indian sweets and desserts the shortcut way but somehow this is something that I love to make the traditional way only for festivals and special occasions!! Those of you who want the shortcut method for making Rice Kheer, will soon publish the recipe using condensed milk in a pressure cooker. Let’s quickly see what we need and how we make this super yummy, traditional and ancient dessert!!
Since this something that is made in almost every home in India, everyone has their own preferred way of making it. Many people flavor it with rose water and saffron and many some also add coconut along with other dry nuts like pistachios to it. But I make it Chawal ki Kheer with milk, rice/chawal(of course!!😊), cardamom powder for flavor, raisins and chopped almonds. I made it in a large batch so I took 2L of milk, 1/2 cup rice and sugar as per taste. I tsp of cardamom powder. But here I am specifying the measurements for 1L of milk that is quite sufficient for a family of four. It is refrigerated before serving and thickens a bit so don’t thicken it too much while cooking.
To start with soak rice in water for at least 30 mins. You can use any variety of rice but since I am from Northern India and from the rice growers family, all we use is Basmati rice for making any rice preparation!! Full fat milk is used for making kheer but reduced fat or low fat will also work fine, it will take some more time to thicken and add around a cup extra.
You need a heavy bottomed pan for making Kheer as the milk needs to be cooked for a longer duration. In the pan add milk and switch on the flame. Keep it on medium. When the fist boil comes, lower the flame and cook it for 10 minutes till it starts to thicken a bit. A layer of milk starts forming on the top, add pre-soaked rice to it and mix well. Scrape the milk from the sides of the pan also.
Add cardamom powder, raisins and half of the almonds. Mix well.
Now keep the flame to lower and let the rice and milk cook till the whole rice is cooked and the milk is thickened with little runny consistency. It will take around 45 minutes. Keep on stirring the kheer/pudding and scraping milk that sticks to the side so that it doesn’t get burned.
Add sugar and mix well, cook for 5 more minutes and then switch off the flame.
Take of off from the stovetop. Add remaining almonds, transfer to a serving bowl and let it cool at room temperature. Cover the bowl with cling film or with the lid to avoid layer/skin forming on top. Most of the people like it chilled but some like my hubby love to have it when it is slightly warm. It’s your choice how you want to relish it. Top it with some more nuts of your choice and enjoy the wholesome treat!!
Chawal Ki Kheer
Most popular food that is offered to Gods in India. Indian Rice Pudding in cooked in the traditional way with Basmati Rice and Milk flavored with cardamom.
- Milk- 1L
- Rice- 1/4 Cup
- Sugar- As per taste
- Cardamom Powder-1 Tsp
- Raisins and Almonds- 1-2 Tbsp(optional)
- Wash and soak rice for at least 30 mins.
- Take milk in a heavy bottomed pan. Keep on medium flame to boil.
- When the first boil comes, lower the flame and let it boil for 5 more minutes.
- Then add rice and cardamom powder, raisins and half of the almonds to it.
- Let it cook on slow flame till the rice gets cooked and milk is thickened with little runny consistency.
- Add sugar and cook for another4-5 minutes, keep stirring continuously to avoid burning of kheer.
- Switch off the flame and take away the pan from the stove-top. After a while transfer it to the serving bowl and let it cool at room temperature. Cover with lid or cling film to avoid the layer forming on top.
- Once cool, keep it in the refrigerator to chill for 3-4 hrs and then serve garnished with rest of the almonds and some more nuts of your choice.
- If you like it warm, serve in individual serving bowls garnish with nuts.