kheer recipe

Kheer Recipe

By Swasthi on November 1, 2022, 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 Pro Tips section below to know more on that.

I have a faq section below. But here are some basic questions answered to get you started with making kheer.

Related recipes
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Badam payasam
Sheer khurma
Sabudana pudding
Moong dal payasam


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. Keep your ingredients ready. We will need about 4 cups or 1 liter of full fat milk. 1/3 to 4 to 6 tablespoons sugar, ¼ tsp cardamom powder, ¼ cup basmati rice, you can also use any other starchy rice. Nuts as desired. You can also use sweet raisins.

gather the ingredients needed

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.

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.

heat milk in a heavy bottom pot or kadai

5. When it turns hot or comes to a boil. Add drained rice.

addition of rice to make rice kheer

6. Keep stirring often to prevent burning. Keep the flame on low to medium.

simmering rice kheer in a kadai

7. Cook until rice is soft and slightly mushy. You can mash it with a spoon and check.

soft cooked rice to make kheer

Add Sugar

8. Add Sugar. You can add more or less to suit your taste.

adding sugar to cooked rice for kheer

9. Lower the flame and cook until the kheer thickens. You will have to scrape the sides and stir often.

simmering rice with milk until thick

10. Add nuts and cardamom powder. Stir and cook for 5 mins. At this stage you can taste test and add more sugar if you want. If adding raisins just do it towards the end. Do not cook after adding them.

Adding nuts to the kheer

11. When it reaches a thick but of runny consistency switch off the stove. It thickens upon cooling down.

runny consistency

Garnish rice kheer with 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

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 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



  • Wash rice a few times & drain completely. Chop the nuts & set aside. 

How to Make 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. Taste test and add more sugar if you want.
  • 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 Rice 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.


  1. 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.
  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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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.

5 stars
I definitely should’ve read some of these comments first. I didn’t have whole milk I used 2% milk took longer to thicken. But it tastes great!

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

5 stars
Highly recommend this recipe, the cardamom powder is such a great addition. I’m mexican and we make a similar rice pudding (that I’ve never cared to make), but my husband is indian and asked me to try this recipe and I have to admit, this is far beyond the best type of rice pudding I’ve ever had! I’m sure I’ll be making this often. Thank you for sharing!

5 stars
Your methods are easy . anyone from other countries can easily get the ingredients without stress. Thank you. You have been very helpful.

5 stars
This is by far the best kheer I have made. Thank you

5 stars
Wow. So easy and delicious! Only thing i changed was adding an inch of whole cinnamon to the instantpot recipe. My boyfriend is indian and i am american and i can now make so many things he loves thanks to this website. Every one of the 20ish recipes ive made has been amazing

5 stars
This was delicious. I used half whole milk and half coconut milk. For the rice I used Korean sweet rice which is very sticky, it made the perfect treat. My family thoroughly enjoyed.

I always make Kheer in Slow Cooker (8 hrs on low),
add sweetened condensed milk on 7th hour.

The brownish color & amazing taste
reminds me of
the special Kheer in Terracotta Big Vessel
(cooked on slow heat of cow dung patties burning for similar time duration)
couriered on RMS from Jalandhar City to Delhi
for her son-in-law (‘s favorite)
by my maternal grandmother in 50’s.

Typical rural traditional recipe
simulated by me on Slow cooker
with exception of condensed milk sweetener.

Some reminiscing.
Thank you Swasthi Ji.
Blessings & Best Wishes

A Tip:
Chironji / Chiroli (Buchanania Lanzan) is a seed, which tastes great in sweet dishes works great in Kheer as well.

Typically, I use 1/2ed Cashews, sliced Almonds w/o skin, Chironji, finely cut Pistacio
Saffron, Raisins intermittently.

My experience with raisins, in the quantities cooked in the USA is not that grate. Because of the warmth & liquid around, they puff up & the juices start oozing from the stem whole despite adding at the last moment (you did mention, after cooling a bit).

This juice tend to separate the milk and changes the taste of the kheer with time. Particularly, when the leftover kheer from refrigerated (last time) is heated. This situation worsens.

So, I started a different method.
Every time serving, (freshly made or reheated refrigerated),
I will take few raisins, puff them in hot water and add during individual plating.

That’s the Raisins story.

5 stars
I am following your recepies and its help me to cook better. Thanks

5 stars
My mother made a similar recipe but is of German ancestry. The only difference was cinnamon instead of cardamom. Always a favorite with us. I will try cardamom next time. I always use raisins but will try nuts too.

5 stars
This is the first time I made a eggfree rice pudding. I am a non-Indian so didn’t have ghee. Used butter for frying nuts and cardamoms for flavor. Tasted great! But does it make a difference to use ghee. Thanks for the recipe.

5 stars
So glad I found this recipe. So delicious.

5 stars
Hi I use a ninja foodi instant pot and the only setting is Pressure cook . Do I do it at high or low temp for cooking it