30 minute Kheer, an easy summer refresher

final-edit

So I will start this post off with the fact that Texas is at it’s peak heat (at least in my opinion). Now, it’s pretty well known that Texas is hot in the summer. However, now we are hitting triple digit temperatures.

To combat that, I plan on using this recipe that I developed. Kheer – or Indian rice pudding, is an easy, cheap and utterly refreshing dessert. Unlike traditional puddings, kheer is on the liquidy side, so it leaves you feeling cooled when you are done eating it. Also, one of the key ingredients of this pudding is cardamom. A sweet and citrusy spice, cardamom lends this dessert an exotic kick that blends perfectly with the milk. Just to add a little texture, I mixed in some sliced almonds to cut through the soft, almost mushy rice.

On one last note, in this recipe, I used a special type of rice that has already been pressed and flattened into a thin flake. You can use any type of rice for this, but in my case I had this on hand and thought it would break down nicely in this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup flattened rice, or 1/4 cup of any other type of rice
  • 1/4 cup sugar, you can add more if you wish after this dessert is chilled
  • 1 tbs ground cardamom powder (Try to find this at a Indian grocery store as this spice can be heavily overpriced in non-specialty stores.)
  • A few tbs to taste of sliced almonds or crushed pistachios

Step 1: Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil while constantly stirring. It is essential to keep the milk moving over the heat or the fat in the liquid will burn.

Step 2: When the milk is at a heavy boil, reduce the heat to medium, stirring occasionally. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until the rice is fully cooked and starting to fall apart. You want the rice to be pretty soft and mushy as that will help thicken the milk slightly.

Step 3: When the kheer is fully cooked and has a texture similar to thin oatmeal, pull the pan from the heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Then, store the kheer in the fridge to cool fully. You want this ice cold.

Step 4: Serve with more nuts sprinkled on top.

kheer-collage

Fresh mint tea with honey and orange blossom water

mint tea

I first thought of this recipe after looking back at old photos from when I was abroad last year. When I lived in Paris, my friend and I liked to go to this Middle Eastern café on the right bank because it was cheap and close to the Louvre. Almost every time we went, we shared a pot of their mint tea and a handful of rosewater tinged marzipan sweets. However, my favorite part of ordering their tea was how they served it. Before them, I had never tried orange blossom water before. However next to the tea pot, they kept an ornate dispenser that dripped a couple drops of orange blossom water into your tea if you wanted. Ever since then I have been obsessed with the stuff.

When I got home from school this summer, I found that my backyard had been overrun with fresh spearmint. Since it was going to have to be removed, I figured I would save some and make tea with it. It also gave me a chance to break out my nearly untouched bottle of orange blossom water.

*Quick tip, the flower water is very potent, so if you get your hands on some and plan to use it, be sparing with it or your tea will become perfume.

Don’t think you would like orange blossom water? No worries. This tea is perfect on its own or over ice. You could also mix it with other loose tea or fresh lemon zest. Now on to the recipe:

ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • honey to taste, around 1/4 cup to start
  • 1 to 2 drops orange blossom water per cup, add more to your choosing

Step 1: Place the mint in a tea pot then add the honey. Pour in the boiling water. Let steep for 3-5 minutes until the water is golden brown.

Step 2: Pour into your cup and add the orange blossom water. Again, be very careful with the stuff or you will get an overwhelmingly perfume-y tea. A drop or two will do it.