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Rinse ¼ cup basmati rice a couple of times till the water runs clear of the starch.
Then soak the rice in enough water for 15 to 20 mins.
Blanching almonds - heat water in a small pan or pot. When the water comes to a boil then switch off the flame and then add 10 to 12 almonds to it. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes. Then peel and slice almonds. This is an optional step.
Meanwhile, when the rice grains are soaking, take 1 litre full fat milk in a heavy wide pan or saucepan or kadai.
Keep the pan on a low to medium-low flame. Stir at intervals so that the milk does not stick at the bottom of the pan.
Let the milk come to a boil.
Take 1 tablespoon milk from the pan in a small bowl. Let the milk become warm. Then add a few saffron strands in the milk. Keep aside.
After the milk begins to boil, drain all the water from the rice and add it to the hot boiling milk. mix very well.
Simmer and cook rice on a low flame. No need to cover the pan when the rice is cooking.
Cook the rice grains till they are 50% done or half-cooked.
Then add 5 to 6 tbsp sugar or add as required. mix the sugar in the milk.
Continue to cook rice on a low to medium-low flame. Do stir at intervals. simmer till the rice is almost cooked.
Then add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder. add blanched & peeled sliced almonds and chopped cashews and sliced pistachios. mix well.
Then add the saffron dissolved milk.
Again mix and continue to cook on a low flame till the rice kheer thickens and the rice grains have completely cooked.
Switch off the flame when the rice grains are completely cooked. The kheer will also thicken. On cooling rice kheer thickens more. Scrape milk solids from sides and add to kheer.
Lastly add 1 tablespoon golden raisins. At this step you can add 1 tablespoons rose water or kewra water.
Pour the rice kheer in individual serving bowls. You can serve the rice kheer, hot or warm or chilled. Refrigerate leftover rice kheer.