Rice Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

Creamy and aromatic Rice Kheer aka Indian Rice Pudding is made with basic ingredients, and is the quintessential Indian dessert that every Indian grows up eating.

Flavored with cardamom, nuts & rose water, it’s the best way to finish off an Indian meal.

Rice Kheer served in a clay bowl and garnished with rose petals and a golden cast iron pan with nuts and rose petals in the background

I can’t believe it took me so long to share a basic rice kheer recipe on the blog.

Kheer, a rice pudding is probably the most common dessert that’s made in every Indian household.

It’s one dessert that I grew up eating on a regular basis. Whenever there would be a celebration or a festival or just because we felt like eating a dessert, kheer was what mom always made.

What is Kheer

Kheer is Indian rice pudding made with only three basic ingredients- rice, milk and sugar. And I think that’s the reason it is so commonly made in India because the basic ingredients are so readily available everywhere.

My recipe calls for more than 3 ingredients but those are all optional and add ons. A simple rice kheer that my mom made was always 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.

However 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 Indian 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.

I always prefer using whole milk to make my rice kheer, it makes the kheer more rich and creamy and I highly recommend the same.

kheer served in a clay bowl with a spoon and a pan of nuts and rose petals in the background

Flavoring the Kheer

Like I said, you can make the kheer without any flavor with just the 3 basic ingredients. However, few spices and flavors are often added to the kheer to make it even more delicious!

Cardamom: of course the most common and my favorite. I never make my kheer without it.

Rose Water: a splash of rose water goes a long way in giving the kheer that flowery aroma.

Saffron: this was not used commonly in my home. But if you are making kheer for a special occasion then you can add some strands of saffron. Will give it a nice color and aroma.

Nuts: I personally love nuts in my kheer. I usually add cashews, almonds. I like raisins too but Sarvesh isn’t a fan so I don’t usually add them.

Kewra essence: is an extract distilled from pandanus flowers and used to flavor lot of Indian dishes and desserts. I add it sometimes but completely optional.

Serving Suggestions for Kheer

So should you serve the kheer warm or chilled?

The good news is that you can serve it either way, it’s just a personal preference.

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.

I always eat my kheer chilled.

On the other hand, 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.

three clay bowls filled with kheer arranged in a straight line

Can you Make Kheer Vegan?

Yes, definitely!

Just 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.

Next time you cook an Indian meal, make sure to finish it off with this lovely kheer. You taste buds will definitely thank you!

Method

1- Rinse the rice until water turns clear. Then soak the rice in enough water for 20 to 30 minutes. Once soaked for around 20 minutes, drain the rice using a colander and set aside.

I used basmati rice here, you can use any other rice as well.

2- Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Then add 1 teaspoon of ghee to it and then add the soaked & drained rice. Also add 3-4 crushed green cardamom pods.

Toss the rice with the ghee and cardamom for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly until aromatic.

3- Then add the milk to the pan and stir well. Set heat to medium-high.

4- Let the milk come to a boil, this will take around 10-12 minutes. Stir in between so that milk doesn’t stuck to the bottom of the pan.

step by step pictures of making rice kheer at home

5- Once the milk has come to a boil, lower the heat to low and let the kheer cook for around 25 minutes on low heat. Stir every 2 minutes or so.

The milk will reduce considerably after 25 minutes and the kheer would look thick and the rice will be completely cooked.

If you want super thick kheer, cook for 15 more minutes at this point.

6- Add in the sugar and mix.

7- Also add in the nuts. I used cashews and almonds.

8- Cook the kheer for 5 more minutes after adding the sugar and nuts. The sugar should dissolve completely. Don’t worry if your kheer doesn’t look very thick at this point.

It will continue to thicken as it cools down.

step by step pictures of making rice kheer at home

Remove pan from heat. Stir in rose water (if using). Garnish with more nuts and serve kheer warm or chilled.

I let my kheer chill for 4 to 5 hours before serving.

Kheer served in a clay bowl with 2 spoons on the side and more bowls of kheer on the side

If you’ve tried this Rice Kheer Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2017.

Rice Kheer

Classic Indian Rice pudding made with rice, sugar, milk and flavored with cardamom, nuts and touch of rose water. This creamy pudding is one of the most popular Indian desserts!

Rice Kheer served in a clay bowl and garnished with rose petals and a golden cast iron pan with nuts and rose petals in the background
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Keyword kheer
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 244 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 2 votes
Print

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup rice, 50 grams, I used basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon ghee, also known as clarified butter
  • 3-4 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed
  • 1 liter whole milk
  • 4-5 tablespoons sugar, 50-62.5 grams, adjust to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped nuts, I used chopped cashews & almonds
  • 1.5 teaspoons rose water, optional

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice until water turns clear. Then soak the rice in enough water for 20 to 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes are up, drain the rice using a colander and set aside. 

  2. Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Then add 1 teaspoon of ghee to it and then add the soaked & drained rice. Also add 3-4 crushed green cardamom pods.

  3. Toss the rice with the ghee and cardamom for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly until aromatic.

  4. Then add the milk to the pan and stir well. Set heat to medium-high.

  5. Let the milk come to a boil, this will take around 10-12 minutes. Stir in between so that milk doesn't stuck to the bottom of the pan.

  6. Once the milk has come to a boil, lower the heat to low and let the kheer cook for around 25 minutes on low heat. Stir every 2 minutes or so. The milk will reduce considerably after 25 minutes and the kheer would look thick and the rice will be completely cooked. If you want super thick kheer, cook for 15 more minutes at this point.

  7. Add in the sugar and mix. Also add in the nuts. 

  8. Cook the kheer for 5 more minutes after adding the sugar and nuts. The sugar should dissolve completely. Don't worry if your kheer doesn't look very thick at this point. It will continue to thicken as it cools down.

  9. Remove pan from heat. Stir in rose water (if using). Garnish with more nuts and serve kheer warm or chilled. I love mine chilled and serve it after chilling it in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours. 

Recipe Notes

  1. Use whole milk to make the kheer. It makes it so much creamier.
  2. You can flavor the kheer with saffron. For that, crush saffron strands and add to 1-2 tablespoons of warm milk. Once you see a nice yellow color, add it to the milk after the kheer has cooked for around 20-25 minutes. 
Nutrition Facts
Rice Kheer
Amount Per Serving
Calories 244 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 86mg4%
Potassium 314mg9%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 325IU7%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 239mg24%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

20 thoughts on “Rice Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

  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!

  3. I made your recipe last night for a baby shower potluck at my job. I used Cuban black sugar (cane sugar) per my preference and I had to use 2 cans of evaporated milk because I only had a half liter of whole milk. I add a bit of water to compensate for the thickness of the evaporated canned milk and I put a bit too much cardamom by accident. With all these changes and mishaps it was absolutely devinely delish! This recipe is a keeper. Oh yeah I only had kasori rice, so I used 2/3 cup instead of 1/3 cup and I think from now on i will use this instead of basmati.

  4. 5 stars
    My wife makes a very nice rice pudding that we’ll have either warm or cold. We recently had Kheer on a cruise and it was delicious with a slightly different flavor from the one we make. So simple yet scrumptious. We also had Carrot Halwa another Indian dessert that if you can get past the carrot color for a dessert was also outstanding.

    1. Yes kheer is delicious and often flavored with cardamom and nuts 🙂 You have to try Gajar Halwa made with red carrots in Delhi during winters to really taste what a good gajar halwa should taste like 🙂

  5. this pudding is my best dessert and very indian dish i have tryed has been an amazing adventure for me,it looks really great i love this dish and every indian dish i have tryed has made me love india more and more.thanks i will try your twist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *