Cooking with Mom: Milky-silky Rice Pudding (Kheer)

This recipe is an adaptation of my grandfather’s kheer (Indian rice pudding).  He’s an outstanding chef who ran restaurants and hotels in his hey-dey.  He doesn’t cook anymore but growing up he was my favorite cook and has mythical status in our family (and beyond).  He deserves it – the man made vegetables tasty and I remember clearly at age 12 when he came to visit, I started eating everything.  Which proves if you cook it right, the little munchkins will eat it.  There’s no resisting super tasty, well-prepared food.

Kheer – Rice Pudding
This is classic Northern Indian dessert and takes rice pudding to a new level.  You can omit the raisins and nuts if they are not appealing to the kids and also reduce the amount of condensed milk to make it less sweet.

Serves 2 adults & 2 kids

4 cups whole milk
1/8 cup long grain rice (basmati works well)
1/3 cup condensed milk
1/8 cup blanched chopped almonds or chopped pistachios (optional)
1/8 cup raisins (optional)
¼ tsp cardamom powder


1.    Heat the rice and milk in a pot till it comes to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer gently for 45-50 minutes till reduced by almost half.  This is not active cooking time but do check in from time to time and stir to make sure the milk is not “sticking” to the pan and the rice and milk remain on a gentle simmer
2.    Add the cardamom, condensed milk and nuts and raisins if using and simmer for 4-5 minutes
3.    Remove from heat and serve warm or cold from refrigerator.  We like it cold!

24 thoughts on “Cooking with Mom: Milky-silky Rice Pudding (Kheer)

  1. What a lovely memory that you have shared with us, along with what I know will be a great recipe for us ! One of Bud’s favorites is rice pudding !
    love N & B

  2. This is my husband’s favorite Indian dessert (and definitely at the top of his all-time favorites of any cuisine) but I’ve never made it for him at home, relying instead on ordering it at restaurants. Thank you so much for sharing this adaptation of your grandfather’s recipe!

  3. My grandmother was great cook too she made the best kheer ever. She used to fry rice in ghee before simmering. I simply loved it. Now as I am trying to shed some pounds this might be better.

  4. Good cooking gene runs in the family huh? 🙂

    Kheer is one of my favourite Indian desserts besides carrots halwa. I think the trick to a good kheer is to reduce the milk till it thickens – a step that I often skipped 😛 ( bad Emily, right?)

    Your version has all the elements of my perfect kheer – smooth, creamy and thick. Yum!

  5. This is completely true — if it’s cooked well and tastes good, it’ll get eaten. In other news, I bet the cardamom really adds a nice dimension to the pudding. I love rice pudding but never seem to get as thick as yours looks. I’ll have to try the condensed milk.

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