Rice Kheer or Rice Pudding

There is something extremely comforting about “kheer”.., may be because, its one sweet dish, that reminds us of childhood and growing up.  Everytime I have a sweet craving and can’t really think of anything to make.., I simmer a pot of milk and carry on to make kheer. This time I loaded up the kheer with dry fruits to make it extra rich.

Kheer or Rice Pudding, is a dessert everyone from India everyone is familiar with – From North to South and East to West and this is one dessert, which need no occasion and the best part about kheer that makes it such an endearing sweet dish is, almost anyone can make it, and second, you can make a kheer out of most of the fruits and grains – from the famous apple kheer to bottle gourd to jack fruit and even almond that is usually used as a garnish.

Rice Kheer, Rice Pudding
Rice Kheer

The first mention of rice kheer, was derived from the Sanskrit word kshirika (meaning a dish prepared with milk), is found in the fourteenth century, not as a rice pudding but a sweet preparation of jowar and milk.

Rice Kheer, Rice Pudding
Rice Kheer

Rice was said to be a part of all religious function during the Chola dynasty that upheld rice for its life-sustaining qualities. The records of Jagannath Puri talks about how the kheer was tweaked further to create the famous kheer prasad. The Odia version of rice kheer, originated in the city of Puri, in Odisha about 2,000 years ago. It is cooked to this day within the Jagannath temple precincts there. Every single day, hundreds of temple cooks work around 752 hearths in what is supposed to be the world’s largest kitchen to cook over 100 different dishes, including kheer, enough to feed at least 10,000 people.

Here are some more authentic dishes from the Eastern region of India:

Patishapta with Rabdi (Coconut Crepes Topped with Cardamom Cream Milk)

Manda Pitha (Rice Dumplings with Coconut Filling)

Khira Gaintha/ Kheer Puli (Milky Rice Dumplings)

Rice Kheer, Rice Pudding
Rice Kheer

Unlike the West where nutmeg became a later addition to flavor the kheer, the Indian version always had the use of spice – prominently cinnamon or cardamom.

Enough history. Let’s get to the recipe 🙂

Rice Kheer, Rice Pudding
Rice Kheer

Here is my version of Kheer:

Rice Kheer, Rice Pudding
Rice Kheer


  • 1 litre or, 2 pints whole milk
  • 2 tbsp long-grain rice, such as basmati – soaked for 30 mins and then crushed
  • 2 whole green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup almonds – soaked, blanched and sliced
  • 1/2 cup cashews- toasted
  • Few more almonds and cashews for garnishing


  • Bring milk to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to half.
  • Add sugar , cardamom, crushed rice and simmer the mixture until it reaches one-fourth of it’s original volume, and is thick and creamy.
  • Mix in the almonds and cashews
  • Serve garnished with the toasted nuts and silver leaf

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39 thoughts on “Rice Kheer or Rice Pudding

  1. I love rice pudding. Funny story – I’m staying with my cousin for a little while, and we decided to make rice pudding a week or so ago. About halfway through the cooking process we heard a loud noise in the kitchen, but we couldnt figure out what it was – until we went to pull it out of the oven. the glass dish we had it in had literally exploded and we had rice pudding all over the inside of the oven!


  2. I love rice pudding, definitely a reminder of my childhood. Never thought of adding something else to it. Will have to give that try.


  3. Kheer is indeed one of the most loved desserts in India. Also, it’s the most common dessert one will get in anyone’s home. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing.


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