SOCIAL MEDIA

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Blood Orange Breakfast Kheer (Vegan and gluten free)

I just love this time of year when blood oranges are in season, the fact that you can’t buy them all year round makes them seem so much more of a treat and most certainly when a few juicy segments top this indulgent kheer. Though, if you can’t source them, then regular oranges would be fine too or grapefruit for a sharp twist. 

Kheer is the Indian version of our beloved rice pudding. It is often spiced with cardamom and becomes rich and creamy as the milk boils away to almost half its quantity, till the point where the rice is soft, resembling something in between a porridge and a rice pudding making for an exciting breakfast alternative. I realise that this does take a little more time than your average porridge but believe the wait is worth it, just soak your rice the night before and indulge more time at the weekend. 

This recipe is suitable for vegans, thanks to subbing cows milk for almond milk which I feel works better for this creamy pudding anyway as it adds more flavour and nutty sweetness. I have tested this recipe with other non-dairy milks too (coconut and oat) but I'd recommend just sticking to almond unless you really dislike it, as it works best with the longer cooking process and I think my timings below are just suited perfectly, although think of kheer like your porridge, there is a bit of give and take with this recipe. Some people like it thicker than others and it really is a matter of preference, so just continue to cook it as long as you please, adding a splash of hot water if you took it too far and want to loosen it again. 

Another tip, this dish is definitely something to be served straight away because the longer you leave it to cool down, you'll start to see a nice little skin forming on top and unless your into that (I'm really not) then spoon straight into bowls!

Blood Orange Breakfast Kheer


Serves 4


Ingredients:


For the kheer
150g long grain brown rice
40g pistachios
40g cashews
1 litre almond milk, unsweetened
500ml cold water
6 cardamom pods
a large pinch of ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1 tbsp maple syrup
zest of 1 blood orange 

For the topping
2 blood oranges, peeled and segmented
2 tbsp maple syrup
zest of ½ a blood orange
a small handful of pistachios and cashews,  chopped and reserved from the kheer prep

Method

Soak the rice in a bowl with enough cold water to cover it. Repeat with the pistachios and cashews in another bowl, leave both bowls for at least 30 minutes but ideally overnight to soften. 

Once soaked, drain the rice and put it into a large saucepan with the milk and 500ml of cold water. Heat on a high temperature until the milk boils, then reduce to a medium heat. Leave the rice to cook for 20 minutes at a gentle bubble, the rice will puff up and the liquid will start to thicken. 

Meanwhile, drain the soaked nuts and finely chop them. Remove the cardamom seeds from the pods, discard the pods but grind the seeds in a pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder. 

After the initial 20 minutes of cooking, add the chopped nuts to the pan (but reserve a handful for topping later), along with the ginger, cinnamon, ground cardamom, maple syrup and orange
zest. Stir to combine everything together. Cook for a further 20-25 minutes at a gentle bubble until the rice is soft, with very little bite and the kheer is creamy but not overly thick. 

In the last 5 minutes of cooking time, prepare the blood oranges for the topping. Using a sharp knife, segment by cutting the top and bottom ends off each orange. Remove the skin and white pith by slicing downwards from top to bottom. Then slice in between the membranes to create segments. Put the prepared segments into a small bowl and squeeze the juice of 1 segment over the rest. Add the maple syrup and stir well to combine the juice and syrup with the segments. 

When the kheer is ready, spoon into bowls, top with some orange segments and a little juice to sweeten to your liking. Finish with a sprinkle of orange zest and the reserved chopped nuts. Serve
straight away. 


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