I remembered the first time I tried kheer (term used in North India) or payasam (South India) at an Indian restaurant, I fell in love with the rice pudding that was sweet, creamy and milky with a lovely cardamom flavour and rose water fragrance. It was made with full fat milk and basmati rice and came with whole pieces of cashews and raisins too.
I thought I would try replicating the dessert using arborio rice and skimmed milk. Some people might think that non-fat milk would not be suitable for a rice pudding but I managed to prove it wrong because it still gave the rice pudding a good consistency and taste. If we can go fat-free in a dessert that tastes just as good, why not? By the way, I used Meiji brand of skimmed milk.
If you’re using cardamom pods instead of ready ground cardamom, first peel off and discard the outer skin, extract the seeds inside and pound them lightly using a mortar and pestle. Three pods will be sufficient for this recipe which is good for 2 persons.
If there is leftover pudding, you can store in the fridge and eat it chilled. Enjoy!
Ingredients (serves 2)
60g arborio rice
500ml skimmed milk
1 tbsp sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
3 pods cardamom, peeled & ground (or 1/4 tsp ground cardamom)
1 tsp olive oil
30g raw cashew nuts, coarsely chopped
30g raw almonds, coarsely chopped
1. Heat oil in non-stick pan and fry the cashew nuts and almonds till golden. Remove and set aside.
2. Add the raisins and fry till they are puffed up. Remove and set aside.
3. Add the rice and toast for 1 minute.
4. Pour in the milk and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes till rice turns soft and creamy. Stir regularly to prevent burning at the bottom.
6. Add cashew nuts, almonds, raisins, sugar and cardamom. Cook for another minute and serve hot.