'This is so good. Mmmmmm. It's like mother's milk.' said the Italian lady.
'It's pure love.'
This is what she was talking about:
Asli Punjabi Chaawal ki kheer!
And this is how I make it:
Pour two half liter packets of milk in the frying pan (preferably iron), and switch on the gas.
Soak two fistfuls (band mutthi / closed fist) of rice in water. Long grained, basmati chawal make the best kheer.
Soak a handful of raisins and cashews in water.
Soak five six elaichi/ cardamoms in water.
By now the milk will be boiling. Add the soaked rice to the pan, keeping the flame low. Keep stirring for twenty minutes, while cleaning the raisins, breaking the cashews one into four, and grinding the cardamom (not too fine).
Add sugar / jaggery / sweetener and the ground cardamom.
Stir for five minutes more. Make sure you stir well, the kheer now starts to solidify, and may burn from the bottom. When it starts to stick to the bottom, it's done.
Transfer the kheer to a nice bowl, sprinkle the broken cashew and soaked raisins and refrigerate.
Serve it to the love - starved Italian and remind her of her mom.
Courtesy: My grand-aunt, Vidya Sharma. We called her Behenji, because she was my grandfather's sister. And we called my grandfather Biraji, because he was her brother.