BANARASI KHEER (Indian caramelized rice pudding, 3 cups, serving six)

“Kheer is the primary dessert of India.  Home cooks generally prepare a simple rice and milk version; more elaborate renditions, with nuts, fruits, flower essences and spice embellishments, are served in restaurants and at wedding feasts.  Scented rice, such as Gobinda Bhog or basmati, is preferred, since it is the main flavor of the pudding.”  Julie Sahni

½ cup long-grain rice, preferably basmati

2 cups light cream or half and half

1 cup whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

¾ cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ cup blanched sliced almonds

¼ cup raisins


1.  Rinse rice in several changes of water.  Drain and put into a 5 quart microwave-safe dish.  Stir in light cream or half and half and whole milk.  Cook, uncovered, at 100 percent power in a 650 to 700 watt carousel oven for 20 minutes (or until the milk begins to thicken and its surface gets covered with bubbles), stirring 4 to 5 times, especially during the last 2 to 3 minutes, to break the skin as it forms on the surface.

2.  Add heavy cream and sugar and stir to mix. Continue cooking, uncovered, at 100 percent power for an additional 10 minutes (or until the pudding thickens and develops a light caramel color and fragrance).  Remove from oven and stir in cardamom, almonds and raisins.  Serve the pudding spooned into dessert bowls.

NOTE:  The pudding keeps well, stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for 4 weeks.

from Julie Sahni, Moghul Microwave

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