In separate bowls, soak basmati rice and arborio rice in water for one hour. Drain the rice well. Crush some of the basmati rice randomly, but do not overdo it.
Bring milk to a boil at medium high, in a wide and heavy bottomed cooking pot. This should take about 8 to 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium low, add drained rice and cook for 30 minutes. Keep stirring in between, making sure the milk does not boil over or stick at the bottom. Lower the heat if needed.
Add sugar and cook for 30 minutes until rice grains are well cooked and start to meld into the milk, which should be thicker now.
Combine ¼ cup of cooked mixture with rice flour and make a paste. Stir it back into rice pudding and cook. It should now become more creamy.
Add raisins and let it simmer for 15 minutes, stirring in between. Finally add the cream, cardamom, rose water, almond slices, pistachio slivers and simmer 10 minutes. Crush the saffron and sprinkle on top.Tip: Stop cooking kheer when it has reached 75 percent of the desired consistency. It will become thicker as it cools down.
Decorate with more nuts and rose petals. Serve the kheer warm or chilled.
Rinsing rice: This is a common practice in India to get rid of impurities. Organic rice sourced from USA or countries with similar production practices may not need to be rinsed for making rice pudding. Check the package instructions.
Storage: Kheer can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. It can be frozen for couple months. Don't leave this dairy based dessert out at room temperature for too long.
Milk & dairy: Use grass fed milk or at least organic. The flavor is much better.
Nuts: If using larger pieces of nuts, pre-soak in water, drain and then add it to kheer.
Prevent milk boiling over: Especially in the first half hour don’t place lid on the pot, stir kheer in between and keep a watch. Use a wide cooking pot.
Make it fast: Substitute milk with one quart evaporated milk (or combination of plain milk and condensed milk). Crush the soaked rice a bit, cook in small amount of water to swell the grains before adding milk and cooking further.
Make it creamy: Using cream to add richness to rice pudding works much better. But if you prefer ghee, then roast some nuts in that and add it to the kheer.
Slow cooker: You can make kheer using either high or low setting. It turns out amazing.
Rice cooker: Use a large rice cooker. Start with only half the milk. Add the rest gradually as the rice cooks and expands.
Instant pot: It is much easier to make it in this pot using the porridge button.