Pistachio Kheer/ Pistachio Rice Pudding- A Diwali Treat not to be missed
There are few times when I miss India to the extreme. Diwali is one of those. Every street will be drenched in lights, every household will be shopping colorful attires and busy preparing fresh Diwali savories and sweets to welcome friends and families. I do love savories, but when it comes to festivities, there isn’t better than having delicious desserts. One of my favorite of all time is kheer, a rich creamy dessert made with rice, milk and sugar, usually flavored with cardamom and saffron that melts away in your mouth. I am unable to hold back my desire to have this evergreen dessert and I am going to prepare it for the festive season with a slight variation by flavoring it with my favorite nut and I call the dessert – Pistachio Kheer. That’s a double treat for me !
Preparing kheer isn’t that difficult and requires very less ingredients that are available in your pantry. What makes it complicated is your attention and patience. Attention as it requires stirring every now and then and also scrape down the sides of the pan as well to avoid sticking and burning the milk residues. Patience as it needs to cook down slowly on a very medium flame for approximately 40-45 mins depending on the variety of rice you use.
I have used short grain rice to make the kheer. It is called ‘Khaima Rice’ in Kerala. It is a very fragrant tiny pearls and we usually use it for making ghee rice. In case, you would like to use ‘Basmati Rice’ , you have to soak it in water for some time, drain and wipe off excess water in clean towel, dry it and just pulse in your blender into short grains.
To prepare pistachio kheer , You have to cook the rice and milk first until the grains are soft, then add sugar and other ingredients. Cook it for further few mins stirring in between until the desired consistency is achieved.
To add the pistachio flavor, I blended soaked good quality pistachios with some milk into a very fine paste. Soaking in hot water helps to remove the skin of the nut very easily and gives a bright green color to it.
Once you are done with it, add your favorite nuts and have it hot or cold according to your preference. I am going to lie down and enjoy my kheer as slow as I can and feel the festivity in my palate.
I promise this kheer could be that dish that everyone will remember you for, during all the gatherings and celebrations. I cant wait to prepare it sooner again for Diwali.
Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali.