Kheer, or Indian basmati rice pudding, is one of the world’s great desserts. In fact, when I have it in front of me, I can easily be persuaded to declare it one of the greatest achievements of civilization. Creamy, sweet, perfumed with cardamom, and enriched with raisins and almonds, this decadent dessert captivates from the very first bite.
I love Basmati rice, but for this recipe I substituted another one of my favorite things: orzo. The rice-shaped pasta works beautifully in this dish; it picks up the flavors and the color very well, and adds a silky smoothness of its own to the texture. I made mine slightly thicker than normal kheer, but you can thin yours out with the addition of some more milk.
The sweetness level here is moderate; you may need to add more sugar and/or honey to satisfy your own sweet tooth’s daily requirements.
Here’s how to make the Creamy Indian Spiced Orzo Pudding:
6 cardamom pods
4 cups milk
1 cup orzo pasta
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
1 tsp coriander seed
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp saffron threads, lightly crushed (optional)
2 Tbsp raisins (or more if desired)
2 Tbsp slivered almonds
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Crush the cardamom pods and remove the seeds; discard the hulls. Combine the cardamom seeds with the next nine ingredients (milk thru raisins) and bring to a boil, stirring often.
Reduce heat to simmer; cook, stirring, 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, cover, and let sit 20 minutes. Stir in almonds and ground cardamom. Serve slightly warm or thoroughly chilled.
Please join us tomorrow to read this week’s Fish For Friday Recipe: Tilapia Puttanesca.
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