Make Ahead

Kheer - Indian Rice Pudding

February 23, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Kheer, if you want to get boring, is a form of rice pudding. But get a little adventurous and it can be so much more. The variations of flavors are endless – cardamom, nutmeg, saffron, cinnamon, rosewater, raisins, almonds, pistachios. Even the forms of kheer vary – it can be made with rice, vermicelli, semolina... It is believed that phirni, from which kheer is derived, originated in Persia (it means 'the food of angels'), from where it was brought to India by the Mughals. Depending on which part of India you’re in, you’ll encounter a different version but with one common denominator – they’re all delicious. —Heena

What You'll Need
  • 4 tablespoons Basmati rice
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • Flavoring: a pinch of saffron or 1 teaspoon rose water or 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup slivered pistachios (or cashews/almonds)
  1. Soak the rice in warm water for 30 mins. Drain the rice and grind coarsely using a mortar-and-pestle. (You can leave also leave the rice whole or grind using a processor.)
  2. Pour the milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds with a knife into the milk. Add the vanilla bean too. Bring the milk to a gentle boil. Take it off the heat and let steep for 30 mins. (If you don't want to use a vanilla bean, you can skip this step entirely.)
  3. If using the saffron, soak the strands in 1 tablespoon of the warm milk.
  4. Remove the vanilla bean and bring the milk back to a boil. Add drained rice and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally to ensure no lumps form. Continue until the rice is cooked. and the mixture reduces to one-third of the original volume. (Or reduces to the consistency you prefer. It takes 25-30 mins to reach the consistency I like; also remember, it will continue to thicken as it cools)
  5. Add the sugar and mix well, cooking just until it dissolves.
  6. Stir in the saffron milk/rose water/spices. Serve warm or chilled as you prefer garnished with the nuts.
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  • Heena
  • Keeli
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    Cuoca Marchisio

4 Reviews

Keeli October 10, 2015
How much sugar?
JustOneBite February 22, 2015
Only 4 Tablespoons of rice? That will soak up 5 cups of milk?
Cuoca M. February 23, 2011
looks great! Is the rosewater very overwhelming w/ 2 whole tsp?
Heena February 24, 2011
That was a typo - edited now. Thanks for the catch!