If it’s Tuesday, that means it’s Indian buffet night at my favorite local Indian restaurant. And until my children learn to appreciate the cuisine (or I find a babysitter), I’m left with little choice other than to learn to make it on my own. Sure, I could order take-out but it’s great to have a handful of easy Indian recipes I can go to at a moment’s notice. Last week Dara made a slow cooker chicken vindaloo that sounded delicious and I thought I’d give it a try.
The recipe can be found at Chaos in My Kitchen and as Dara said, it is very quick to throw together. I stayed true to the recipe with two exceptions: I cut the salt back to 1 tsp. and I omitted the green beans. Drew loved it and I enjoyed it as well, though I would have preferred a little more heat. In the future I’d probably dice a chili pepper, too. It’s probably not authentic but I think that would add the flavor that seem “missing” for me.
We both really enjoyed the consistency of the sauce and I think it’s because I used crushed tomatoes rather than sauce or freshly chopped tomatoes. It was thick and yummy over rice. This recipe is a keeper!
The first time I had kheer was at Basera Indian Bistro in New York City. I wasn’t sure what it was and hadn’t intended to try the white, soupy dessert until my husband told me it tasted like coconut. I love coconut so I ran over to the buffet to get a cup and I was sold. I’ve not been able to duplicate that initial bliss, but through trial and error I’ve come up with a recipe that works for me. Kheer, unlike other rice puddings, is not thick and goopy. My version is not quite as soupy as restaurant versions, so if you like it that way please add a little extra milk. I prefer it cold, but it’s good warm as well. I make no claim that this version is authentic; only tasty.
Coconut Rice Pudding (Kheer)
14 oz. can of coconut milk
14 oz. milk (just fill up the empty coconut can to measure)
3 to 4 Tbsp. white sugar (depending on your preference for sweetness)
1/2 cup rice (Basamati is preferred, but I’ve used regular long grain rice with much success)
1/2 tsp. cardamom powder *
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup shredded coconut
In a large saucepan, bring the coconut milk, milk, and sugar to a boil. Add the rice and simmer for about 20 minutes until the liquid has slightly reduced and the rice is tender. Add the cardamom, raisins, and coconut and cook for approximately 5 more minutes. You may serve this pudding warm, or chill it in the refrigerator and eat it cold. Garnish with sliced almonds.
* If you don’t have cardamom in your spice cabinet, you may substitute a combination of 1/8 tsp. ginger, 1/8 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp. allspice. While the taste will not be exactly the same, it works for this recipe.