Monday, 27 April 2009

Kheer with Ismail Merchant

Ismail Merchant (December 25, 1936May 25, 2005) was an Indian-born film producer, best known for the results of his famously long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions which included director James Ivory and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Their films won six Academy Awards.
Some of his films include -
A Room With A View
Remains of the Day
Heat and Dust
Cotton Mary
Howard 's End
The Perfect Murder
The Householder
Shakespeare Walla

Besides being a producer /director he was an accomplished cook and threw lavish parties for his friends in which he would cook.
I bought his compilation of recipes . I love reading it more than cooking from it as the ingredients he uses are way beyond me more suited to the western world. But the recipes are really good.
(sorry the photo is not very clear I double macroed it)

Since ages I had been wanting to make Kheer, an Indian rice dessert (pudding). Today I finally got down to it.
This is my own adaptation.
but I will give you Merchant 's version.
This patchwork tablecloth was made by my Mom.
I have served the Kheer in a tiny
clay cup. I bought Indian ice cream called kulfi in it and I am recycling it.
They are very cute. You can get larger ones too.
You can buy yogurt and sweets in them.
They are environmentally friendly as
paper and plastics are not involved.
Indian Rice Pudding - Kheer
1 cup long grain rice
5 1/4 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup dried milk
1 tablespoon rosewater (don 't worry if you don 't have it -
I did not use it )
6-8 chopped blanched almonds
10-12 shelled unsalted pistachios chopped
1/4 cup seedless raisins
(I used lots of dried fruit and pine nuts, unsalted cashews chopped and coconut scrapings)
Boil rice in3 1/4 cups of water until the rice is very soft
Heat the milk and sugar in another pan and bring them to the boil.
Immediately reduce the heat and stir in the softened rice.
Continue cooking over medium-low heat until the mixture becomes thick. Add the dried milk and stir well.
Add the rose water, almonds, pistachios and raisins and
remove from the heat.Let the pudding cool and serve
it at room temperature.
(I like to chill the pudding)

Try it and see
The flowers at the side of the bowl
are sweet smelling summer belas.
I love their perfume.
Don 't know how they survive the blazing heat.

Bought these from the vegetable market
Watermelon,lobhia beans, okra, green pumpkin.
The green chillies you see on the side the grocer gives free if you ask
for them.

17 Fertilize my soul:

Kathryn said...

I love the little clay pot/jar that you're recycling! Wish we had that here.

We stopped buying water & refill glass bottles. It works well. But there are still so many plastic throw aways!

Did you like the results of your rice pudding? It sounds good.

Amrita said...

The pudding turned out real good.
I will give some to Sheeba.

The clat jars are really nice and they keep food cool to in the summer, for those who don 't have fridges.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Amrita :)

You surprise me with your culinary skills. Chilled kheer is good in summer. Your presentation is excellent and lovely. It has an aesthetic touch.

I wonder if you can start a kheer shop there. I am sure there will be a long line.

The table cloth made by your mother is very beautiful.

You have done a great service by putting the recipe on your blog. Many will benefit.

Have a nice day Amrita:) Don't eat all the kheer. Keep some for me :)

Paresh Palicha said...

Love kheer. Love the kulfi cups too... I've met Ismail Merchant once, when he was here shooting Cotton Mary here. Wished to interview for a newspaper. But, he couldn't understand my speech and there was nobody close by to translate. :( I'd just read Anita Desai's In Custody & had loved the movie too.

Amrita said...

Hello Joseph Sir,

Opening a kheer shop is a good but would be dangerous for my health as i would have to check it by tasting it.
Maybe after my sister comes back home we migth start a food business. Lets see what God' s plans for us are.

Wow Paresh,You met Ismail Mechant.What a privelledge to meet a great pwrsonality like him. I love his movies. I have seen Cotton Mary. But found it a bit strange too.The portrayal of Anglo Indians I mean.But some of them were like that.

. Madhur Jaffery was excellent in it.

Anonymous said...

Those jars don't look like any container I can buy food in here, they look like something I'd buy at the Pottery Barn, beautiful.

Crown of Beauty said...

Hi Amrita, what a fascinating post, as always. Thank you for taking time to show your readers a slice of life in India. THe vegies you featured look very much like what we have here. I love okra. How do you cook it? They can be cut up and included in a vegetable mix of cubed squash, the beans you showed in the photo, tomatoes, garlic, onions, a slice of ginger, and put in a little fish sauce and fresh shrimps. Very nice especially if not overcooked.

Or, we just steam the okra, and dip it in a spicy sauce of lime juice, some chili, and fish sauce. We use fish sauce here all the time.

I love visiting your blog and learning new things.

I must try the kheer sometime. Does it turn out a bit like tapioca pudding?

Thanks for visiting my blog, Amrita. I love it when you visit.

Amrita said...

Hi Mary.we have lots of clay vessels in use in India. I must take photos of them.Some of them are very decorative and up-market fashionable too.
Like in the ancient times we still have clay jars and flasks to keep the water cool. We used them too when we did not have a fridge in my childhood.Water stored in them smells and tastes so sweet.

Lidj, your okra recipies are fantastic, never had okra this way. I will try it.They are very exotic.
We just cut up the okra (making sure its dry after washing) Heat oil in a pan ( I like pungent mustard oil) throw in chopped onion and dried red chilies, saute it a bit, add the okra , let it cook . I sprinkle some lemon juice on it as it makes the okra crisp.Add salt and fry till soft or brown.You can also put dried mango flakes in .

We cook okra curry too in a spicy sauce to be eaten with steamed rice.
Also okra with mutton in a curry form. I have made it with yogurt.

Tapioca is available in South India where it is more popular. This is like a sweet rice pudding.

Kathryn said...

Amrita, i appreciate you so much, & have enjoyed following your blog. It has been fun to meet you & learn more about you. I've just tagged you at my blog for an 8 Meme. I'd like to get to know you better! If you did this before i missed it.

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
Lady of a thousand skills.
I'm having great fun reading about your recipes.
It would take me a week only to gather the ingredients. That is not an option.
It certainly would be a great thing if you and your sister set up a food store.
You are more than qualified.
I pary that God will open a door for you.
He certainly hasn't given you all this rich talents for nothing.
Bless you, my friend.
From Felisol

Vicki said...

Oh this sounds so good! I would very much enjoy sitting with you for a cup of Kheer sometime. You are extremely good in the kitchen, my friend. And about the producer/director, I remember 3 of those films: A Room With a View, Remains of the Day, and Howard's End:-)

I learn something new every time I visit you:-)

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Very interesting recipe for an exotic dish. It's nice to have fruits and flowers at your dining table. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Amrita :)

I read your message that I have been tagged. But I can't see anything. Have I gone blind?

Best wishes :)

Terry said...

dear amrita, i am not a dessert eater but that rice puddin' sure does look good!
ha!..did you give sheeba some and did she like it?
now that veggie picture sure looks inviting and i guess you already guessed what i would choose amrita?
well those hot peppers of course and just to think, they are FREE.
maybe sheeba would take a taste of one of them for dessert....ha!
love you princess terry

Amrita said...

Hi friends,Thanks for your comments.

Yes Terry Sheeba enjoyed the sweet but she spit out the dry fruit.
In India we have a proverbs-
How can a monkey know the taste of ginger?

Hi Mel, I want to try the Phillipine recipies too.

Dear Vivki and all my friends are very welcome to kheer and everything else. i wish it was possible really.

Hi Felosol,
If we could really organize it , a food business is really run. I just need logitical and work suport. Try and make the pudding, simplify the ingredients like I did.

Northeast Iowa Mom said...

Amrita, tell your mum that her tablecloth is lovely! (May we see a photo of the whole thing, please? Maybe hung on a clothesline or something?)

I am now hungry for rice pudding. :o)

*wishes there were lots of little clay pots to reuse/recycle here*

Amrita said...

Good to see you NE Iowa Mom,
Hope your weather is warmer.

I will try to get a photo ofthe table cloth. Its kinda worn out, years old.

The clay pots are cute aren 't they? They are khullars.
I learnt some pottery nd tried to make one.