Rice Kheer: A Dessert for All Occasions

Rice Kheer is a popular Indian dessert that brings joy to many. It’s a creamy and sweet rice pudding flavored with cardamom and saffron. People love it for festivals, gatherings, or just as a simple treat.

The main ingredients are rice, milk, sugar, and spices. Some versions use condensed milk or coconut milk for richness. It’s easy to make and comes in various delicious styles.

This article explores the history and joy of enjoying this delightful Indian dessert—a symbol of sweetness and togetherness. In this article, we’ll explore the history and joy of savoring a bowl of this delightful rice-based dessert.

 A bowl of Rice Kheer garnished with almonds and pistachios
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History and Tradition of Kheer

Rice Kheer has a long history that dates back to ancient India. It is believed to have been introduced during the Mughal era and has since become an integral part of Indian cuisine. Originally, it was prepared as an offering during religious ceremonies and festivals, symbolizing prosperity and good fortune. Over time, the recipe has evolved and adapted to regional preferences, leading to various versions of this beloved dessert.

Other rice recipes are:

Rice Kheer: A Dessert for All Occasions

Recipe by Surayya JabinCourse: Dairy, Desi Foods, Desserts, Food Blogs, Indian Food, RiceCuisine: Pakistani, IndianDifficulty: Easy


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Cooking time




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To make Rice kheer, simmer the rice in milk until creamy (30-40 mins). Add sugar, cardamom, saffron, and nuts, and simmer until it is thick. Garnish with raisins and nuts and enjoy warm or chilled.


  • 1/2 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes

  • 2-liter full-fat milk

  • 1 cup sugar (adjust to taste)

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds

  • A pinch of saffron strands, soaked in warm milk

  • Chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios) for garnish

  • Raisins for garnish


  • In a heavy-bottomed pan or pot, bring the soaked basmati rice and milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.
  • Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer. Stir frequently to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom and the milk doesn’t scorch. Cook until the rice becomes tender and the milk reduces to a creamy consistency. This process can take around 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and continue simmering the mixture until the sugar dissolves completely. Taste and adjust the sweetness according to your preference.
  • Now, add the crushed cardamom seeds, chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, raisins, and pistachios), and saffron-soaked milk. The cardamom and saffron will add wonderful flavors and aromas to the kheer.
  • Cook for a few more minutes until the kheer thickens to your desired consistency. Keep in mind that it will thicken further as it cools.
  • Turn off the stove and let the kheer cool down a bit. Garnish with chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios) and raisins before serving
  • This garnish adds a delightful crunch and enhances the presentation, making your kheer ready to be enjoyed and savored.

Recipe Video


  • Please note that Kheer should be served after cooling down in a refrigerator.
A bowl of Rice Kheer garnished with almonds and having milk pot and almonds pot around
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 Oven Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In an oven-safe baking dish or casserole, combine the soaked basmati rice and milk.
  3. Place the dish in the preheated oven and let it bake for about 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes. The baking time may vary, so keep an eye on it. The kheer will gradually thicken and develop a rich, creamy texture.
  4. Once the rice is tender and the mixture has thickened, take the dish out of the oven.
  5. Stir in the sugar, crushed cardamom seeds, chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, raisins, and pistachios), and saffron-soaked milk.
  6. Allow the kheer to cool down a bit. As it cools, it will thicken further.
  7. Garnish the kheer with chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios) and raisins before serving.

Nutritional Values of Rice Kheer Ingredients (per given weights)

IngredientWeight (g)Calories (kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Sugars (g)Protein (g)Fat (g)
Basmati Rice50g~178~38.5~0.2~3.95~0.3
Full-Fat Milk1000ml~640~47~51~33~33
Cardamom Seeds0.25g~1~1.7~0~0.025~0.017
Saffron Strands0.1g~1~0.65~0.004~0.0059~0.0059
Rice Kheer bowl garnished with almonds and having almonds bowls around
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Please note that the values are approximate and based on the provided weights of each ingredient. The nutritional content may vary depending on the specific brands and variations of the ingredients used in the Rice Kheer recipe.

Serving suggestions

Here are some serving suggestions for Basmati rice kheer:

1. Warm Bowl of Kheer:

Serve the Basmati rice kheer warm in individual bowls. Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of chopped nuts and a few raisins on top for added texture and visual appeal.

2. Chilled Dessert:

You can also serve the kheer chilled, especially during hot weather, or as a refreshing dessert after a meal. Simply refrigerate the kheer for a few hours before serving.

3. Festive Treat:

Basmati rice kheer is a popular dessert during festivals and special occasions. Serve it as a sweet treat during Diwali, Eid, Holi, or any other celebrations.

4. Accompanied by Indian Sweets:

Pair the kheer with traditional Indian sweets like gulab jamun, jalebi, or rasgulla for a delightful combination of flavors and textures.

5. Family Gatherings:

Make a large batch of kheer for family gatherings and get-togethers. It’s a crowd-pleasing dessert loved by people of all ages.

6. Dinner Parties:

Impress your guests with a sophisticated dessert presentation. Serve the kheer in elegant dessert bowls or shot glasses for an upscale touch.

7. Breakfast Indulgence:

Enjoy leftover kheer as a decadent breakfast treat. The creamy and rich flavors make it a delightful morning indulgence.

8. Kids’ Favorite:

Children love the sweet and creamy taste of Kheer. Serve it to kids as a special dessert or even as a treat in their lunchboxes.

9. Garnish Variations:

Experiment with different garnishes to enhance the kheer’s appeal. Try adding a few strands of saffron or a sprinkle of edible rose petals for a touch of elegance.

10. Accompaniment for Indian Meals:

Serve the kheer as a sweet ending to a traditional Indian meal. It complements dishes like biryani, pulao, or any spicy curry.

Remember to adjust the sweetness according to your taste preferences. Basmati rice kheer is a versatile and delicious dessert that can be enjoyed on various occasions and with different meal settings. Enjoy!

A glass bowl with Rice Kheer garnished with almonds and pistachios.
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FAQS about Kheer

1. What is Rice Kheer?

Rice Kheer is a traditional Indian dessert, often referred to as rice pudding. It is a creamy and sweet dish made with rice, milk, and sugar, and flavored with cardamom and saffron.

2. How is Rice Kheer prepared?

To make Rice Kheer, rice is cooked in milk until it becomes soft and creamy. Sugar is added for sweetness, and cardamom and saffron are used to infuse delightful flavors. It is then garnished with nuts like almonds, pistachios, or cashews for added texture and taste.

3. Can I use other types of rice for making Rice Kheer?

Yes, you can use different types of rice, but some varieties work better than others. Basmati rice is commonly used for its fragrance and texture. However, other short-grain or medium-grain rice varieties can also be used.

4. Is Rice Kheer gluten-free?

Yes, Rice Kheer is gluten-free since it is made primarily from rice, milk, sugar, and spices. Just ensure that any additional ingredients or flavorings you use are also gluten-free.

5. Can I make Rice Kheer ahead of time?

Absolutely! Rice Kheer can be made in advance and refrigerated. However, it tends to thicken as it cools, so you may need to add some milk or water when reheating to achieve the desired consistency.

6. Are there any vegan alternatives to make Rice Kheer?

Yes, you can make a vegan version of Rice Kheer by using plant-based milk such as almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk. Replace the dairy milk with your preferred non-dairy alternative and follow the same recipe.

7. What are some popular variations of Rice Kheer?

While the classic version is a favorite, there are several exciting variations. Some people like to add condensed milk or evaporated milk for extra richness. Others experiment with fruits like mango or pineapple to give it a fruity twist.

8. Is Rice Kheer served hot or cold?

Rice Kheer can be served either hot or cold, depending on personal preference. Some people enjoy it warm, right after cooking, while others prefer it chilled from the refrigerator.

9. How long does Rice Kheer last in the fridge?

When stored in an airtight container, Rice Kheer can last for about 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to reheat it thoroughly before consuming it.

10. Can I freeze Rice Kheer for later use?

While it is possible to freeze Rice Kheer, the texture may change slightly upon thawing. It is best to consume it fresh or within a few days of preparation for the best taste and consistency.

A clay bowl having Rice Kheer garnished with almonds, pistachios and Saffron
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Rice Kheer has transcended generations, connecting people through its delicious taste and cultural significance. Whether you serve it warm or chilled, this timeless Indian dessert will surely win hearts and leave a lasting impression. So, the next time you’re in the mood for something sweet and comforting, whip up a batch of Rice Kheer and treat yourself to the delightful flavors of tradition and love.

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