Kheer recipe – Rice kheer is a one pot traditional Indian sweet dessert made for festivals & celebrations. Chawal ki kheer or rice kheer is a traditional rice pudding made for most occasions in Indian homes. Kheer and payasam are the terms used interchangeably and both are derived from the sanskrit terms “ksheer” & “payasa” both meaning milk. Rice kheer is made with full fat milk, rice, sugar and cardamom powder.
Though there are many kinds of kheer, the one made with rice is most common one. This is similar to the rice payasam made with jaggery in the south.
We make kheer at home during festive occasions. Most times with jaggery and sometimes with sugar.
To make rice kheer, many people prefer basmati rice since it makes the dish very flavorful. The rich, creamy and delicious taste comes from simmering the milk on a low heat for some time.
If you are new to Indian cuisine, these FAQ may help you.
What is kheer?
Kheer is a traditional Indian dessert made using milk, rice and a sweetener. Instead of rice it can also be made with other ingredients like vermicelli, sago and even with carrots. But rice kheer is the traditional one.
Kheer is made by simmering rice in full fat milk until it is cooked. Then it is sweetened and flavored with cardamom powder. It is garnished with nuts and raisins.
Which rice is used?
Most commonly basmati rice is used to make kheer as it lends a fragrant & delicious aroma. However in different regions of India, different kinds of rice are used which are grown locally.
So feel free to use any normal rice if you do not have basmati rice.
Stovetop rice kheer
1. Keep your ingredients ready. We will need about 4 cups or 1 liter of full fat milk. 1/3 to ½ cup of sugar, ¼ tsp cardamom powder, ¼ cup basmathi rice, you can also use any other rice. Nuts as desired. You can also use sweet raisins.
2. Wash and soak rice for about 30 mins. This helps to cook the rice quickly. Drain and set aside.
3. While the rice soaks, you can blanch the nuts in hot water and peel off the skin. Chop them and set aside. OR Alternately, you can just use some roasted cashews and skip blanching nuts.
How to make kheer
4. Pour 1/4 cup water or grease a heavy bottom pot. This helps the kheer from getting scorched at the bottom. Then add milk and bring it to a boil on a medium flame.
5. When it turns hot or comes to a boil. Add drained rice.
6. Keep stirring often to prevent burning. Keep the flame on low to medium.
7. Cook until rice is soft and slightly mushy. You can mash it with a spoon and check.
8. Add Sugar. You can add more or less to suit your taste.
9. Lower the flame and cook until the kheer thickens. You will have to scrape the sides and stir often.
10. Add nuts and cardamom powder. Stir and cook for 5 mins. If adding raisins just do it towards the end. Do not cook after adding them.
11. When it reaches a thick but of runny consistency switch off the stove. It thickens upon cooling down.
Garnish rice kheer with nuts before serving.
Can I use jaggery to make kheer recipe?
Yes kheer can be made with jaggery. There are 2 ways to add jaggery. The first method is to bring down the temperature of the kheer first and then add 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. Then stir in the grated jaggery. Do not cook further as jaggery curdles the milk.
Kheer recipe | How to make rice kheer
Ingredients (1 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)
- 6 to 8 tablespoons organic sugar (6 tbsps for moderate sweetness)
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder or elaichi (about 2 to 3 pods)
- 10 cashews or blanched almonds chopped
- 10 pistachios chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoon sweet raisins (optional)
- 1 tablespoon ghee optional for frying nuts
- 1 pinch saffron or 1 tsp edible rose water
How to make the recipe
- Wash rice a few times & drain completely.
- Chop the nuts & set aside.
How to make rice kheer
- Pour ¼ cup water to a large heavy bottom pot. This prevents kheer from getting scorched at the bottom.
- Then pour milk & bring to a boil.
- Keep stirring the milk often to prevent the fats getting stuck to the bottom.
- Add drained rice and begin to cook on a medium flame until the rice is soft, completely cooked and lightly mushy.
- Keep stirring often to prevent the milk getting scorched at the bottom.
- Stir in the sugar and continue to cook until the rice kheer turns thick.
- Keep stirring often in between to prevent burning.
- Add cardamom powder, rose water and nuts. Stir and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn off when the rice kheer reaches a desired consistency, slightly runny.
- Kheer thickens once it cools down. Garnish rice kheer with more nuts and serve.
- Optional – Most people don't like ghee in their kheer. You can also skip this. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a small pan and fry the cashews until golden.
- Then add raisins and stir until they turn plump. Remove them and set aside.
Instant pot kheer
- Press the saute button.
- Optional – add 1 tablespoon ghee or butter to the inner pot of the Instant pot. Fry the cashews until light golden. Then add raisins and fry for 30 seconds. Remove to a plate.
- Pour ¼ cup water to avoid burning and then pour milk.
- Then add rice & sugar to the inner pot of Instant pot.
- Mix all of them together. Secure the lid of the instant pot.
- Position the steam release handle to sealing. Next 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 add cardamom powder & rose water. Stir well.
- Rice kheer will be runny at this stage. Give a good stir.
- For a thicker consistency you 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.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- Nuts: Some people prefer to blanch the nuts & use. You can just skip frying the nuts & blanch them instead. Here is how to do it the blanching.
Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Then add nuts and soak for about 10 mins. Peel off the skin and pat dry. Chop them as desired. Alternately, you can just use some dry roasted cashews.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.