Most weekends we go to an Indian buffet that we love in Cambridge. I always salivate over the creamy kheer in the large bowl being scooped generously by the patrons into delicious globs held by tiny overflowing cups. Finally I decided to make a kheer that I too could enjoy. Many may disagree and it’s all good but white rice has little nutritional value for me so I used quinoa instead for my recipe. Plus I figured Gabriel would also get the benefits of this dessert but that was a negative. We are unfortunately going through the stage where he hates all things quinoa. Talk about challenge in a half Latin household.
Traditional kheer is made with whole milk, condensed milk and cardamom (and rice). But the evening I made this kheer a close friend needing a little comfort came over for dinner so I adapted the recipe. To warm his heart I added a couple of other spices on top of the cardamom that when mixed with boiled milk will apparently soothe the spirit. An Ayurvedic practitioner told me this theory and indeed cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla have a warming psychological effect when cooked with milk. Works for me! The finished kheer had a delicious light sweetness from the agave with a mild fleeting fragrance of cardamom.
Enjoy this sweet kheer served at room temperature or chilled!
- 6 cups almond milk (or choice of non-dairy milk)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons powdered cardamom
- Inside scraping of 1 stick fresh vanilla bean
- ¼ cup agave nectar
- 3 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 one cup dry uncooked)
- 2 tablespoons kuzu root starch dissolved according to package instructions
- In a medium saucepan bring milk, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla bean to a boil
- Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes stirring and scraping sides of pan as the vanilla bean sticks
- Add agave and stir
- Add cooked quinoa and stir leaving it to simmer another 5 minutes so that it soaks up the flavor of the milk
- Pour kuzu slowly and stir gently into the kheer until it thickens
- Remove cinnamon stick
- Transfer kheer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature before serving or place in refrigerator until chilled
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and add raspberries before serving (optional)