Rice Kheer or Chawal Ki Kheer is a traditional Indian rice pudding which 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.
What is Kheer?
Kheer doesn’t need any introduction and is an all-time favorite Indian dessert. All of us, in fact, have grown up, enjoying it with the family and for festivities. A popular sweet that is made in each and every Indian household, especially during festivals.
Rice Kheer is a traditional Indian dessert made using 3 ingredients – Rice, Milk, and Sugar. Other optional ingredients like flavorings and garnishings can be added to it as well.
In India, the term Kheer refers to Rice Kheer however many different versions of kheer can be made. Some of the popular ones are Seviyan, Badam, Sabudana, Carrot, Makhane ki Kheer, Paneer, Lauki, and Shakarkhandi Kheer.
Be it a festival, get together, or just a weekend lunch, there is always an excuse to indulge in something sweet from time to time. And what can be better than relishing a big bowl of Rice Kheer during such occasions? Mildly sweet, delicious, and quick to make, this one is an all-time favorite.
It is one of the easiest Indian desserts and thus I make it very often when I and the family get this sudden craving to relish something sweet, especially after a meal of Rasawala Aloo Sabzi and hot puffed Puris.
Kheer is known by different names depending on different Indian states such as Payasam, Payasa, and Phirni, while in Bengal the Payesh is a variation of it.
This dessert is,
- Everyone’s favorite
- Easy + Quick
- Perfect for special occasions
Milk – I will suggest you go for full-fat milk, as it adds a perfectly rich and creamy texture. But you can go for skim milk or low-fat milk too.
If you are looking to make a vegan version, you can use almond milk instead of dairy milk, it gives perfect results. You can also use other plant-based milk options such as coconut milk, oats milk, soy milk, but I feel almond milk tastes the best when used in Kheer recipes.
Rice – You might think that basmati is a good choice to make this recipe but actually it is preferred rice to make Biryani, Pulao, etc but not Kheer.
To make rice 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 rice to make it, then use the broken variety of basmati and not the long grain.
Saffron – Saffron adds a nice hint of yellow along with a subtle flavor, making it look even more appealing. Opt for good quality saffron, as the cheap one can vary the results.
Sugar – You can 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.
Raisins – I love the bite and taste raisins add to the Kheer. You can also add other dry fruits and nuts such as almonds, cashews, etc for an extra bite and to increase the richness.
Cardamom Powder – This is a must ingredient! Many people avoid adding it, but believe me it just changes the flavor game of Kheer. You can either add in cardamom powder or even crushed cardamom seeds.
Dry Coconut – This is optional, but I love the taste it adds to the Kheer.
Other Flavoring Options – Apart from cardamom and saffron, you can also add other flavorings like rose water, kewra essence, or orange blossom water.
How to make Kheer?
Wash the rice well and soak in water for 30 minutes. Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan.
When it comes to a boil, add drained rice, saffron, raisins, cardamom powder, and grated dry coconut. Cook on low heat till kheer thickens. Keep stirring continuously.
Add sugar and cook for a minute.
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, 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 kheer thickens. Then, add sugar and other ingredients as per the below recipe.
To make the kheer 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.
To make it using condensed milk, cook the milk and rice until it is thickened and nicely cooked. Now add ½ cup of condensed milk and do not forget to reduce the amount of sugar.
Cook the Kheer until the rice is cooked. Now remove the pan from heat and let it cool down slightly.
Add liquid jaggery or grated jaggery and keep it for 10-12 minutes until the jaggery slightly dissolves in the Kheer. Now, put the pan back on the heat and cook it on very low heat until the jaggery melts completely.
Pro Tips by Neha
Use short-grain sticky rice to make kheer.
Use full-fat milk to make this recipe for best result.
You can skip adding saffron if you wish to.
Soaking: Soaking the rice is very important so do not miss this step.
Cook it on low heat and in a heavy bottom pan.
Keep stirring after regular intervals. Make sure the malai doesn’t get stuck at the corners of the pan. It should combine with the rice and milk and regular stirring will make sure of that.
You can fry the dry fruits in little ghee before adding them to the kheer. It will give a different flavor.
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 to your guests with some savory snacks during festivals such as Diwali, Holi, etc.
I love to serve it after my fancy North Indian meals during get-togethers or weekends.
Kheer will last in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
If you like to serve it hot, warm 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.
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Rice Kheer Recipe
- 1 litre Full Fat Milk
- 3 tbsp Rice (Washed and soaked for 30 minutes.)
- 15-20 strands Saffron
- 15-20 Raisins
- ½ tsp Cardamom Powder
- ¼ cup Dry Coconut (Grated)
- ¼ cup Sugar
- Heat milk in a pan.
- When it comes to a boil, add rice, saffron, raisins, cardamom powder and grated coconut.
- Cook on low heat till kheer thickens.
- Keep stirring in between.
- It will take 45 minutes to an hour for the kheer to thicken.
- Add sugar and cook for a minute.
- Garnish with slivers of almonds and pistachios.
- Serve hot or chilled.