Saffron and Date Rice Pudding (Kheer)
This recipe is taken from my Easy Indian Super Meals weaning and family cookbook.
So, after almost a month of fasting (which seems to have whizzed by), Eid is towards the end of next week! Whilst I've really enjoyed this Ramadan, and after every year have a renewed appreciation for food, I'm looking forward to getting back to normal and eating dinner with Aaliyah again. And with Eid on the horizon, I thought I'd share my yummy rice pudding (kheer) recipe! My recipe is naturally sweet, rich, creamy and luscious, and is suitable for babies from 7 months and up. I used to cook this recipe a lot for Aaliyah when she was a baby, and now I cook it as a healthy alternative to the usual sugary kheer recipes for the whole family.
This pudding is well-balanced for babies and toddlers and all of the ingredients have amazing health promoting properties. The saffron used in the pudding contains the compound ‘crocin’, important for good memory and can actually help baby’s ability to learn new and exciting things! The dates in the recipe are impressive too, with antioxidant power close to that of blueberries - they are a concentrated source of calories, great for boosting energy, fibre-rich helping to keep bowels healthy and are a wonderful source of minerals, potassium, selenium and calcium.
Makes 5-6 servings. Total preparation and cooking time: 40-45mins. Suitable for freezing
- 30g (1½oz) white basmati rice — washed, drained
- 550ml (1 pint) of whole milk
- 3 saffron strands
- Sprinkle of ground cinnamon
- 15g (½ oz) fresh dates — deseeded, finely chopped
Place the rice in a pot, pour in half of the milk and stir, you will need to save the other half for later. Bring the milk to the boil gradually on low heat; this will take 5-10mins. Let it simmer (uncovered) until all of the milk has been absorbed by the rice. It will be thick and creamy.
Remove from the heat and mash the rice. Return to the heat and pour in the remaining milk. Add the saffron, cinnamon, dates and stir. Simmer (uncovered) on low heat until the milk has reached a thick, rich, gooey consistency. If it becomes too heavy just add some extra milk and stir. Serve to baby warm as an after meal treat.