This delicious one-pot Rice Kheer recipe comes straight from my Pakistani kitchen to yours. I’ve adapted the classic recipe that takes hours to make, to give you this foolproof recipe ready within the hour. A classic kheer (rice pudding) is made with simple ingredients like rice, sugar, and milk. The smooth texture and simple flavors of kheer make this a crowd-pleaser and a kid’s favorite!
What is Kheer?
Kheer is essentially a South Asian milk-based pudding. Rice kheer also known as chawal ki kheer (in Urdu) is made with rice. But other variations of kheer exist, like the lesser-known tapioca kheer.
Because of the simplicity of the recipe, it is popular for both, regular weekend dessert nights and for elaborate festivities like Eid, Diwali, and dinner parties. Kheer Puri is also a popular Sunday brunch option, where cold kheer is served with crispy fried puris. My mom also loves adding khara masala keema to this Sunday brunch.
The traditional stove-top Rice kheer uses only sugar, rice and milk and is simmered at low flame for hours to allow the milk to cook down and give it depth and flavor. I use sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk to achieve the same depth of flavor but in less time.
- Rice – I use regular basmati rice for kheer. Long grain and other variations don’t matter for this recipe.
- Green cardamom – I add whole pods but you can use 2 to 3 pinches of green cardamom powder instead if you want.
- Three milk sources – Full-fat milk, Sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk. (more on substitutes down below)
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities
So the basic trio of milk, rice, and sugar is of course mandatory for this recipe. Let’s talk about the other 2 milk sources.
Sweetened Condensed Milk – Use a combo of more sugar and heavy cream instead.
Evaporated milk – I use evaporated milk to adjust the thickness and the sweetness of the kheer once it’s cooked while enhancing the flavor. You can use any milk alternative that you have at hand. The following are great substitutes for evaporated milk:
- Milk powder mixed with milk to make a thicker milk alternative
- Regular milk mixed in with chunks of khoya, or Indian mithai like barfi, kalakand
- Unwhipped Heavy cream
PROPTIP: Simply use heavy whipping cream and sugar and skip the evaporated milk and condensed milk entirely if you are out of one or the other. You will need 500ml of heavy cream for the recipe quantities mentioned on the card.
Since this is a one-pot recipe, there aren’t any complicated instructions to follow. But I’ve put together a pictorial to show you what the kheer looks like in different stages of cooking.
STEP 1 – In a wide pot, boil the soaked rice at low heat in the water. This will take about 10 mins, during which time you don’t need to stir the rice
STEP 2 – Use a hand whisk to stir through the rice once the water evaporates and the rice has doubled in size.
STEP 3 – Add in milk and green cardamom and let the rice cook in the milk at medium to low heat.
STEP 4 – Your milk will form a crusty top while it’s boiling. This is normal. Whisk occasionally but you can leave the milk unattended for 5 to 6 mins at a stretch.
STEP 5 – After 15 to 20 mins, you will see a thick porridge-like consistency of the kheer.
STEP 6 – Add in your sugar.
STEP 7 – And add in your condensed milk. Now the kheer will liquefy again a little bit. This is normal. Let it cook for another 10 mins at medium to high heat. Whisk occasionally.
STEP 8 – Turn off the flame of the kheer and let it cool down. Now add evaporated milk as much as you like for your desired thickness and consistency.
- Most recipes will ask you to either break the rice by hand after soaking them or grind them in a food processor. But my favorite hack is to use a hand whisk instead while cooking, which naturally breaks the rice grains and reduces an additional step.
- I used these cool clay pots that you see in the pictures to serve the kheer because that is how they are traditionally served. But the authentic clay pots need to be soaked in water overnight. If you use them, make sure you soak them overnight, or else they will absorb all the liquid from the kheer. Don’t ask me how I know that.
- Cooked Kheer might splutter slightly towards the end of its cooking, so just be mindful of that while stirring.
Garnish and Serving
Rice kheer is served cold. As the cooked kheer cools down, it forms a thin milky crust on top as it reacts with air. I personally am not a fan of this and I usually cover the kheer with a lid once its done cooking. But some of my family members like the crust, so they usually pour the hot kheer into a serving bowl immediately and allow it to cool in the bowl with the crust on top.
The best garnishes for kheer are chopped or sliced pistachios and almonds. I also like to add rose petals for a little pizazz. You can incorporate the nuts into the kheer itself and then some more for toppings, or only as toppings.
In traditional South Asian kitchens, kheer is usually made in aluminum pots because they are usually heavy bottom and the milk doesn’t burn easily in aluminum pots. You can also use any heavy bottom pot made with stainless steel or Dutch Ovens. You can also use a girdle or a tava underneath the pot if your pot isn’t heavy base.
How to make Dairy-Free Vegan Kheer
As you can see this dessert heavily relies on multiple milk sources for flavor and cooking. You can easily make a dairy-free kheer by using milk substitutes like nut milk and soy milk. Use coconut cream in place of the evaporated milk and condensed milk. You may have to adjust your sugar quantities as this recipe uses sweetened condensed milk.
FAQs for making Kheer
Your kheer can last up to 7 to 10 days in the fridge easily. Make sure to keep it in an airtight container or covered by cling wrap to avoid any other aromas seeping into it.
Yes, yes you can! Once your kheer cools down completely, skip adding the evaporated milk and freeze. The kheer becomes slightly more liquid once defrosted. So you can either cook it again once it cools down or freeze a thicker batter by simply skipping the evaporated milk.
If your heat is too high or your pot doesn’t have a thick base, your milk will burn from the edges turning it brown and giving your kheer a burnt aroma and aftertaste. While stirring the kheer if you see any browning on the edges of the pot, simply reduce the heat to low. If your heat is already low and you see your kheer is still burning on the edges, then add a tava or a pan on the base of your pot. If you somehow left your kheer unattended then you might find a big chunk of the bottom has burnt. In this case, turn off the heat and without stirring, simply pour the kheer from the top into a bowl. Try to save as much of it as you can and simply continue cooking this saved kheer in another pot.
Rinsing rice is usually done to remove any extra starch. But for Kheer, the starch helps to enhance the smooth texture of the recipe. I’d suggest not rinsing the rice for this reason, but go with your preference.
Since kheer is a dessert, its a stand-alone dish. But like I told you in the beginning, it pairs really well with hot crispy fried puris for brunch.
More Pakistani and Indian Desserts
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Do you have any questions? I’m happy to help! And of course, If you try this recipe, I’d loveeeee to see it or simply hear about it! Hit me up in the comment section below and I’ll get back to asap! Happy Cooking!
Rice Kheer – Rice Pudding
- 1 cup Basmati rice soaked in water for atleast 20 mins
- 2 cup water
- 1 Litre full fat milk
- 2 cup white sugar or to taste
- 1 can condensed milk 375 gm
- 1 can evaporated milk (add more or less according to thickness preferred)
- 2 tbsp sliced or chopped pistachio and almonds or any nuts you like
- rose buds or petals optional
- In the pot, add rice and water. Simmer at medium flame until all the water evaporates and rice doubles in size. Use a hand whisk to stir the rice
- Add green cardamom and milk and let it simmer at low flame. Whisk with your hand whisk from time to time. This will take 20 mins
- Add sugar and condensed milk and cook for another 20 mins. Whisk to make sure the rice grains don't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- You will see the rice grains will have broken down into smaller bits and the rice and milk would now be in a pudding consistency. Turn off the flame and let the kheer cool down.
- Now add evaporated milk. Add as much as you like for the consistency you prefer.
- To substitute Sweetened Condensed Milk – Use a combo of more sugar and heavy cream instead.
- To substitute Evaporated milk – I use evaporated milk to adjust the thickness and the sweetness of the kheer once it’s cooked while enhancing the flavor. The following are great substitutes for evaporated milk: a) Milk powder mixed with milk to make a thicker milk alternative. b) Regular milk mixed in with chunks of khoya, or Indian mithai like barfi, kalakand. c) Unwhipped Heavy cream
- Use a tava or pan below the pot if you see your kheer is burning at the edges
- Kheer which is near to completion, might splutter a little bit, just be mindful of that.
- You can adjust how much-evaporated milk you want to add depending on how thick you want your kheer to be.