Does The Thick, Rich Coconut Milk Make Your Kheer Creamier?
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Coconut milk can do a lot more than veganise your kheer and turns out that it could be the secret to a creamier and more luscious festive dessert. Traditional kheer uses whole milk which can be thickened with a paste made out of a tablespoon of starch and cold milk. If you want naturally thicker kheer, coconut milk is your best bet. 

Though not very dense, coconut milk, if used right can deliver a denser kheer with a velvety consistency. Canned coconut milk usually has a thick, cream-like consistency since it has higher fat content. But you can use homemade coconut milk as well. Homegrown desserts like, the Konkani Gehu-Chawal Kheer or the Parippu Pradhaman from Kerala already rely on coconut milk. 

The plant-based milk is high in fat content, which will make any pudding creamier with a luxurious mouthfeel which replicates the one offered by heavy cream. Coconut milk usually is in a hydrogenated state at room temperature, which ensures a thickness that regular milk cannot offer. It's important to note that coconut milk is made by mixing one part of shredded coconut with one part water. 

The natural nutty profile of the milk introduces the tropical accent to the kheer and pairs beautifully with spices usually used in the dessert, be it cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg or even flavours such as nolen gur. Only a few simple things need to be switched up when you're replacing whole milk with coconut milk. 

After washing your rice, combine the rice with water, cinnamon, and star anise in a heavy saucepan or pot. Bring this mixture to a boil before reducing the heat to low, allowing the rice to cook until tender. Add the coconut milk once the rice is cooked and then sprinkle in the other spices. Wait for 5-7 minutes as the kheer simmers so the rice can soak it all up. Once you've stirred in sugar or a liquid sweetener and the kheer has thickened to your desired consistency remove it from heat and let it cool.