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Indian rice pudding (kheer)

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  • 1.1 litres/2 pints whole milk
  • 2 tbsp long-grain rice, such as basmati
  • 4 whole green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 10 unsalted pistachios
  • To decorate
  • vark (edible silver or gold leaf, available from specialist cake shops or some Asian grocers, optional)
  • extra pistachios