White Chocolate & Raspberry Kheer is an Indian-style rice pudding with spices, juicy berries and luxurious chocolate shavings.
A bowl of kheer is like a comfort blanket for any Indian. Hot or cold, the spice-speckled milky rice is thinner and more flavoursome than the mass of bland rice pudding that enriches memories of school dinners.
Growing up, my mother would take Kheer to the temple as offerings at Diwali. After it was blessed, it would be distributed to people to eat. I don’t know whether it was because of the blessings or because we had to wait so long that made it taste more delicious. I’m leaning towards the latter.
Traditionally, Kheer is made with basmati rice and not short-grain pudding rice. It can be made directly from washed and soaked aged basmati or with leftover cooked rice (less creamy than the former). Basmati rice makes a huge difference to the flavour of the Kheer and is what differentiates it from traditional western rice pudding recipes.
Controversial disclosure: My recipe for Kheer uses a 50/50 combination of aged basmati and short-grain pudding rice. Not only does this add the fragrance of traditional Kheer, it also ensures a level of creaminess that makes me weak at the knees. Having said this, feel free to mix things up by using 100% basmati or 100% short-grain rice if you like. There are no hard and fast rules, only personal preferences. After all, the rice is just a carrier for copious amounts of milk and/or cream in any rice pudding recipe.
Name a better combo than white chocolate and raspberries. I’ll wait. Stir chopped white chocolate through the cooked Kheer and allow it to melt into a liquid gold puddle right before your eyes. Not only does it smell like a chocolate shop, it also adds a silky, melted ganache vibe that demands the tart juiciness of fresh raspberries.
Serve the finished Kheer hot, warm or cold but most importantly, don’t forget the berries and extra chocolate shavings on top.
I haven’t tested a vegan version of this recipe. That being said, you could try it with almond milk and coconut cream. There are some wonderful vegan white chocolate brands available now. iChoc have a great one.
Time needed: 50 minutes.
How to make White Chocolate & Raspberry Kheer
Mix the rice together in a bowl and rinse briefly.
Put the rice into a large, heavy-based saucepan. A non-stick pan is ideal as the milk will will be less likely to catch and burn at the base of the pan. Pour in the milk and add the sugar, cardamom, saffron and vanilla. Stir and bring to the boil.
Stirring frequently, simmer the Kheer uncovered on a medium-low heat. Once it begins to thicken, you’ll need to stir more often.
Once reduced to the consistency of porridge or cake batter, beat the Kheer with a wooden spoon until the grains are soft and tender. This isn’t the time for al dente rice.
Switch off the heat and stir in the cream, nuts and chopped white chocolate. Continue to mix until melted. Serve hot or cold with raspberries and chocolate shavings. Serve immediately or allow to cool.
Refrigerate and consume within 48 hours.
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