Rice Kheer is a delicious and popular dessert in India and Pakistan. This rice pudding is rich and creamy in texture and has mixed nuts like almonds and pistachios, also has raisins. Indians serve kheer on special occasions, festivals, and celebrations. Of course, you can prepare it whenever you crave it! The ingredients are simple, rice, sugar, and milk. Rice Kheer takes 25 minutes to prepare. Please watch the video tutorial within this post to learn more on how to make this dessert!
What is Rice Kheer?
Kheer is a type of pudding, and you can make it with raw rice after you wash it, soak it and drain it, you can also make it using vermicelli, carrot, or semolina. Rice Kheer has milk, sugar, or the sweetener of your choice, plus nuts or dry fruits. There is another dish called Payasam mostly popular in the South, you can say that it is a different variety of rice kheer but has ghee, milk, rice, and Jaggery. The taste of payasam is similar to kheer but is thinner in texture.
Some use condensed milk or evaporated milk to add more richness to the dessert, but we are going to keep it Authentic.
I have posted a delicious recipe for carrot kheer which in Hindi is called Gajar Ka Halwa, the recipe is low in calories, I’m sure you’ll love it.
You can try my Classic American rice pudding recipe if you wish to taste the difference between the Indian and American versions.
Essential ingredients for Rice Kheer?
The basic ingredients are milk, sugar, and either carrot, semolina, vermicelli, or rice. You can add more ingredients like dry fruits, cashews, peanuts, almonds, and for the ultimate flavor saffron strands and crushed green cardamom. Usually, different variations of Kheer are made in the same way. However, you can find Ghee in some, and other types might take lesser time to prepare.
Your best friend when making kheer is a heavy bottom pan since milk can burn unless the heat is controlled, stirring continuously while the rice simmer prevents the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
What type of rice to use in making Kheer?
Most Kheer recipes use Basmati rice, but you can use short-grain rice. I wouldn’t use brown rice or parboiled rice in making Indian rice Kheer, using brown rice will take a long time to cook, and this may lead the milk to get burnt. You won’t get the authentic flavor when using brown rice. If you have to use brown rice, then soak it in warm water for at least 3 hours before adding it to the milk. Make sure to rinse the rice properly for better flavor.
Rice with a high amount of starch makes good Indian rice pudding, so jasmine rice, short-grain rice, even arborio can get that creamy texture.
What type of sweetener to use in Kheer?
Use white sugar, but brown sugar is fine too. Keep in mind that the color of the Kheer will be darker. If you want to use sweeteners with low calories, add them at the end of your cooking.
Jaggery is known to curdle the milk, add jaggery powder 7 minutes after turning off the heat, and mix well.
How to serve Rice Kheer?
Kheer can be served with coffee; you wouldn’t want to serve it with anything sweet on the side. This dessert is rich and should be served in small portions.
Serve the pudding warm or chilled after a good Indian meal. garnish with crushed nuts and crushed green cardamom pods
How to store the Kheer?
Pour the kheer in small bowls, when it comes to room temperature, cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Instead, you can pour it into an airtight container and refrigerate it.
Can we add eggs in this rice pudding?
There are no eggs in the authentic recipe of Kheer. The texture gets thick and creamy by adding cornstarch and the starch coming from the rice.
Can I use almond milk or coconut milk instead of whole milk?
You can make vegan kheer by using coconut milk or almond milk. But these types of milk burn fast. You might want to add a little more almond or soy milk to the recipe.
Add 2 and a half cups of either almond milk or coconut milk after 15 minutes of cooking. Continue cooking and stirring the rice kheer.
Can I use cooked rice in making Kheer?
You can use cooked rice, but the flavor will be a little different. The cooking time will be less as well as the amount of milk you use in the recipe.
How can I avoid burning the milk?
Since we are cooking the rice in milk, and the cooking time is longer than 15 minutes. Chances are the milk will reduce and burn. However, you can prevent that by stirring often and cooking the pudding on medium-low heat.
How to flavor the Kheer?
You can flavor the pudding by adding rose water, saffron strands, cardamom pods, cinnamon, kewra water, or almond (badam) flavor.
Instant pot Kheer
If you want to make kheer the easier way, here you go:
Wash the rice and then soak in warm water for 30 minutes.
Pour half cup of water into the instant pot. Turn on saute and wait until the water simmers, then add the milk and the rice. Pressure cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
Allow the pressure to release naturally. When the instant post releases all the steam, open the lid and add the rest of the ingredients. Turn the instant pot to saute and cook until the mixture is a little thick and well combined.
To make this dessert, you will need:
Easy Rice Kheer Indian Rice Pudding
- 5 ½ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 6 tablespoon ground basmati rice (Read the notes below to make your own.)
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in half cup whole milk
- ¼ cup chopped or sliced toasted almond
- 3 tablespoon pistachio cut in halves
- 6 to 8 saffron threads soaked in ¼ cup hot water
- In a large saucepan, add the milk and the sugar, stir until the sugar dissolves.
- When the milk comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cardamom powder. Stir for two minutes.
- Add the ground rice and from now on stir regularly to avoid burning the milk and forming lumps.
- Add the saffron and water mixture into the kheer and keep stirring.
- Add the cornstarch mixture and continue stirring.
- When the kheer is thick and creamy in texture, add the almonds and pistachio.
- The kheer is ready after 20 to 25 minutes of cooking on medium-low heat.
- Pour the kheer in the serving bowls and garnish with nuts.
- Serve the kheer warm or at room temperature.
- To make ground rice at home, wash 6 tablespoons of basmati rice until water is clear.
- Soak the rice in warm water for 20 minutes.
- Place a kitchen towel on a plate, place the drained rice over the kitchen towel.
- Cover the rice with two layers of kitchen towels and pat gently to dry the rice.
- Using a grounder, grind the rice until coarse in texture. Make sure the rice is dry before you grind it.
- You can use rice flour instead and keep the measurement the same. If you buy rice flour and the ingredients on the package include cornstarch, reduce the cornstarch in the recipe to 1 and a half tablespoon.
- Soak the saffron threads in hot milk instead of water.
- Omit the nuts or add your favorite to the Kheer.
- You can use the rice as is without grinding if you like that texture.