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Kheer

Kheer from Karim Hotel in Delhi, India.

What: An ancient, delicately sweet dessert made of slow-cooked rice, milk, and sugar, kheer is South Asia’s take on rice pudding, though it has quite a few regional variations and names. Here, saffron, cardamom, and nuts like pistachio and almond often get involved. Like phirni, it’s served chilled in earthenware bowls and especially common in Muslim restaurants, particularly during Ramadan.

Where: Kheer is perfectly cast as a light dessert following a big meaty meal. Ours played exactly that role at the legendary Karim Hotel (Gali Kababian, Jama Masjid, map).

When: Daily, 9am-12:30am

Order: The kheer (60 rupees), topped with a light sprinkling of pistachio nuts, comes out of a big cooler downstairs at Karim’s, so it’s easy to pop by just for dessert if need be. Otherwise, order some goods in the restaurant first: mutton burra, mutton seekh kebab, shami kebab, tandoori chicken perhaps.

Alternatively: You’ll find kheer on the menu at Purani Dilli (2698-3371; 371 Main Rd., Zakir Nagar, Jamia Nagar, map) in Zakir Nagar, a mazelike Muslim enclave in South Delhi. Old Delhi die-hards, however, recommend Bade Mian (opposite Badal Beg mosque on Lal Kuan, off Hauz Quazi Chowk, map) for delectably thick, slow-cooked kheer; you may need to ask around to find his exact location.


 

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