There’s nothing worse than encountering a badly made rice pudding or kheer… lumpy, watery or whatever the gripe may be. As a result there are very few people who would readily volunteer to eat rice pudding. This is where I say that I can and will change your mind with this recipe. I know it’s a lofty claim but one spoon of this decadently rich dessert melting in your mouth as cherubs fill the air playing on their little harps is all it takes.
This is NOT your mothers rice pudding or kheer. It’s my tampered version of the classic and I make no apologies. The best part of all this… I barely lift a finger. I guess you could say it’s a lazy girl coup d’état! After poking around the internet and experimenting a couple of times, this is the recipe I now use anytime I have to whip up a dessert for a crowd!
I choose to make this dessert in the slow cooker as it manages to achieve the perfect texture while reducing the milk without any hard work on your end. If only all the good things in life were this easy….
Slow Cooker Kheer/ Paal Payasam/ Rice Pudding
What you need:
8 cups of whole milk (I substituted a can of condensed milk and full fat evaporated milk instead of 2 cups of milk)
1 cup sugar (the recipe calls for 2 cups but I used condensed milk but even then I may reduce the sugar to even less than a cup next time. Although once you watered down the kheer with more milk before serving it helps balance out the sweetness)
I cup rice – wash very well
A pinch of salt
Saffron – a generous pinch
Cardamom/ elaichi – you could use either the powdered version or make your own by powdering up the seeds of 3 green cardamoms
Vanilla Essence – a teaspoon
Cashews and raisins – sautéed in ghee or butter (yes there is nothing low cal about this dish!)
Getting Down to Business:
Soak the saffron strands in 2 teaspoons of lukewarm milk.
Mix together the milk, rice and sugar into the slow cooker.
Cook on high for one hour and then on low for about 6 hours or more.
Stir in-between to ensure the rice is not sticking to the pan or clumping but do this no more than once or twice as you are not supposed to open a slow cooker too many times during the cooking process.
The rice may seem whole and piecey but once you stir the mixture, it will break down well.
About half and hour or even an hour before removing I added in the saffron, elaichi powder and vanilla essence. Mix well. Add in the cashews and raisins.
It turns a nice caramelly color although you can stop cooking it when it stars turning pink.
If it’s very thick , then thin it out with some milk before serving. This turned out so super amazing and almost like a decadent dulce de leche pudding. Its tastes great no matter if you choose to serve it warm, cold or at room temperature!