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Rice Kheer is an Indian Rice Pudding that is slowly cooked with rice, milk, sugar, nuts, and aromatic spices. It’s perfect for Diwali or any religious festival. Serve is hot or cold!

It’s that time of year again! October and November is the time to make delicious Indian desserts and indulgent foods. No matter how many fancy mithais and halwas are served every Diwali, a classic favorite is Kheer. My version is simple and so delicious. My husband had three small servings and then I had to stop him from eating the whole thing.

For a healthier Kheer recipe, do check out my Oats Kheer made with steel-cut oats and coconut sugar, and is healthy enough for breakfast.

What is Rice Kheer?

Kheer is a widely popular Indian dessert.  It is often made for religious holidays and Indian festivals. Rice Kheer is an Indian Rice Pudding that is slow-cooked with white basmati rice, milk, nuts, and spices. I love flavoring my Kheer with cardamom, a classic ingredient.

Can I add Saffron to Rice Kheer?

Absolutely! Saffron is wonderful in Kheer, but it can be slightly overpowering, hence I prefer to do without it. If you choose to add saffron, simply add a few strands once the milk is hot.

Additionally, you can add a touch of rose water to the Kheer once it’s fully cooked.

What nuts do you add to Kheer?

Traditionally, Rice Kheer is made with almonds, cashews, pistachios, and raisins. Quite frankly, I’m not a fan of pistachios and raisins in my Kheer since the flavor can be overpowering. With that was, I do add a few pieces of crushed pistachios as a garnish.

This is a very simple recipe… rice pudding flavored with some cardamom powder and rose water, how can you go wrong with that? Enjoy!

Can I make Rice Kheer Vegan?

Absolutely! Simply replace whole milk with cashew milk. I recommend cashew milk as it’s somewhat flavorless and also, it’s thick & creamy. Almond Milk may be too bold of a flavor, so I would stay away. Opt for dairy-free milk that’s thick and creamy for the right consistency.

How do I get that perfect consistency when making Rice Kheer?

The key to making perfect kheer is patience. Begin by bringing the milk and rice to a boil, once the milk starts to boil over, reduce the flame to low-medium heat. At this point, cook down the milk while stirring often. Once you can clearly see the rice and milk floating on top, you’re close. You want to make sure you don’t have long grains of rice floating around your kheer. Once you turn off the stove, the kheer will thicken up and that’s the consistency I love.

Having said that, if you prefer your kheer slightly runny, don’t cook it down too much. Once you turn off the stove, the kheer will thicken up so be mindful of that. If any point you end up with thick kheer, add a little milk to balance it out. Simple!

Rice Kheer is:

Delicious
Creamy
Smooth
Melts in your Mouth
Perfect for Diwali
6 Ingredients
Gluten-Free
Vegan option
Made without Ghee

How to make Rice Kheer recipe step by step?

1. Rinse and soak basmati rice for 10 minutes.
2. Heat up a heavy bottom pan on medium-high heat, add milk. I recommend whole milk, however you can also use reduced-fat 2% milk – it’s still excellent.
3. Add the rinsed and drained rice to the milk.
4. Stir often to prevent the milk and rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

5. Ten minutes later, you will notice the milk starting to boil over, at this time reduce heat to low-medium heat.
6. Keep stirring for a few minutes.
7. Now add the sugar. I added 4 tbsp which is perfect for me, you can add 3 tbsp for slightly less sugar.
8. Immediately after, add the chopped almonds and cashews.
9. Followed by cardamom powder.

10. Stir well and often to prevent the milk and rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
11. Once you notice the rice and milk together (there should be less milk), you are close.
12. The consistency is very slightly runny. Lower heat all the way, and cook the milk down slightly if you wish, just a few more minutes.

13. Eventually you’ll have this consistency. Notice – there are no long grains of rice.
14. This is what you want, rice pudding consistency. Turn off the stove. The rice pudding will thicken up more as it sits. If you wish for a slightly runny consistency, add a little more milk.

Enjoy Hot or Cold!

More Indian Sweets!

5 from 1 vote

Rice Kheer

By: Nisha
Rice Kheer is an Indian Rice Pudding that is slowly cooked with rice, milk, sugar, nuts, and aromatic spices. It's perfect for Diwali.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 5 servings

Ingredients 

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Instructions 

  • Rinse and soak the rice for 10 minutes.
  • Heat up a heavy bottom pan on medium-high heat, add milk. I recommend whole milk, however you can also use reduced-fat 2% milk - it's still excellent.
  • Add the rinsed and drained rice to the milk.
  • Stir often to prevent the milk and rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Ten minutes later, you will notice the milk starting to boil over, at this time reduce heat to low-medium heat.
  • Keep stirring for a few minutes.
  • Now add the sugar. I added 4 tbsp which is perfect for me, you can add 3 tbsp for slightly less sugar.
  • Immediately after, add the chopped almonds and cashews.
  • Followed by cardamom powder.
  • Stir well and often to prevent the milk and rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Once you notice the rice and milk together (there should be less milk), you are close.
  • The consistency is very slightly runny. Lower heat all the way, and cook the milk down slightly if you wish, just a few more minutes.
  • Eventually you'll have this consistency. Notice - there are no long grains of rice.
  • This is what you want, rice pudding consistency. Turn off the stove. The rice pudding will thicken up more as it sits. If you wish for a slightly runny consistency, add a little more milk.

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 326mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 316IU | Calcium: 235mg | Iron: 1mg

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Tried this recipe?Mention @honeywhatscooking or tag #honeywhatscooking!

Hi, I'm Nisha!

I'm a foodie who is passionate about healthy-ish living and mindful eating. You'll find a bit of everything here. I use mostly organic real ingredients and incorporate seasonal produce in my cooking. I believe food is medicine. Join me on this soul-searching journey as I share my love for good food, and I hope I inspire you to eat better somewhere along the way.


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11 Comments

    1. You may use any 6 quart stainless steel pot for cooking the kheer. Calphalon/Cuisinart make good ones.

  1. @Sophie – this recipe is probably as low fat as it gets, and GOOD. I'm sure you can use agave nectar, start with 2 tbsp and work your way up as needed. Agave is sweeter than sugar. Hope this helps!

  2. I have been searching for a kheer recipe that doesn't use sweetened condensed milk, this looks great!
    I wonder how it would turn out using agave nectar or maple syrup instead of sugar… I'm going to give it a go this weekend.

  3. i totally failed at making kheer my first time – i don't think i was patient enough with the reduction process. maybe i'll try again! 🙂

  4. Hi LaSpicyVita..
    Yes.. patience is a virtue when making Kheer… it is a LOT of stirring 🙂
    Try it again.. you will enjoy it.

  5. Hello Olivia..

    I LOVE the fact that you checked out my blog at work… I do that too!
    Thank you so much.
    You can't go wrong wtih Coconut and Almond milks, what's not to love?
    Great idea 🙂

    -ngs

  6. What a great idea! I made this as soon as I got home from work. Instead of using cow's milk, I substituted a combination of light coconut milk and almond milk. Delicious! Thank you!