Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Kheer Royal!

Crema di Riso Indiano con Cocco, Pistacchie e Zucchero al Cassis
Indian Coconut Rice Pudding with Cassis Sugar and Pistachio

Home late after a long day and cold as cold can be on a dark December night... too late and tired to fix a meal... but not too tired to fix dessert! I figured a good thing to make would be a rice pudding, as it would satisfy my hunger as well as my sweet tooth... and then I came up with this idea to make it a little more exotic and fun! I hope you like it!

I think we are all familiar with that 1970's blast from the past "Kir Royale", which is a magenta-colored mix of champagne and Cassis, the French black currant liqueur... Well, after reading that the Indian name for rice pudding is "kheer", my strange little mind came up with this little play-on-words and the recipe to match! 

I bought this wonderful, vibrant cassis powder a few months ago- who could resist that color? I love that is is not sweet, but has a rich, black currant flavor- which made it perfect for creating the sugar and cinnamon dusting for this rice pudding. And I know this may not be readily available to everybody out there- but because it was available to me, I felt it my duty to use it and share it with you all ;-)

To make the rice pudding, I started off by dry-roasting a cardamom pod, a stick of cinnamon, a slice of ginger and a piece of vanilla pod along with the rice and coconut for 2-3 minutes, just long enough for the aromas to begin developing. I used about 1 part coconut flakes to 2 parts pudding rice. I then added a half teaspoon of clarified butter and enough milk to cover the rice, brought it up to the boil, gave it a good stir and reduced it to a low simmer so that it could cook gently for the next 10-15 minutes. 

The cardamom, ginger, vanilla and coconut gave the rice a mild but complex flavor and after giving it a good stir, adding a little more milk and bringing it back up to the boil again, it had become a lovely, rich and creamy treat! I fished out the cinnamon stick, cardamom, ginger and vanilla and served up the luscious rice pudding with a generous sprinkle of pistachio splinters and the spectacularly bright-colored cassis sugar, which was simply a lix of 1 tablespoon of fine ground sugar, a half teaspoon of cassis powder and a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon. All in all a pretty fantastic combination, I am pretty sure you will all agree! Yum-yum!

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