Rice Kheer

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Rich and creamy rice pudding, this rice kheer is a classic Indian dessert which is flavored with nuts, cardamom and saffron! Gluten-free.

rice kheer

I can’t believe I have never shared a basic rice kheer recipe on the blog. I mean kheer, a rice pudding is probably the most common dessert that’s made in every household in India. The reason why its so common is because it’s made of only three basic ingredients which are readily available everywhere- rice, milk and sugar. I know my recipe has way more than 3 ingredients but all those are optional and add to the flavor. A simple rice kheer can be very well made with only rice, sugar and milk.

In India when we use the word kheer, we are usually referring to the kheer made with rice but kheer can be made with other things as well like tapioca pearls, carrot, almonds etc. I love all variations but if you are looking for a classic dessert, then it doesn’t get better or more authentic that a bowl of rice kheer or chawal ki kheer as we would call in Hindi.

Personally, I have always loved chilled kheer. I remember whenever mom would have kheer, I would take out my portion in a bowl and place it in the freezer to chill. So good it tastes when serve cold. It’s a personal preference though, many people I know prefer eating it hot straight out of the pan. Either way, rice kheer is delicious and an easy dessert which you can make quickly with minimal ingredients.

Other than rice, sugar and milk, kheer is usually flavored with cardamom, nuts and saffron. I have also added a splash of rose water and kewra essence, which by the way is an extract distilled from pandanus flowers and used to flavor lot of Indian dishes and desserts. I also added some nuts like almond and cashews to my kheer but that’s totally optional. I always prefer using whole milk to make my rice kheer, it makes the kheer more rich and creamy and I suggest you do the same.

If you are a vegan, simply swap the regular milk with almond milk and it would taste just as good. In fact I have a recipe for kheer made with almond milk here. Also to keep the recipe vegan, skip the step of roasting the rice with ghee in the beginning.

Rice kheer is the quintessential Indian dessert. It’s what every Indian grew up eating! So next time you cook Indian, make sure to finish off the meal with this lovely kheer.

 

Method

*Soak rice in enough water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

 

Heat ghee in a pan on medium heat. Once ghee melts, add cloves to it.

Add the soaked and drained basmati rice and give a stir.

Cook the rice for 2-3 minutes on medium heat till you get a nice aroma and rice turns light pink in color. Set aside. You may skip this step if you want to make the kheer vegan.

Add milk to a heavy bottom pan and bring it to boil.

Once it boils, add the rice and stir.

Lower the heat to medium and cook the rice with the milk, stirring at regular intervals. Cook for around 20-25 minutes or till rice is completely cooked and kheer looks nice and thick.

After the kheer has thickened quite a bit, add cardamom powder and stir. Add saffron water and stir (soak few strands of saffron in 2 tablespoons of milk for few minutes before using in the recipe).

Also add chopped nuts, sugar and mix.

Finally add rose water (optional) and kewra essence. Stir and remove the pan from heat.

Pour kheer into serving bowls, garnish with more nuts, saffron strands and serve. I like to chill my rice kheer for 4-5 hours before serving.

rice kheer

PS: My kheer is slightly yellow in color since I used saffron here. When we make it at home on a regular basis, we usually do not use saffron.

* The 30 minute prep time is the time taken to soak the rice.

Rice Kheer

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

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Serves: 4-6

Rice kheer is a pudding made with rice, milk and sugar. It's flavored with cardamom, nuts & safrron! Gluten-free dessert.
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon ghee, also known as clarified butter
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 liter whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped nuts, cashew and almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • pinch of saffron strands, dissolved in milk
  • drop of kewra essence, optional
  • ½ teaspoon rose water, optional
Instructions
  1. Soak rice in enough water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a pan on medium heat. Once ghee melts, add cloves to it.
  3. Add the soaked and drained basmati rice and give a stir.
  4. Cook the rice for 2-3 minutes on medium heat till you get a nice aroma and rice turns light pink in color. Set aside. You may skip this step if you want to make the kheer vegan.
  5. Add milk to a heavy bottom pan and bring it to boil.
  6. Once it boils, add the rice and stir.
  7. Lower the heat to medium and cook the rice with the milk, stirring at regular intervals.
  8. Cook for around 20-25 minutes or till rice is completely cooked and kheer looks nice and thick.
  9. After the kheer has thickened quite a bit, add cardamom powder and stir.
  10. Add saffron water and stir (soak few strands of saffron in 2 tablespoons of milk for few minutes before using in the recipe).
  11. Also add chopped nuts, sugar and mix.
  12. Finally add rose water (optional) and kewra essence. Stir and remove the pan from heat.
  13. Pour kheer into serving bowls, garnish with more nuts, saffron strands and serve either hot or chilled.

 

8 thoughts on “Rice Kheer

  1. This is a lovely recipe Manali! I like the way extras can be added in. Years ago I tasted a very light but delicious rice dessert from Chennai. It contained raisins and a variety of distinctive spices for flavouring . It too was made with Basmati rice and served warm. It was less firm than your recipe.
    Would you happen to have an idea of the spices used in that type of dessert? Thanks!

    1. Hi Fiona! Hmm another dessert made with rice is phirni but that’s actually more firm. My guess it must have been kheer only (also known as payasam in south India) but it must not have been cooked to a thick consistency. You can always adjust consistency to preference. Yes raisins are commonly added to kheer/payasam and my guess about the spice – cardamom would have definitely been there. Saffron/rose are other possible options. Hope that helps!

  2. Oh, I love kheer! But I’ve never made it at home before. Now I need to fix that…like soon. 🙂 This looks amazing, Manali! Also, isn’t it funny when you just assume you have a recipe out on your site…but then you search and it’s not there. That’s definitely happened to me! Glad you shared this one!

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