kheer recipe

Kheer Recipe

Updated: November 1, 2022, By Swasthi, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Kheer, especially Rice Kheer is everyone’s favorite Indian dessert! Simply delicious, comforting, creamy and rich, this Rice Kheer makes for a perfect dessert anytime you crave for something sweet. This North Indian Rice Pudding is easy to make & needs only a handful of basic ingredients. In this post I show you How to Make Rice Kheer on the stovetop in a pot and in the instant pot, with my easy step by step photo guide.

kheer recipe - rice kheer served in a bowl garnished with nuts

About Kheer

Kheer is a popular dessert from the Indian sub-continent, made primarily with rice, milk and sugar. The word “Kheer” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Skheer” meaning milk. So milk being the main ingredient in a kheer recipe, many variations can be made by using vermicelli, sago (tapioca pearls), lentils or vegetables like pumpkin and carrots.

What is Rice Kheer?

Rice Kheer is a traditional North Indian rice pudding made with basmati rice, sugar, full fat milk and cardamoms. Sometimes it is also flavored and spiced with clove, saffron, nutmeg, kewra or rose water.

This Rice Kheer is made across India and the popular variations of include the South Indian Rice Payasam & Bengali Payesh. The South Indian version uses short grain rice, ghee and jaggery, While the Bengali Payesh is made with Gobindobhog rice & date palm jaggery.

Kheer is a quintessential Indian dessert made for festivals and celebrations. But you really don’t need an excuse to make this! It can be eaten as a breakfast, after meal dessert or just when the mood strikes for something sweet!

Rice kheer is garnished with nuts and raisins. Various nuts like cashews, almonds and pistachios can be used. Apart from enhancing the nutrition profile of the dish, nuts also make for a delicious and crunchy toppings.

Staying true to the authentic version, I have not used any condensed milk, evaporated milk, milk powder or khoya in the recipe I have shared in this post. But there are also quick versions of rice kheer using them which are really handy when you are in a rush. Do check the faq section below to know more on that.

Here are some basic questions answered to get you started with making kheer.

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Which Rice is best for Kheer?

Basmati rice is widely used in North Indian cuisine so you will find a lot of people use basmati rice for making kheer as it imparts a fragrant and delicious aroma. However in different regions of India, different kinds of rice is used which is grown locally.

So feel free to use any normal starchy rice if you do not have basmati rice. But make sure you use starchy rice, else your kheer won’t thicken even after cooking for long.

Which Milk is best for Rice Kheer?

Use full fat (whole milk) to make the authentic, delicious and creamy version of kheer. If you are a vegan you may use coconut or almond milk as well.

Ratio of Rice:Milk

Traditionally made Kheer & Payasam has a predefined rice:milk ratio and this is what most people follow. ¼ cup rice for every 4 cups (1 liter) full fat milk. Remember this is a special dish so it does require so much milk.

Kheer recipe made with rice, milk, sugar and cardamoms

How to Make Kheer (Stepwise photos)

1. To make rice kheer, you will need the following:

  • 4 cups or 1 liter of full fat milk
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons organic sugar (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cardamom powder (2 to 3 cardamom pods)
  • ¼ cup basmati rice, you can also use any other starchy rice.
  • 10 cashews or 10 blanched almonds sliced or silvered almonds as desired. You can also use 2 tablespoons sweet raisins if you want.
  • 10 unsalted pistachios (sliced/ roughly chopped or blanched & sliced)
  • 1 pinch saffron or 1 teaspoon rose water or kewra (optional)
gather the ingredients needed

2. Wash rice well at least thrice and drain. If you want you may also soak it until the milk is ready and hot. Pour ¼ cup water or grease a heavy bottom pot/ Dutch oven. This helps the kheer from getting scorched at the bottom. Pour milk and bring it to a boil on a medium flame.

heat milk in a heavy bottom pot or kadai

3. When it turns hot or comes to a boil, stir in the drained rice.

addition of rice to make rice kheer

4. Cook on a medium to low heat until the rice is soft, completely cooked and slightly mushy. During this process, keep stirring often at the bottom (every 3 to 4 minutes) to prevent scorching the milk. Using a spatula, remove the milk solids from the sides and add back to the pot.

simmering rice kheer in a kadai

5. To check if your rice grains are cooked, mash a few grains with a spoon. They should get mashed easily.

soft cooked rice to make kheer

Add Sugar

6. Add 4 to 6 tablespoons sugar. You can add more or less to suit your taste. If using refined sugar use lesser as it tastes more sweet than the organic sugar.

adding sugar to cooked rice for kheer

7. Lower the flame and cook till the sugar dissolves completely and the rice kheer turns thicken. At this stage you can taste test and add more sugar if you want. I turn off when it is thick yet of flowy consistency as it turns thicker upon cooling.

simmering rice with milk until thick

8. Add cardamom powder, nuts, rose water (optional) and saffron (optional). Alternately, If you want you may fry the nuts in a tablespoon ghee (on low heat) until light golden, then stir in the raisins until plump. Turn off and pour over the rice kheer to garnish.

Adding nuts to the kheer

9. Make sure you turn off when the kheer reaches this consistency as it turns even more thick upon cooling.

runny consistency

Garnish rice kheer with more nuts before serving.

kheer recipe


How to make kheer with condensed milk?

Rinse and soft cook ½ cup rice with 1 cup milk and 1 cup water in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles or with 2 cups milk in a pot until rice is soft. Then pour ½ to ¾ of condensed milk tin (14 OZ/ 397 grams tin). Add cardamom powder and simmer for a few minutes. You may add more milk for a runny consistency.

How do you thicken kheer?

Simmer kheer for a little longer to thicken it. Rice is full of starch so as you cook the starch releases from the rice and kheer thickens further. If you happen to add a lot of liquid by mistake, you can still follow the same step. Your kheer will taste more delicious when milk reduces. You can also add some almond meal or rice flour slurry as a quick fix.

How long can you keep kheer in the fridge?

Rice kheer keeps good in the refrigerator for 2 days. Cool the kheer completely & refrigerate. You can reheat on a stove top on a low to medium heat. To reheat in instant pot, pressure cook for 0 to 1 minutes depending on how cold it is. You can also do it in traditional pressure cooker by pressure cooking until you hear 1 whistle.

Is there a substitute for basmati rice?

You can use any kind of rice. Sona masuri, kolam rice, Thai fragrant rice/ jasmine, gobindobhog rice or any other you have.

Can I use brown rice?

Yes you can use brown rice. There are many kinds of brown rice. If you are using brown rice that has a lot of bran then simply soak it for at least 3 hours to overnight. This helps in cooking the brown rice faster without altering the flavors.

Can I substitute sugar with an artificial sweetener?

Yes feel free to substitute sugar with an artificial sweetener but use it as per the instructions on the pack. Start with a smaller quantity as 1:1 substitutions won’t always work.

Can I use jaggery to make kheer recipe?

Yes kheer can be made with jaggery. However kheer can split if you add jiggery to hot kheer. So the first method is to bring down the temperature of the kheer by cooling it for about 5 minutes and then stir the powdered jaggery.

The second method is to make a jaggery syrup first, filter to remove impurities and then cool it down completely. Just stir it to the cooked milk & rice.

Kheer in Instant pot vs regular pot

Making it in a regular pot does take some time & it needs continuous stirring to prevent the milk from getting scorched at the bottom.

But making kheer in Instant pot is a breeze as all you need to do is just dump the ingredients in the pot & press the button.

I have been making it more often ever since I started to use instant pot. All I do is just put the ingredients & turn on the porridge button.

The color of the instant pot kheer would be slightly golden due to the caramelization of sugar and it is just normal.

I have also made it a couple of times with jaggery. Once the rice and milk are cooked, cook on a saute mode until it reaches the desired consistency. Remove the steel insert and let the kheer cool down a bit. Then stir in the grated jaggery. Do not cook further as jaggery curdles the milk.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

kheer recipe made with rice

Kheer Recipe, How to Make Rice Kheer

5 from 256 votes
The only ultimate rice kheer recipe you will ever need! Make this Indian rice pudding in a regular pot or instant pot, it turns out super delicious, creamy and aromatic. This makes a great dessert for any occasion. Serve warm or chilled.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Servings4 people

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 4 cups milk (for instant pot 2½ cups milk) (refer notes)
  • ¼ cup water (avoids burning)
  • ¼ cup rice (basmati or any rice)
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons organic sugar (4 tbsps for moderate sweetness)
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder (or about 2 to 3 pods)
  • 10 cashews roughly chopped or silvered almonds as needed
  • 10 pistachios roughly chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet raisins (optional)


  • 1 tablespoon ghee optional to fry nuts & raisins
  • 1 pinch saffron or 1 tsp edible rose water or kewra water



  • Wash rice a few times & drain completely.

How to Make Kheer

  • Pour water and milk to a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven. Bring it to a boil on a medium heat and stir in the rice.
  • Continue to cook on a medium to low heat, until the rice is soft, completely cooked and lightly mushy. During this step, keep stirring every 3 minutes to prevent the milk getting scorched at the bottom.
  • Stir in the sugar and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. By now, kheer becomes thicker but is yet of flowy consistency. (Note: becomes thicker upon cooling down)
  • Taste test, if you want add more sugar & simmer at this stage until rice kheer reaches a desired consistency.
  • Add cardamom powder, rose water and sliced nuts.
  • Optional: If you prefer ghee in your rice kheer, heat ghee in a small pan and fry the nuts until light golden. Stir in the raisins & fry until plump. Pour that over the kheer.

Instant pot Rice Kheer

  • Press the saute button.
  • Optional – add ghee to the inner pot of the Instant pot. Fry the cashews until light golden. Add raisins and fry for 30 seconds. Remove to a plate.
  • Pour water (to avoid burn) and milk. Stir in rice and sugar.
  • Secure the lid of the instant pot. Position the steam release handle to sealing. Press the porridge button.
  • Set the timer to 18 mins. When it is done press cancel & switch off. Wait for the pressure to release naturally.
  • When the float valve drops, open the lid and stir in cardamom powder & rose water.
  • Rice kheer will be runny at this stage. For a thicker consistency cook on saute mode for a few mins until thick. It will thicken further after cooling.
  • Transfer kheer to serving bowls & garnish with nuts & raisins. You can also chill the rice kheer and serve.


  1. Nuts: Some people prefer to blanch pistachios and almonds. You can just omit frying them & blanch them instead. Here is how to do the blanching. Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add almonds and pistachios. Soak for about 10 mins. Peel off the skin and pat dry. Chop them as desired. Alternately, you can just use some dry roasted unsalted cashews and silvered almonds.
  2. Milk for Instant pot version: This recipe can be made even with 2 cups of milk. It will taste like a normal pudding and not a rich kheer. To get the rich, creamy & authentic taste use about 2.5 to 3 cups of milk. Evaporate & thicken the excess milk on a saute mode once the pressure releases.
  3. This recipe has been tested in a 6 qts Instant Pot. You may optionally add 2 whole cardamoms & a pinch of saffron along with rice for extra flavor.
  4. Adding a bit of ghee first to the instant pot prevents the milk from getting scorched.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.


NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Kheer Recipe, How to Make Rice Kheer
Amount Per Serving
Calories 307 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 105mg5%
Potassium 420mg12%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 410IU8%
Vitamin C 0.4mg0%
Calcium 300mg30%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Rice kheer recipe first published in October 2016. Updated and republished in October 2022.

Kheer Recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Made this for a gathering with jasmine rice, everyone loved it. Very simple and easy recipe to follow

If I make this in a regular pot (not instant pot), do I need to put the lid on when cooking the rice? And another question – from the moment it boils, how much time will it take for it to be soft and ready? Thanks!

Thank you so much
For recipe
It make so tastey

5 stars
This tastes exactly like my nani’s rice kheer. Thank you for sharing. I followed the recipe and it tastes delicious.

5 stars
Thank you Swasthi for this amazing rice kheer recipe! It is my family’s favorite Indian dessert. Every time we visit an Indian restaurant we are so excited to try this. But only a few times we got to taste those rich and delicious flavors. You recipe is splendid and I think this is the best rice kheer. I don’t use any rose or saffron because cardamom is such a fantastic flavor to enjoy

5 stars
Came out delicious. I had some khoya to use up so added that. Turned out great

Hi there,
I am looking forward to make this kheer. But will I be able to use up a 12 OZ can of evaporated milk for standard milk? Please help

5 stars
Turned out delish!! Made this for New year and really love it. Thank you so much for your wonderful and authentic Indian recipes! Everything I have ever made from your website has been amazing…

5 stars
This is our favorite rice pudding! Turns out perfect always! I use jasmine rice and make it in the instant pot. Love the cardamom and saffron flavors. Thank you.

5 stars
Delicious recipe once again. Thanks

Hi. Do you have any recommendations on recipe amounts if I want to serve 20 people?

Per how many grams is the recipe card for? It says 307 calories but per how many grams serving?

5 stars
Thank You! Made this rice kheer for a gathering. Turned out delicious

Super delicious ?

5 stars
Perfection!!!! Thank you for sharing!

Hi there!
I’m planning to buy an IP to make this recipe however, I don’t see “porridge” option. Is there another button to select that would give me the same results?

5 stars
I love all things Indian. My husband and I have travelled to India many times and we just love Indian food, people & the culture. I attended a few cooking classes in New York & learnt basic dishes like dal, khichdi and rice kheer. Your recipes are just wonderful. I found your website a few months ago and oh my god I’m astonished at your work. Everything we have made from here are great. Tonight we have your chana masala, aloo gobi and this rice kheer for dinner. Thank you! Keep up the great work.

I haven’t tried this recipe yet, I was needing to make a larger quantity than 4 servings – do you recommend making this recipe in large batches, or multiple small batches?

5 stars
Thank you! My kheer turned out exactly like I have eaten in the restaurants. Going to make a large batch next time.

5 stars
I would like to know what would be the yield, for four servings like the weight of the kheer. Thanks!

5 stars
Now I know why my rice kheer never tasted this good. It’s all in the amount of milk. This came out delicious & I’m making it again.