Rice Pudding from India (Kheer)
1 ½ C basmati or jasmine rice, white
1 TBL ghee or butter
6 C whole milk, raw
¼ tsp saffron
30 cardamom seeds, crushed (or ½ tsp ground cardamom)
½ tsp rose water (optional)
2 TBL pistachios (raw, unsalted) toasted and crushed
2 TBL almonds, blanched and slivered
¼ C +2 TBL rice syrup (preferable), sugar, honey or maple syrup (or more, depending on how sweet you like it)
¼ C shredded coconut, unsweetened, shredded
1 TBL lemon peel, organic, grated
1. Wash rice in a fine strainer until water runs clear. Drain well. Prepare double boiler with water in the bottom pot.
2. In a large skillet melt ghee or butter and add rice. Stir until rice is dry and fragrant (you can skip this step and go to step 3).
3. In the top part of the double boiler combine rice, milk, saffron, cardamom seeds, rose water and nuts. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour. Alternatively, bake at 350ºF in a bain marie: put the same ingredients in a terrine (an earthenware casserole dish), cover and set in a larger pan with water to come halfway up the sides of terrine, and bake for 1 hour.
4. While it simmers or bakes, toast the coconut in a dry skillet, stirring occasionally. Cool.
5. When rice is done, stir in the sugar until it is dissolved, and top with lemon and coconut.
6. Serve hot or cold.