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Top 10 tastiest Indian vegetarian dishes - #10. Pistachio & Raisin Rice pudding (Kheer)
To round off your Indian feast, indulge in this sweet, creamy kheer (rice pudding) bejewelled with pistachios, raisins and almonds.
Spice Spotlight: Cinnamon
Cinnamon harks from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum genus of trees, and hails originally from Sri Lanka. Used for millennia (records show that the ancient Egyptians used it over 4000 years ago) this spice produces a unique aroma and taste that is used in both savoury and sweet dishes, as well as medicinal purposes. The best way to use cinnamon is to cook with it whole and then discard after cooking. Alternatively, you can blend the cinnamon sticks to a fine powder although this should not be added to boiling liquids as it will loose its flavour (and produce a stringy liquid).
- 2-3 tsp ghee / groundnut oil
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp cashew nuts, roughly chopped
- 200g / 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 cloves
- 2 whole cardamoms
- 1.25cm / ½ inch stick cinnamon
- 750ml / 3 cups milk (whole preferably)
- 250ml / 1 cup water
- 100g / ½ cup sugar
- ¼ tbsp almonds, blanched and sliced
- ¼ tbsp pistachio nuts, sliced
HOW TO BLANCH ALMONDS
- On a medium heat, add the ghee or oil to a pan (griddle) and add the raisins and cashew nuts.
- Fry until golden, remove and set aside.
- Add the rice and spices (cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon) fry for 1 minute.
- Add the milk and water.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium heat for around 10 minutes (until the rice is just tender).
- Add the sugar, and cook further on low heat until the sugar has blended into the mixture.
- Remove from the heat and remove and discard the whole spices.
- Before serving, add half the nuts & raisins and mix well.
- Pour the kheer into individual bowls and garnish with the rest of the nuts and raisins.
Puri in India is thought to be the original birthplace of the Kheer (indian rice pudding) dish.
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