This Indian rice pudding recipe is made with Basmati rice, almond milk, cardamom powder, and sweetener. Also known as Kheer, this sweet Indian dessert is easy to make, creamy, and delicious.
I would be the first to admit that I’ve never been one with a sweet tooth. Growing up, I always opted for the salty savory foods (read: chips, bread, pasta. The one day of that year that my sweet tooth would magically pop up is on birthdays. As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown to love treats that are lightly sweetened. This Indian rice pudding is one of them.
What is Indian Rice Pudding?
Indian rice pudding, also known as Kheer (pronounced just the way it’s spelled) originated from the Indian subcontinent. Traditionally, kheer is served during religious holidays and other festive occasions in India.
Kheer is made by bringing milk and sugar to a boil and adding either rice or vermicelli to it. It’s flavored with Indian spices, such as cardamom and saffron, along with raisins, cashews, almonds, or pistachios. It takes about 30 minutes to make and is served at the end of a meal as a dessert.
How to Make Indian Rice Pudding
The main ingredients in rice pudding are:
- Milk – for this recipe, I’m using almond milk instead
- Rice – Basmati rice is perfect for this recipe. But you can also use Jasmine rice if you don’t have Basmati rice on hand
- Cardamom Powder – this adds flavor
- Saffron – this adds a delicious flavor and adds a little color. If you don’t have this ingredient, feel free to skip it. It will still taste great!
- Sweetener – while I used coconut sugar for this recipe, you could also use maple syrup. If you’re not a fan of either, use cane sugar.
- Additional ingredients to add more flavor, including raisins, slivered almonds, pistachios, or any other nut.
Once you have all of the ingredients, it’s time to make the rice pudding.
- Soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes (or overnight). Once it’s done soaking, rinse the rice in water until it runs clear.
- In a medium saucepan, add milk, cardamom powder, and coconut sugar. On medium-high, bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add Basmati rice.
- Simmer until the milk starts to thicken and the rice is tender, stirring frequently. Cook for about 15-20 minutes until the milk reduces to half its original volume.
- Turn off the heat and let the kheer cool down for a few minutes and thicken. Add additional toppings and serve immediately or store for later.
Is Kheer Served Hot or Cold?
You can either enjoy it warm or cold! If you want to enjoy it right after you make it, serve it warm. If you want to wait until the next day, either reheat it or serve it cold. It also depends on the weather — cold kheer is served more often during the summer while warmer kheer is served in the winter.
Storing Indian Rice Pudding for Later
If you’re going to save the kheer for later, let it cool down completely and then store it in an air-tight glass container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, either serve it cold or warm it up in a small saucepan.
More Indian Recipes to Love
- Ayurvedic Healing Kitchari
- Cauliflower Tikka Masala
- Easy Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)
- Aloo Tikki
- Turmeric Latte
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If you love Indian sweets, you will absolutely love this healthy remake of a traditional dish. If you haven’t really experimented with Indian desserts, this vegan Indian rice pudding (called Kheer) dish will delight your taste buds.
- 4 cups almond milk
- 1/4 cup Basmati rice
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- A few strands of saffron (optional)
- slivered almonds
- toasted sesame seeds
- Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. Rinse well in water.
- In a medium saucepan, add milk, cardamom powder, and coconut sugar. On medium-high, bring to a gentle boil.
- Immediately reduce the heat to medium and add Basmati rice.
- Simmer until the milk starts to thicken and the rice is tender, stirring frequently. Cook for about 15-20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the kheer cool down for a few minutes and thicken.
- Serve immediately.
Keywords: kheer, vegan kheer, vegan indian kheer, rice pudding