Kheer or payasam, an Indian rice pudding, is an absolute treat for the senses. Traditionally made on the stove-top by simmering down whole milk and rice till rich and creamy, this cheat’s version uses the convenience of the slow-cooker. This hands-off kheer has the goodness of brown rice and jaggery as well.
Meetha is something sweet eaten after a meal, one of our MAJOR indulgences. This should explain the sheer wealth and variety of Indian sweets and desserts. And nothing is more beloved or more popular than the humble kheer.
Kheer, payasam or payesh, is an Indian milk and rice pudding. Thick, full-fat milk is gently simmered in a large pot on the stove-top till it begins to thicken further. A handful of rice goes in and is cooked till soft and the milk is further reduced and becomes unbelievably creamy. Finished off with a bit of sweetener, fresh cardamom, nuts and dry fruits, it is a simple but decadent treat.
Payasam can also be made with grains other than rice; even lentils, pasta and fruits. My all-time favorite is the semiya or vermicelli payasam. And now, this slow-cooker version is quickly turning out to be my favorite. It scores brownie points just for the sheer convenience of letting the slow-cooker do all the hard work.
This kheer is also special because I used brown rice and jaggery instead of the more commonly used white rice (usually basmati) and plain sugar.
Brown rice adds a certain nuttiness that we really enjoy. It is different from what you normally expect in kheer, but somehow even better! Using jaggery instead of sugar is a common practice, especially in South India. It gives a certain earthy, richer flavor to the sweet treats. You can very well use regular sugar or even brown sugar if you are unable to find jaggery. It is available as cubes in any Indian grocery store. Since we are using the slow-cooker, all you need to do is add the jaggery cubes in, no grating or melting is needed! In the olden days, jaggery was always used by melting and straining to remove any impurities that may be trapped in it. But nowadays, the jaggery we get doesn’t have much impurities to warrant that extra step.
Just before you are ready to serve this slow cooker kheer, swirl in a small teaspoonful of ghee to add flavor and aroma. I love the natural gold color the kheer gets from the brown rice, jaggery and the slow cooking.
Serve this brown rice kheer as such or jazz it up with loads of nuts, dried fruits and rose petals for a royal treat. It is the perfect winter dessert!
Indian festivals are never complete without sweet desserts and kheer is almost everyone’s favorite. But kheer is enjoyed any time, so make it whenever the sweet-tooth craving hits!
Get the easy kheer recipe made in a slow-cooker.
- Ghee - 2 tsp, divided
- Brown rice - ½ cup, any variety
- Whole milk - 4½ cups
- Jaggery - ½ cup, lightly packed (see notes)
- Cardamom powder - ½ tsp
- Chopped nuts - ½ cup (cashew nuts, almonds and pistachios)
- Golden raisins - 2 tbsp
- Dried rose petals - 1 tbsp, optional
- Rinse the rice in cold running water a couple of times. Coat the bottom and sides of the slow-cooker pot with 1 tsp melted ghee.
- Add rice, milk, jaggery and cardamom powder. Stir, cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or on LOW for 8 hours.
- Open the lid and add 1 tsp ghee, chopped nuts and raisins. Cook for a further 20-30 minutes with the lid cracked open if you wish to thicken it further. Otherwise, serve it straightaway. Kheer will thicken as it cools.
- Serve hot, warm or cold with more nuts and dried rose petals sprinkled on top.
2. In the same manner, this recipe can also be made with white rice. Use long-grained variety like basmati or other medium-grained rice.
3. The kheer will thicken as it cools. So, stop the cooking process just short of the consistency you are looking for.
Enjoy this decadent golden kheer on a cozy and cool night. Since the slow-cooker does all the work, you can go about your tasks and come home to a pot of warm, delicious kheer!
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Do you like desserts? Do you have a favorite kheer recipe? Do share.
Do try this slow-cooker version made with brown rice and jaggery and tell me how you like it.
Looking for more Pongal/Sankranti/Lohri recipes or recipes for easy Indian desserts? I’ve got you covered. Check out the following blog posts.
Do you like sweet semiya kesari or meethi seviyan? What other easy dessert recipes do you make? Do share.
Do try this easy recipe and let me know how you like it.
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