How to Make Rice Kheer, the Indian Rice Pudding You Need in Your Life

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Learn how to make the most delicious kheer in an Instant Pot. It's a dump-and-stir recipe with just one step!

When you want a quick, decadent treat, there is nothing like this Indian rice pudding. This recipe for kheer has all the right elements in all the right proportions: not too thick, not too thin, not too sweet. It’s perfect!

What Is Kheer?

Kheer is an Indian dessert typically made by boiling milk, sugar and nuts along with rice. Sound familiar? It’s one dessert that has many versions around the world. Every culture has its own take on this classic, and for good reason: It’s delicious.

This versatile dessert that can be served hot or cold. Although there are different types of kheer recipes in India—like payasam made with lentils, semolina kheer, vermicelli kheer, apple kheer, tapioca kheer, almond kheer and even carrot kheer—the most popular kheer is made with rice and milk.

What Is Kheer Made With?

You don’t need any fancy ingredients to make kheer. The basic recipe has just three ingredients: rice, milk and sugar.

However, to make a good kheer, it needs to have the perfect texture and aroma!

We use basmati rice for a creamy texture. To thicken the kheer, we like to use a combination of milk and condensed milk. Then, flavor the kheer with green cardamom powder, rose water or saffron. For a garnish, use nuts like almonds or pistachios, dried rose petals, more cardamom powder or even  saffron. (Pistachios also make a good topping for kulfi.)

Most of these ingredients are readily available at Indian grocery stores and specialty spice shops like The Spice House. You can also order them on sites like Amazon.

Kheer Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati or long grain white rice, washed and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk
  • 5 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder

For the garnish, use a handful of sliced almonds and chopped pistachios, a pinch of cardamom powder and dried rose petals.

Tools You’ll Need

Directions

Step 1: Combine the ingredients

How to make kheer, the Indian rice pudding in Instant PotAnvita Bhatnagar Mistry for Taste of Home

Heat the inner pot of an Instant Pot using the saute function. Add all the ingredients for kheer into the pot, starting with water, followed by unsweetened condensed or evaporated milk, milk, nuts, cardamom powder and sugar.

Step 2: Cook the kheer

Close the lid and seal the vent. Use the porridge mode for 20 minutes followed by a natural pressure release.

Once the kheer is cooked, open the lid and give the contents a stir.

You can adjust the consistency and sweetness of the kheer to your taste. If it’s too thick, gradually add milk to thin it out. If adding more milk, use the saute function again for about 5 minutes. If you like your kheer sweeter, add more sugar and mix well.

Step 3: Garnish

How to make Kheer made in Instant PotAnvita Bhatnagar Mistry for Taste of Home

Serve the kheer warm or cold—whichever you prefer! Garnish with chopped or sliced nuts and cardamom powder or rose petals just before serving. It’s an excellent dessert after an Indian meal of dishes like red lentil dal, chicken tikka masala and homemade naan.

How to Store Kheer

Once the kheer has come to room temperature, store it in an airtight container. You can refrigerate it for up to 4 to 5 days.

How to Make This Recipe Your Own

How to make kheer Indian Rice Pudding Kheer in a bowlAnvita Bhatnagar Mistry for Taste of Home

  • Instead of using cardamom powder and rose petals to flavor the kheer, try adding cinnamon powder, nutmeg, kewra essence or even rose water.
  • You can soak about 5 to 6 strands of saffron in 1/4 cup of warm milk and add it to the kheer to give it a beautiful color and aroma.
  • Add chopped nuts like almonds or pistachios to give the kheer a lovely texture. You could also add raisins to the kheer while pressure-cooking.

How to Make Kheer Vegan

To make this kheer vegan, skip the dairy milk and replace it with coconut or almond milk. However, this will affect the texture of the kheer and make it looser.

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Anvita Bhatnagar Mistry
Anvita is a co-founder, author, photographer and cook for the food blog TheBellyRulesTheMind.net. Her food philosophy is, you are what you eat, so eat healthy to whatever extent possible. Having lived in India, Australia, the United States and now Germany, Anvita has had the opportunity to appreciate food from different continents and build a diverse palate. She loves to travel and is currently exploring the food scene in Europe with her husband and son. For Anvita, comfort food is Indian food, as it takes her back to her roots.