We started our Diwali celebrations a little early this year (any excuse for a party and sweets!), and the star of every meal has been this divine, creamy, cardamom-scented coconut kheer.
A few years back, when I was visiting my grandma, aunt and uncle in Chandigarh, I tried coconut kheer. Cooked under the watchful eye of my mammiji (maternal aunt), the classic rice pudding was elevated with fresh coconut milk and freshly shredded coconut. I still dream about this dessert.
Taking inspiration from that delicious bowl of pudding, I’ve updated this classic with rich and creamy coconut milk, coconut beverage, and a bit of shredded coconut – all available at your local Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills. If you can get your hands on a nice fresh coconut (the brown kind, not young green), freshly shredded coconut is a delicious addition to this dessert.
The flavours are tropical and warm, and just what we need on these cool Autumn nights. It’s also the perfect dessert to end your Diwali festivities – kids and adults will love this creamy, cardamom-scented coconut kheer. Added bonus: this dish is dairy-free and can be made vegan by swapping coconut sugar for white sugar.
Cardamom-Scented Coconut Kheer
1/2 cup basmati rice (I used Suraj brand), washed, soaked in water for 15 minutes, and then drained
5 cardamom pods, crushed
1/4 cup coconut sugar or cane sugar or white sugar
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 500ml tetra pack of coconut milk or 2 cups of unsweetened coconut beverage (I used Silk brand)
2 cups unsweetened cashew or almond beverage (I used Earth’s Own Cashew Fresh)
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Heat coconut milk, coconut beverage and cashew/almond beverage in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Mix frequently, do not let burn. Bring to just boiling point and then lower heat to medium low. Add crushed cardamom, drained rice and sugar, and continue to cook for 45 – 55 minutes, stirring frequently. When rice is soft and milk has reduced to a creamy consistency, check sweetness and add sugar until desired sweetness is reached – I usually stop around 1/4 cup.
In a small frypan, lightly toast shredded coconut on medium heat, mixing frequently until light brown. Serve kheer in pretty bowls with a generous sprinkle of toasted coconut on top. You can also add toasted almonds, cashews or pistachios, and when it’s in season, sliced mango. Enjoy!
Happy Diwali friends. This post was sponsored by the Real Canadian Superstore.