Indian rice pudding, or kheer, is a big deal for my Indian family.

My father, uncles, and aunts all get into extremely long and tedious arguments about how it should be made, with condensed milk or whole milk, with sugar or without, with soaked rice or unsoaked. You get the idea.

Thankfully the arguments usually take place after dinner, when we’re all sitting around drinking whiskey, which helps make these ‘discussions’ a little more bearable.

So, in order to annoy them all (sorry guys!), I’ve decided to make my own version, which will undoubtedly be critiqued at our next family gathering. Honestly, I can’t wait for that though, as obviously, it’s all done lovingly and with humor.

What is Indian rice pudding (kheer?)

Rice pudding does actually exist in France, and here it’s called riz au lait. But the way it’s made is quite different, and it’s usually made with beurre noisette (brown butter) or topped with salted butter caramel.

The Indian version of rice pudding is one that I love, because it’s full of warming spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I love to top it with crushed pistachios and rose petals, because the contrast in colors is simply breathtaking.

How can I personalize my Indian rice pudding?

Feel free to increase or reduce the amount of spices that I’ve included in the recipe, according to your preferences. You can also increase the sugar or even remove it completely, depending on if you eat sugar or not. Or you could use a natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey.

In terms of the toppings, if you don’t like crushed pistachios then you can leave them out or add whatever nuts you enjoy. Same for the rose petals: they’re more about decoration and less about the flavor.

You can also add more rose water or even sweet orange blossom water to the rice pudding if you’d like to flavor it that way. I always encourage people to make recipes work for them, instead of blindly following them and then not really being completely happy with the result. So please, customize this recipe however you’d like to!

My recipe for Indian rice pudding

Indian Rice Pudding (Kheer)

A delicious dessert, Indian rice pudding, or Kheer, is flavored with cardamom, cinnamon, and rose water.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Resting time5 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Indian, Indian rice pudding, kheer, rice pudding
Servings: 4
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Gitanjali


  • 55 g basmati rice
  • 500 ml whole fat milk
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp cashews crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or more to taste
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1/2 tsp powdered cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • rose petals to decorate
  • 1 tbsp pistachios crushed with a mortar and pestle, to decorate


  • Start by rinsing the rice in some water a couple of times, until the water runs clear. Set the rice aside in a bowl, and cover it in water to soak while you prepare the milk.
  • In a medium pot, add the whole fat milk and the coconut milk. On medium/low heat, bring to a boil.
  • Once the milk has boiled, strain the rice and then add it to the pot. Turn the heat down to low, and stir regularly.
  • After about 10 minutes, add the cardamom powder, the cinnamon, the maple syrup, the crushed cashews, and stir.
  • Continue to cook for another 20 minutes on low, stirring regularly. It's OK if it boils over a bit sometimes or if it starts to get a layer of milk fat on top. Just stir and keep cooking.
  • Once the rice has cooked for 30 minutes, it should start looking fully cooked. Add the rosewater, stir, and then turn it off and let it sit for 5 minutes before dishing it out.
  • Top with crushed pistachios and rose petals before serving.


Le kheer, ou le riz au lait Indien, est un dessert classique en Inde. Par contre, chaque famille a sa propre façon de la faire. Du coup chez ma famille il y a toujours des très grands discussions sur comment mieux faire, quoi mettre dedans, combien de temps le faire cuire, etc.

Je voulais donc vous proposer ma version a moi. Vous pouvez tout à fait la personnaliser avec les épices et les saveurs que aimez. N’hesitez pas a mettre plus ou moins d’épices que j’ai indiqué dans la recette, ou d’augmenter ou enlever le sucre. Vous pouvez aussi rajouter plus d’eau de rose ou même de la fleur d’oranger si vous aimez ça. Pour la garniture, vous pouvez concasser les fruits secs que vous aimez, et vous n’avez pas besoin de mettre les pétales de rose si vous en avez pas (c’est plus pour la déco).

La recette du Kheer


  • 55 g riz basmati
  • 500 ml lait entier
  • 250 ml lait de coco
  • 1 cas de noix de cajou, écrasées dans un mortier
  • 2 cas sirop d’érable, ou plus selon vos gouts
  • 1 cac eau de rose
  • 1/2 cac cardamom en poudre
  • 1/4 cac cannelle
  • des pétales de rose (pour decorer)
  • 1 cas pistaches, écrasées dans un mortier (pour decorer)


  • Commencer par rincer le riz dans une passoir plusieurs fois. Ensuite, mettez le riz dans un petit bol, couvrez avec de l’eau et laisser le tremper pendant que vous préparez le lait.
  • Dans une casserole, ajouter le lait entier et le lait de coco. Sur feu moyen, porter a ebullition.
  • Une fois que le lait a bouilli, débarrasser le riz de son eau en le passant dans le passoir. Ensuite, ajoutez-le a la casserole avec le lait. Baissez le feu, et laisser cuire en remuant régulièrement.
  • Au bout d’environ 10 minutes, ajouter la poudre de cardamom, la cannelle, le sirop d’erable, les noix de cajou écrasées, et melangez.
  • Continuer à le faire cuire pour encore 20 minutes, sur feu doux, en remuant regulierement.
  • Une fois que ca fait 30 minutes que le riz cuit, ca devrait être…cuit ! Ajouter l’eau de rose, melangez, eteignez le feu et laissez-le s épaissir 5 minutes dans la casserole avant de servir.
  • Garnissez avec les pétales de rose et les pistaches.

If you’re looking for more Indian recipes, be sure to check out all of my Savory recipes.

The beautiful little porcelain ramequins that I’ve served the rice pudding in are made by Berangere Ceramics. She’s a wonderful local potter who gives classes and sells her pieces online and close to Fontainebleau, France.

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