Rice Pudding in a Clay Pot
The thing about Indian food is that you’ll most likely find yourself craving for dessert afterwards. Maybe it’s the oil. Or the thousand and one spices. Or the rich onion and tomato gravy. Whatever it is, it’s hard not to think about having something sweet to seal the meal with.
On our last evening in Delhi, walking through the crowded alleys of the old city, we pass by a small shop that sells all kinds of Indian sweets. The gorgeous, colorful items on display flirt with us from behind the glass that showcases them.
We painfully ignore the constant seduction, walking briskly past the shop but to no avail, for a few steps later, we stop.
“Let’s just take a quick peek,” suggests Masood.
“Alright, but you go ahead,” I say, knowing that I’ll be tempted to buy half of the shop if I went. “I’ll wait for you here.”
But I go along with him anyway, and we buy a single pot of kheer, or rice pudding. I hold the clay pot carefully as we ride a rickshaw towards our hotel. And after we finish eating the kheer, I wash and pat dry the pot to bring back home with me.
Then my mother-in-law cooks kheer at home a few days later. I take out my clay pot and decorate the rice pudding with slivers of pistachios. Then I photograph it, of course.
And as if my decorating skills weren’t good enough, Masood takes his time garnishing the dessert his way—with fine slices of almonds, and a piece of Little Hearts biscuit in the middle.
Now that the kheer is finished, my clay pot from Delhi is carefully tucked away to be used next time. And it will remind me of that small sweet shop, the crowded alley, Delhi’s summer, and the wonderful time we spent there.
The day this pot breaks, someone will have to book a couple of round-trip tickets to Delhi.