Chawal ki Kheer Recipe | Rice Kheer Indian Dessert | Rice Pudding Recipe

Despite the limited ingredients we bought in the first weekend we moved to California and the limited kitchen items in the corporate accommodation we were in last September, I wanted to make something sweet for Alok for his new job.  What sweet dish or dessert could I make with the most basic ingredients on hand?

Can I make any dessert with poha and sugar?  Or what about peanuts and sugar?  There was rice in the pantry. OK.  And milk in the refrigerator, OK.  And sugar on the counter top, OK.  Coincidentally, I had carried saffron with me for the fear of spoiling it in during shipment and in storage, and had some walnuts that I had packed to munch on in the flight.

There - chawal ki kheer (rice pudding) was my solution.
Rice Kheer - Chawal ki Kheer
Chawal ki Kheer Recipe
serves 3-4

You need:
1 tsp ghee
2 Tbsp basmati rice, ideally, else use sona masoori if no other choice
3-4 cups whole milk
¼ – ½ cup sugar, to taste
few strands of saffron
¼ tsp cardamom powder
2-4 Tbsp chopped/sliced dry fruits and nuts of your choice (pistachio, almond, cashew, raisin...)

Initial Prep before you start to make Rice Kheer: Rinse and immerse rice in some water for 20 minutes if you have time.  Else rinse and drain to start cooking.
how to make chawal ki kheer
1.  Heat 1/2 tsp ghee in a medium pan on medium heat, saute rice in it for a minute.
2.  Pour milk in pan. Reserve some for Step 4.
3.  Let boil, stir once in a while.
4.  Meanwhile, dissolve saffron in some milk, keep aside.
5.  Saute dry fruits and nuts in remaining 1/2 tsp ghee, keep aside.
6.  When milk reduces in quantity, the rice expands and is tender, and the kheer thickens up to your desired consistency ... add cardamom powder + sugar + saffron-dissolved-milk + dry fruits and nuts.  Mix everything well and switch off heat.  Chawal ki kheer is ready.

If we think about it, of all the ingredients, only rice + milk + sugar are essential for chawal ki kheer - everything else is optional, really, mostly for just additional flavors.
chawal ki kheer with saffron and nuts
Some like their chawal ki kheer warm, some prefer eating it cold.  Some like to eat it as dessert, some people eat chawal ki kheer with kadhai ki puri especially during festival.  Some like a little thin kheer and sip the milk, some like their kheer thicker.  Some like to retain individual grains of rice in the kheer, some end up mashing it too much because of a lot of mixing.

Chawal ki kheer may be simple, but it does come with a lot of individual preferences.
Chawal ki Kheer - Rice Pudding
But yes - if you are pressed for time, if you have very few items on hand, if you don't have time to go shopping, if you don't have custard powder at home, if you don't have any baking ingredients at home - chawal ki kheer is the simplest, easiest, most basic milk-based sweet dish you can make.

Your turn: which other sweet dish or dessert can you think of on the same lines?
                     [here's a challenge for you: leave a comment only related to this question]
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  1. it has to be semiya payasam (kheer)... :) i cannot but stop myself from saying that the kheer looks yum... :)

  2. I guess most Indian sweets require very few ingredients, halwas for instance.


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