Rice Kheer (Chawal Ki Kheer) is a traditional Indian rice pudding that is quite easy to put together and makes for a great dessert. Make this creamy, one-pot dessert with basic ingredients and in under 45 minutes.
About This Recipe
Kheer is a traditional Indian dessert made using rice and milk. This Indian-style rice pudding is super easy to make and requires very few basic ingredients which are mostly available at home all the time.
Kheer is known by different names in different parts of India. In South Indian, it is called Payasam, or Payasa, while in Bengal it’s called Payesh. These variations are slightly different from each other in the use of a type of rice, sweetener, or flavorings.
In India, when we say kheer, it just means rice kheer however many different versions of kheer can be made. Some of the popular ones are Seviyan, Badam, Sabudana, Carrot, Makhana, Paneer, Lauki, and Shakarkhandi Kheer.
Rice kheer is mildly sweet and can be flavored using a variety of ingredients. The most common flavorings are cardamom powder and saffron but you can also use rose water or kewra essence.
Although it is one of the simplest desserts to make, you can mess it up if the milk and rice ratio is not proper. It also needs constant monitoring while cooking to avoid scorching.
Make this delicious and simple dessert for festivals, get-togethers, special occasions, or just a weekend lunch, it is going to impress everyone who has a bite.
Milk – Always use whole (full-fat) milk to get creamy and rich kheer.
To make a vegan version, use any plant-based milk instead of dairy milk. Almond milk is my favorite vegan milk to make Indian desserts.
Rice – Many people suggest Basmati to make kheer but actually it is preferred rice to make biryani and pulao but not kheer.
To make kheer, always choose small grain rice which gets slightly mushy while cooking. It will give the dessert a nice creamy texture.
I like to use Jeera Samba, Gobindobhog, Ambemohar, etc to make it. You can use any rice which fits the description.
My recent fav to make kheer is Maharashtrian Indrayani. It just dissolves in the milk making the dessert really creamy. If at all using basmati to make it, then use the broken variety of basmati and not the long grain.
Saffron – Saffron is optional but it gives a lovely color and flavor.
Sugar – Adjust the amount of sugar as per your taste and preference. You can also use brown sugar, jaggery, or other sugar-free options as a substitute.
Cardamom Powder – This is a must ingredient! Many people avoid adding it, but believe me it just changes the flavor game.
Dry Coconut – This is optional, but I love the taste it adds to the pudding.
Other Flavoring Options – Apart from cardamom and saffron, you can also add other flavorings like rose water, kewra essence, or orange blossom water.
Nuts & Fruits – Add slivered almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, and raisins for a lovely crunch.
How To Make Kheer
Wash 3 tablespoon rice and soak it in ½ cup water for 30 minutes.
Heat 1-liter whole milk in a heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat.
When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Keep stirring while the milk is boiling to avoid scorching.
Drain the rice and add it to the pan along with 15-20 strands of saffron, 15-20 raisins, and ¼ cup grated dry coconut.
Note – Do not add dry coconut unless the milk comes to a boil otherwise the kheer might curdle.
Cook on low heat until the rice is cooked and the kheer is thickened (45-50 minutes). Keep stirring very frequently while cooking.
Add ¼ cup granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon cardamom powder and cook for a minute.
Garnish with almond and cashew nut slivers and serve hot or chilled.
Frequently Asked Questions
Rice pudding is a broad term for rice and milk dessert. It is made differently all over the world. Indian rice pudding is called kheer.
It has Indian flavors such as cardamom powder, and saffron. Sometimes, people also like to add rose water or kewra water for extra flavor and to give it that royal touch.
Add 1 cup of cooked rice per liter of milk and cook until the kheer thickens. Then, add sugar and other ingredients as per the recipe.
To make it in an Instant pot, add rice and milk to the pot and close the lid. Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 15 minutes. Let the pressure release automatically for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually. Open the lid and add sugar and cardamom powder. Press SAUTE and cook for 5-6 minutes. Serve hot.
To make it in a pressure cooker, boil the milk in a cooker. Once it comes to a boil, add rice and cardamom powder.
Close the lid and pressure for one whistle on high heat. Then simmer the heat and cook it for 20-25 minutes on low heat. Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release. Now add sugar and mix well.
Cook milk, rice, saffron, raisins, and dry coconut until the rice is cooked and the kheer has thickened. Now add ½ cup of condensed milk, 2 tablespoon sugar, and cardamom powder and cook for another minute. Garnish with slivered nuts and serve hot or chilled.
Cook milk, rice, saffron, raisins, and dry coconut until the rice is cooked and the kheer has thickened. Remove the pan from heat and let the kheer cool down for 20-25 minutes.
Add liquid jaggery or grated jaggery to the pan and let it rest for 10-12 minutes until the jaggery slightly dissolves. Now, put the pan back on the heat and cook it on very low heat until the jaggery melts completely. Garnish with slivered nuts and serve hot or chilled.
Serve this quick and easy dessert either hot, just off the stove, or chilled. There is no middle ground when it comes to serving kheer.
I personally like it chilled. Top it with slivered nuts like almonds, pistachios, and cashew nuts for a lovely crunch. You can also garnish it with few dried rose petals.
Serve it on its own or with some savory snacks during festivals such as Diwali, Holi, etc.
I love to serve it after my fancy North Indian meals.
This dessert will last in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days when stored in an airtight container.
If you like to serve it hot, heat it in a pan or in the microwave. If you feel it has become a little thick, then add in some milk and heat it nicely.
Do not freeze the kheer. The milk curdles when thawed.
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Rice Kheer Recipe
- 3 tablespoons short-grain white rice
- 1 litre whole (full-fat) milk
- 15-20 strands saffron (optional)
- 15-20 raisins
- ¼ cup grated dry coconut
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds and cashew nuts
- Wash the rice and soak it in ½ cup water for 30 minutes.
- Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat.
- When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Keep stirring while the milk is boiling to avoid scorching.
- Drain the rice and add it to the pan along with saffron, raisins, and grated dry coconut.
- Cook on low heat until the rice is cooked and the kheer is thickened (45-50 minutes). Keep stirring very frequently while cooking.
- Add granulated sugar and cardamom powder and cook for a minute.
- Garnish with almond and cashew nut slivers and serve hot or chilled.