Kheer Recipe | Rice Kheer

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A Rice Kheer recipe that is a keeper and my family’s heirloom recipe that you will love for its deliciousness. This traditional Indian rice pudding made with basmati rice, whole milk, sugar, nuts, saffron and cardamom is slow-cooked to perfection making for a rich, creamy kheer. I share our favorite rice kheer recipe that is made easy with my stepwise photos and video.

rice kheer served in individual bowls

About Kheer Recipe

Kheer is an Indian sweet made with cereals, lentils or their flours. The Indian cuisine has many variations of kheer recipes. Kheer is like a pudding traditionally made with milk, sugar and some dry fruits. The choice of spices and flavorings are usually cardamom, rose water, kewra water or saffron. So you must be wondering what is rice kheer?

Rice kheer is basically Indian version of rice pudding made with basmati rice, whole milk, sugar, nuts and spices. It is also one of the most popular kheer variant made in North Indian cuisine together with Seviyan Kheer (Vermicelli Pudding) and Phirni (thick rice pudding).

I learned to make this kheer recipe from my mother-in-law. For any religious or festive occasions, my mother-in-law always makes rice kheer.

Generally, we make it in a slightly large quantity, but I have scaled down the recipe which can give you 4 to 5 small servings of this rice deliciousness.

Like the other kheer versions, rice kheer is also easy to make and the entire recipe can be made in one pan or pot.

Just that you need to keep a check when the kheer is simmering and stir it at intervals. This is an easy slow-cooked recipe and does not demand much cooking skills.

In South Indian cuisine kheer is called as payasam. Rice payasam can be made both with milk and coconut milk. The sweeteners can be sugar or jaggery. I have also shared Rice Payasam made with milk.

This delicious rice kheer can be made for any festival or celebration like Diwali or also as a sweet dessert which you can serve after meals.

rice kheer served in bowls
Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Rice Kheer

Check below a detailed step-by-step guide that will help you in making kheer easily.

Preparation

1. Rinse ¼ cup basmati rice a couple of times in fresh water and then soak in enough water for 15 to 20 minutes.

basmati rice soaked in water

2. Meanwhile when the rice grains are soaking, take 1-litre full-fat milk in a heavy wide pan or saucepan or kadai.

full fat milk in a sauce pan

3. Keep the pan on low to medium-low heat. Stir at intervals so that the milk does not burn at the bottom of the pan.

heating the full fat milk

4. Let the milk come to a boil.

let the milk come to a boil

5. Take 1 tablespoon milk from the pan in a small bowl. Let the milk become warm. Then add a few saffron strands to the milk. Keep aside.

saffron strands in milk in a bowl

Cooking rice

6. After the milk begins to boil, drain all the water from the rice and add it to the hot boiling milk.

adding rice to milk in the saucepan

7. Mix very well with a spoon.

mixing rice with milk using a spoon

8. Simmer and cook rice on low heat. No need to cover the pan when the rice is cooking.

simmer and cook rice on low heat

9. Cook the rice grains till they are 50% done or half-cooked.

Cooking the rice grains till they are 50% done or half-cooked.

10. Then add 5 to 6 tablespoons of sugar or add as required. You can add raw sugar or white sugar. I generally use unrefined raw sugar.

adding sugar to the pan with milk and rice grains

11. Mix the sugar in the milk.

mixing sugar with milk using a spoon

12. Continue to cook rice on low to medium-low heat. Do stir at intervals.

continue to cook rice kheer stirring at intervals

13. Simmer till the rice is almost cooked.

Simmer till the rice is almost cooked.

Flavorings Rice Kheer

14. Then add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder.

adding cardamom powder to kheer

15. Add 1 tablespoon each of sliced almonds, chopped cashews and sliced pistachios. You can blanch the almonds if you prefer or just slice them raw.

You can include various other nuts according to your preferences.

adding chopped dry fruits to kheer

16. Mix well.

mixing nuts in the kheer

17. Then add the saffron dissolved milk.

adding saffron infused milk to the kheer

18. Again mix and continue to cook on low heat till the rice kheer thickens and the rice grains have completely cooked.

continue cooking rice kheer

19. Switch off the heat when the rice grains are completely cooked. The kheer will also thicken. On cooling, rice kheer thickens more. Scrape milk solids from the sides of the pan and add to the kheer.

cooked rice kheer in a spoon

20. Lastly add 1 tablespoon golden raisins. At this step you can add 1 tablespoon rose water or kewra water (pandanus water).

adding golden raisins to cooked rice kheer

21. Pour the kheer in individual serving bowls. You can serve the rice kheer, hot or warm or chilled. Refrigerate leftover rice kheer and use it within 1 to 2 days. You can eat it cold, or reheat it until warm.

If the kheer has become very thick add a splash of milk and reheat.

rice kheer served in individual bowls

I have compiled tips & frequently asked questions on rice kheer recipe from the comments received on this recipe.

Tips

Tips + FAQs for Kheer Recipe

  1. Are rice pudding and rice kheer same?
    Yes, both are same. Rice kheer can also be called as rice pudding. Basically rice kheer is Indian rice pudding. The flavourings are typically Indian like cardamom powder and saffron. Some variations also add rose water or kewra water.
  2. Are the rice grains cooked or raw?
    To make rice kheer, raw rice grains are cooked in milk. But the rice grains are soaked in water for 20 to 30 minutes. By the time the rice gets cooked in the milk, the milk also reduces and thickens. So what you get is a creamy and rich rice pudding. But of course there is another way rice pudding is made and that is by using cooked rice or you can use leftover cooked rice.
  3. Which dry fruits and nuts to add?
    Dry fruits and nuts are added in rice kheer to make it more flavorful. We always add almonds, cashews, pistachios and golden raisins along with saffron and cardamom powder. You can even add one or two types of nuts or whatever dry fruits you have in your kitchen. Some nuts like pinenuts, chironji, pecans can also be included.
  4. Can I soak rice grains overnight?
    Yes, of course, you can make kheer with rice that has been soaked overnight. Only the cooking time will be less.
  5. What is the proportion of rice to milk?
    The proportion of rice is 1:16 for rice and milk respectively. Using this proportion you can easily double or triple the recipe or make in more quantities.
  6. Can rice kheer be made sugar free?
    Yes, you can use sugar-free sweeteners and add them to the kheer once its done.
  7. Can I use jaggery in rice kheer?
    You can use jaggery. But add jaggery only after the rice kheer is done. Once the kheer is made, keep it on the kitchen counter for 4 to 5 minutes, till the heat reduces a bit. Then add jaggery. You can check this Bengali variation of rice pudding made with palm jaggery – Payesh Recipe.
  8. Can I use brown sugar?
    With brown sugar, also follow the same method as that for jaggery.
  9. Can I make chocolate rice kheer with this rice kheer recipe?
    You can easily make chocolate rice kheer with this recipe. Either add 1 to 2 tablespoons cocoa powder or add grated chocolate once the kheer is cooked. Use a good quality cocoa powder or couverture chocolate.
  10. Can I use condensed milk or milkmaid?
    You can use condensed milk, but then cook rice first in milk or water or half-half of both. Then add the sweetened condensed milk with some milk. If you just add condensed milk, the rice kheer will become very sweet. So mix it with some milk and then add. If using condensed milk then skip sugar.
  11. Why has rice become lumpy in rice kheer?
    If the rice grains are cooked too much or if the milk gets reduced too much or is less, then rice grains become lumpy. To fix this add some more milk in the kheer and break the lumps with a wired whisk or spatula.
  12. Can I use any other type of rice for rice kheer?
    Though basmati rice is generally preferred for making rice kheer, but you can use any other fragrant variety of rice or long grained rice too. You can even use regular variety of rice. Basically, you can make rice kheer with the ingredients you have in your kitchen.
  13. Why has milk got burnt or browned?
    When making a dish like rice kheer, where time is taken for the rice grains to cook, its always best to use a heavy thick bottomed kadai (wok) or pan. Frequent stirring of rice grains when the milk is simmering ensures that the milk does not get burnt from the bottom. Also, cook the rice kheer on a low to medium-low heat.

More Indian Sweets

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rice kheer recipe

Kheer Recipe | Rice Kheer

4.82 from 59 votes
Rice kheer recipe is a popular Indian sweet dessert made with basmati rice, whole milk, nuts and saffron. It is easy to make and is made with a one pan or one pot method. Rice kheer is basically Indian rice pudding and makes for a creamy delicious pudding. 
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Cuisine North Indian
Course: Desserts, Sweets
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings 5
Units

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup basmati rice
  • 1 litre whole milk – 4 cups
  • 6 tablespoons sugar or add as required
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder or 5 to 6 green cardamoms powdered in mortar-pestle(choti elaichi powder)
  • 1 pinch saffron strands or 14 to 16 saffron strands
  • 1 tablespoon chopped or sliced almonds or blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped or sliced cashews
  • 1 tablespoon chopped or sliced unsalted pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins

Instructions

Preparation

  • Rinse ¼ cup basmati rice a couple of times till the water runs clear of the starch.
  • Then soak the rice in enough water for 15 to 20 mins.
  • Blanching almonds – heat water in a small pan or pot. When the water comes to a boil then switch off the flame and then add 10 to 12 almonds to it. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes. Then peel and slice almonds. This is an optional step. 

Cooking rice

  • Meanwhile, when the rice grains are soaking, take whole or full fat milk in a heavy wide pan or saucepan or kadai.
  • Keep the pan on a low to medium-low heat. Stir at intervals so that the milk does not stick at the bottom of the pan.
  • Let the milk come to a boil.
  • Take 1 tablespoon milk from the pan in a small bowl. Let the milk become warm. Then add a few saffron strands in the milk. Keep aside.
  • After the milk begins to boil, drain all the water from the rice and add it to the hot boiling milk. mix very well.
  • Simmer and cook rice on a low heat. No need to cover the pan when the rice is cooking.
  • Cook the rice grains till they are 50% done or half-cooked.
  • Then add sugar. You can add more or less sugar according to your preferences. Mix the sugar in the milk with a spoon.
  • Continue to cook rice on a low to medium-low heat. Do stir at intervals. Simmer till the rice is almost cooked.

Flavoring the rice kheer

  • Then add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder. Add blanched and peeled sliced almonds and chopped cashews and sliced pistachios. Mix well.
  • Then add the saffron infused milk.
  • Again mix and continue to cook on a low flame till the rice kheer thickens and the rice grains have completely cooked.
  • Switch off the heat when the rice grains are completely cooked. The kheer will also thicken. On cooling rice kheer thickens more. Scrape milk solids from sides and add to kheer.
  • Lastly add 1 tablespoon golden raisins. At this step you can add 1 tablespoons rose water or kewra water to the kheer.
  • Pour the kheer in individual serving bowls. You can serve the rice kheer, hot or warm or chilled. Refrigerate leftover rice kheer in a closed container and eat it in 1 to 2 says.
  • You can enjoy it cold or warm it before serving. If the kheer has become very thick then add a splash of milk and reheat it until warm.

Video

Notes

  • 1 tablespoon rose water can also be added to the rice kheer.
  • Preferably use basmati rice for that fragrant aroma. If you don’t have basmati rice then use any fragrant rice variety or long-grained rice or your regular rice.
  • You can also blanch almonds in a microwave. In a microwave safe bowl, take the almonds and cover it with water. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes. You can omit to blanch the almonds if you want.
  • Amount of dry fruits, nuts and sugar can be adjusted as per your taste.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Kheer Recipe | Rice Kheer
Amount Per Serving (1 small bowl)
Calories 140 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 90mg3%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Calcium 11mg1%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 3µg1%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 18mg5%
Phosphorus 49mg5%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Rice Kheer recipe post from the blog archives (first published in October 2013) has been updated and republished on 4th July 2021.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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132 Comments

  1. Thanks so much Dassana. This came out wonderfully. I appreciate the added tips for how one can customize the final flavoring, and really love this with the rose water added. I didn’t have full fat milk so I used 50/50 blend of 1% milk and coconut milk. Still super creamy.5 stars

    1. thank you jen. glad that the tips for customizing the flavorings helped. with rose water, the aroma is too good. the starches in the rice help in thickening and making the kheer get a creamy consistency. so low-fat milk or skimmed milk can be replaced with. thank for the rating too.

  2. Hi Dassana
    First of all thank you so much for sharing the wonderful receipes, I just have one request please share few receipes in instant pot as well specially kheer. I have heard that cooking kheer in instant pot is easier than traditional ethod, got few receipes of the same but just want to try your version of kheer in instant pot.
    Thanks in advance

    1. hi shravya, firstly thank you. i will be adding instant pot recipes in some days. i got an instant pot a month back and cook everyday food in it – from dal-rice to biryani to dal-makhani to steaming vegetables and more. i will share basic recipes first like cooking rice etc. then move on to proper recipes like rice kheer or pulao etc.

  3. Hi dear dassana

    Your recipies are life saviour when one is beginner in cooking ..The way you have explained them is jus amazing and so easy to follow. Made kheer for the first time and it turned out to be super tasty ..thanx for such a effort ☺️

    1. hi himani, thanks a lot. i am glad that the explanation of the recipe is easy to follow and understand. most welcome and happy cooking.

  4. Hi dassana

    Thank you so much for Ur brilliant recipes. I just wanted to know one thing I soaked the rice overnight. Is that okay??5 stars

    1. welcome chitra and thanks. yes of course, you can make kheer with rice that has been soaked overnight. only the cooking time will be less ????

      1. Hi dassana
        Di, In ingredients list, ratio of rice and milk is 1:16 respectively but in written instructions before starting the recepie you have told the ratio 1:4. Please clarify it.

        1. thank you seema. my bad, i calculated wrongly. it is indeed 1:16. i will update in the post. thanks again.

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