Gur Wali Kheer! The word brings back so many memories. This simple yet mountwatering rice kheer with jaggery wan an essential part of any special day, auspicious function or a celebration.
Ma would make this with whatever rice was available but Gobindbhog was one variety which heightened the taste of this dessert to another level. It was also one of the first desserts which I learned to make, simply because it was so easy to put together. I remember the house-help being sent off to buy buffalo milk from the local dairy (we would usually consume cow’s milk for other purposes) whenever kheer was on the menu. The thick variety of milk was imperative to making a good kheer. The thick milk was boiled and simmered for a good 15-20 minutes with constant stirring to further thicken it before adding raw rice and slow cooking the mixture for another 20 minutes or so. While on regular days it would be sweetened with sugar, come winters, and especially during Chatth Puja, gur (jaggery) was used. In my humble opinion, the latter variety made the kheer taste so much better.
Helpful Tips For Your Prep!
Fast forward 20 odd years and the art of making a good kheer is still not lost on me. On a leisurely day, I do not mind spending time in the kitchen and make kheer just like Ma would. However, there are days when one is yearning for this sweet delight but doesn’t have the luxury of time to put it together. It is also hard to find the small-grained fragrant Gobindbhog rice in Hong Kong. So one has to make do with either Basamati or other rice. These I thought were my only options until I discovered how amazing leftover sushi rice was for kheer. No kidding!
It works wonders for two reasons:
- One, the starch content is higher than regular rice and it adds to the creaminess of kheer and
- Two, leftover rice hardens up just enough when refrigerated overnight. Therefore it is almost like adding raw rice to milk. However, because it is not really raw (and quite starchy), it cooks quickly with milk resulting in that perfect kheer. All this, in 20 minutes flat!
My second helpful tip is about the proportion of rice to milk. In this, I added 1 cup of precooked sushi rice to approx 500 ml UHT milk. It is always safe to reserve some rice and milk on the side. On one hand, if the kheer gets too runny, add rice and let the mixture cook for another 5-7 minutes. On the other, if the kheer gets too thick add milk and cook for the same time.
Lastly, I advise using UHT milk compared to regular milk because it is thicker. It also gets a lot creamier with little boiling, saving you some time. If you are not in a rush, however, you could very well use any kind of regular milk that you have at hand.
How to Make the Tastiest Rice Kheer With Jaggery
As mentioned before, due to its fragrance, kheer tastes the best when made with Gobindbhog. However, since I couldn’t find any here and still wanted a fragrant kheer I added some crushed green cardamom, bay leaf, and saffron while boiling the milk.
Now, this is a really really important thing to keep in mind. If adding jaggery, DO NOT add it when the heat is on, because that will lead to curdling of the milk, ruining your kheer. Once the rice is cooked and you see that the milk and rice have come together well, you can turn off the heat and then add crushed jaggery. That’s it! Your rice kheer with jaggery is ready in 20 minutes, as I promised.
You can then either enjoy your kheer right away or refrigerate and eat it chilled. And because you enjoying this Indian dessert when you make it extremely important to me, here is another recommendation. Try dunking hot ghee smeared chapati into your kheer. This is no joke. Try it next time, and let me know what you thought.
- Precooked and refrigerated Sushi rice- 1 cup
- UHT Milk-500ml
- Jaggery, chopped fine-1/2 cup or as per sweetness desired (if using sugar, you could use lesser quantity). I used Nolen Gur but any variety is fine.
- Green cardamom-3 pods
- Saffron-1 pinch
- Nuts/Dried fruit of choice for garnish
- Take milk in a deep thick bottomed pan and bring to boil
- Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes on a medium-low flame with constant stirring
- Then add precooked rice and mix
- Reduce the flame to low and cook with intermittent stirring till you see the milk and rice come together nice and well, the rice grains are almost translucent and the kheer starts to look creamy. This should take about 7-10minutes
- Turn off the heat and let the it sit for 2 minutes, then add finely chopped or crushed jaggery.Chopping or crushing jaggery helps quick and even mixing