We are completely fascinated by Indian food and culture. There is such a long history of vegetarian cuisine because there are so many vegetarians in India. A 2006 survey revealed that only 30% of
India's 1.24 billion -- that's right, with a 'b' -- people eat meat on a regular basis, while nearly 40% consider themselves to be vegetarian. That's a lot of vegetarians eating a bunch of good vegetarian food. See? Fascinating!
With the help of our friends in the know, we do our best to recreate some of our favorite Indian dishes like the Masala Dosa, and we like to put a spin on classic Indian dishes like our Indian Nachos. Here we have recreated our favorite dessert, Rice Kheer, simply a mix of raisins, rice, cashews, and noodles or tapioca in green-cardamom-scented, sweetened milk. It is so good! Our friend Krishna from Mayuri, our go-to Indian restaurant in Memphis, was kind enough to give us a few tips on making this when we stopped by for the lunch buffet this week.
If you're interested in Indian culture like we are, you should stop by Whole Foods in Memphis this Saturday, October 13 from 1-3 p.m. Whole Foods has partnered with the organizers of India Fest 2012 to bring you a day of Indian foods to sample and also some giveaways. There's even a free Indian cooking class at 1:30 p.m.! We hope to see you there.
3 cups whole milk (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 tablespoon whole green cardamom pods (crushed)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1/2 cup dry rice vermicelli (broken into small pieces)
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted cashews (chopped)
1/2 cup cooked and cooled basmati rice (leftover is great for this)
1/4 cup Thompson raisins (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1/4 cup golden raisins
Place milk, sugar, salt, and cardamom in a cold pot. Slowly raise the temperature under the pot, and stir to prevent scorching. Once the mixture reaches a boil, strain through a fine mesh strainer, and set aside. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the vermicelli and cashews in the butter until fragrant and lightly browned. Place the milk mixture, noodle mixture, rice, and raisins in a serving bowl. After 5 minutes the noodles will be soft, and the Rice Kheer will be ready to serve. Serve warm in a small bowl for dessert. Makes 4-6 servings.