Indian Kheer, a bit like Rice Pudding!

Monday, 15 September 2008

At first when I went to India, the incessant offerings of sweets and desserts made me feel quite queasy. They love sugar! Heaps and spoons of it, all a bit too much for me. So now I can make my own desserts, I hold back on the sugar and make everything to my taste, plus one spoon to make my husband happy!

Kheer is one of our favourites. So simple and sooo tasty. It's comfort, home food, perfect in the summer straight from the fridge and in the winter straight from the pan!


All quantities can be changed to suit your own taste... this will make enough for 4 people.

100g Seviyan (Roasted Vermicelli)

Semiya Payasam (South Indian), Seviyan (Hindi/Urdu), Sev (Gujarati)

Seviyan is made from Semolina, unlike the Italian version which is made from Durum Wheat or the Chinese version made from rice flour (glass noodles)

Kheer can also be made from the following in case you don't have a packet of Seviyan in the store cupboard!: Rice, spaghettini, quinoa, chickpeas, semolina, moong beans, even banana and cornflakes!

50g butter
1/2 tin of Condensed milk
You don't have to use these but they give a nicer flavour...

Flavourings of choice...
I like to use:

5 Cardamom pods (crushed)
A nice scraping of fresh Nutmeg and Cinnamon
And of course a few spoons of brown sugar...

(You could use anything you fancy really, like vanilla pods/essence, raisins, sultanas, almonds, cashews, coconut, saffron, even grated carrots!...)

A pint of Milk
Only roughly use as much or as little as you like, like rice pudding, some people prefer it stodgy, some runny.

Then for a really authentic Indian taste, try to get hold of some Kewra Essence or Kewra Water...

Kewra is an extract distilled from Pandanus flowers. Kewra flowers have a sweet, perfumed odour with a pleasant quality similar to rose flowers, but kewra is more fruity. 

To me it is such an 'Indian' smell, a whiff of this and I am transported to the streets of Bombay!


In a thick bottomed saucepan (to avoid burning, husbands take note:) Melt the butter, then add the spices/nuts/fruit and fry a little to bring out the flavours.

Then add the seviyan. If you crunch it up it makes it easier to eat with a spoon! 

Add the condensed milk, milk, kewra (only a drop if essence or a splash if water) and sugar.

Stir it all up and simmer gently for a while. You may need to add some more milk as the kheer cooks. We like it quite runny, because if there is any left over (which is rare!) it gets thicker with time.

You can garnish with Saffron, nuts, sultanas or even gold leaf if you're feeling fancy!

There are a couple of online UK Indian Food stores that seem to have a nice variety of products. One is 'Spices of India' and the other 'The Asian Cookshop'. They both have Kewra and Vermicelli for less than a pound.


For my little sister Hanna... 'cos she loves Kheer too!


Preethi said...

I make this often.. my son loves it.. but you make it sound doubly delicious!!

Kel said...

yummo! i'd walk over fire for condensed milk but my kids loathe it. Pandanus leaves i use in cooking and its just the most undescribable delicious scent- reminds me of asia. Never used the flower essence.I think i will try it and if the kids no like...more for me!

emmani said...

Thanks Preethi!

How can you not love condensed milk?!!! Where do you get your leaves from Kel? and what do you use them in?

Kel said...

ohh yum. Kids now VERY over their dislike of condensed milk. We have just made this and yummo!!! Didnt have any cardamon pods left, so we threw in extra nutmeg and cinnamon and a grated carrot , pandanus strips and used semolina, so nothing like what you made at all actually! lol. I get the leaves frozen at asian supermarkets and use them in malaysian/thai cooking, usually chicken and rice recips. Yum

emmani said...

Sounds yummy too, C was impressed with your ingredients! What was the carrot like? I'm a bit dubious of using carrot, but one of c's favourite puddings is Carrot halva and I love carrot cake...

Kel said...

i love carrot anything and i love carrot halva and carrot was great in this dish.

spicewala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.