Tag Archives: almonds

Almond Raisin Rice Pudding

20 Mar

kheer

Rice pudding (aka kheer) is a classic Indian dessert. There are countless ways to prepare it, and while I love every variety I’ve tried, this particular batch holds a special place in my heart. It was the first time I’ve ever attempted to make it, which is pretty shocking considering the ingredients are  widely available and that I’ve been enjoying this dish since my infancy.

Sometimes you forget the vast number of foods you can make with the same simple ingredients; case in point here. Rice is a staple in Indian cuisine but is typically used in savory dishes. It wasn’t until sheer necessity that I decided to give my first bout with kheer a try. B and I had invited friends over for dinner, but after preparing an elaborate meal, I realized I didn’t make anything for dessert. I looked around for something that could serve as a dessert and finally laid my eyes on a jar of rice. It was my Oprah ‘ah-hah!’ moment. Thank goodness for rice, and thank goodness for this kheer.

P.S. Happy first day of Spring! Looking forward to warmer days ahead :)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup short/medium grained rice
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • Sugar to taste (I used 3 tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp chopped cardamom
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped nuts ( I used almonds; may also use cashews and pistachios)
  • Handful of raisins
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp clairified butter (ghee)

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, heat the ghee. Add the chopped nuts along with raisins. Set aside when raisins get plump and nuts turn reddish brown.

2. In the same pan, roast the rice for 2-3 minutes on low heat.

3. Now add the milk. Increase the heat to med-high and let it come to a boil.

4. Give it an occasional stir so that the milk does not stick to the bottom. Take care not to let the milk burn. Add desired amount of sugar and give it a stir.

5. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the milk has reduced in half. Keep stirring often. You know its done when the milk has reduced and the rice has cooked thoroughly (rice should be soft, not mushy). This process can take up to 45 minutes.

6. Add cardamom and half of the roasted nuts/raisins.

7. Give it a stir until combined. Sprinkle cinnamon and garnish with remaining nuts.

8. Serve lukewarm.

*Serves 2

Original recipe has been slighly adapted.

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Banana Bread

13 Mar

IMG_6253

I’ve been on a little baked-goods craze lately. It’s so fulfilling to put a whole bunch of ingredients in a bowl, mix it up, put a giant glob into a pan, slide it into the oven, and 45 minutes later, VOILA, a masterpiece! I’ve talked about how much I love having readily available baked goodies at home, but this classic banana bread wasn’t actually for me. Last week was National Dental Assistants Week so I decided to whip up a batch for my dear assistant as a small token of my appreciation. Although I haven’t really done it before, giving food as a gift was so great that I will definitely be doing it more often. I love how it’s a personal and useful gift that the recipient will likely enjoy. Food makes a great hostess gift, a “Hey, I’m grateful for our friendship” gift, or a “Hey, I’ve been bragging about how good a cook I am, here’s a sample for you to try.” That last one sounds totally like me ;)

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IMG_6260

Wrapped and bowed bread, ready to gift. My assistant loved it :)

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • Handful coarsely chopped almonds

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last and mix together. Pour mixture into a greased 4×8 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle chopped almonds on top. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

*Makes one loaf.