Indian rice pudding (kheer)

Celebrate Diwali with this indulgent slow-cooked Indian rice pudding. Studded with dried fruit, it has a sweetly spiced floral flavour and a lovely creaminess

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:45 mins
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 414
  • fat 24g
  • saturates 13g
  • carbs 51g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 14g
  • salt 0.4g


  • ½ tsp saffron strands
  • 2 litres whole milk
  • 20 green cardamom pods, pierced with the point of a knife
  • 100g basmati or long grain rice
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 tsp pure rosewater
  • 2 tbsp blanched almonds, shredded
  • 50g raisins, soaked in hot water


In South India, this dessert is often made with jaggery or date palm sugar and served at the harvest festival of Pongal on 14 January. In North India, the festival is called Lohri and celebrated on 13 January.


  1. Put the saffron strands in a small bowl and soak in 2-3 tbsp of warm water. Bruise the stems with the back of a teaspoon – this will help release the flavour and colour.

  2. Heat the milk with the pierced green cardamom pods in a sturdy pan. When it comes to the boiling point, scatter the rice into the milk, turn the heat to low and simmer until the rice has broken down and is really soft, about 40 mins. Stir often to prevent the rice scorching on the bottom of the pan.

  3. Add the sugar to the cooked rice and heat until dissolved. You can scoop out the cardamom pods, if you like.

  4. Stir in the cream and gradually add the rosewater and enough saffron and its soaking liquid to lightly flavour the kheer. Stir in the shredded almonds and drained raisins and serve either piping hot or chilled.

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