Indulge in the rich and aromatic flavors of Pakistani cuisine with this recipe for Pakistani kheer.
This creamy rice pudding, simmered in sweetened milk and infused with fragrant cardamom is a dish that is sure to delight your tastebuds.
Whether it's a festive occasion, a family gathering, or just another weeknight, this Pakistani kheer is always a treat.
Its comforting and velvety texture, along with the combination of spices, creates a dish that is full of flavor.
Pakistani kheer is a great dessert if you are hosting a last minute dinner party or are looking for a deliciou dessert that can be easily made in advance.
Each spoonful turns into an exquisite delight as the flavors develop and become stronger with time.
What is kheer?
Kheer is a beloved traditional rice pudding known for its rich, creamy texture. Rice is cooked in milk while being sweetened with either sugar or condensed milk.
Kheer offers a combination of flavors thanks to the addition of fragrant spices like cardamom and saffron, as well as occasional additions of nuts and raisins.
There are many variations of this well-liked dessert, such as the aromatic Badam Kheer made with almonds or the flavorful, rich Seviyan Kheer made with vermicelli noodles, and even chak hao kheer.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Rich and Creamy Indulgence: The velvety texture and rich flavors of kheer offer a delightful and luxurious dessert experience.
- This recipe for Pakistani kheer can be made in advance, making it perfect to serve at those special occasions like dinner parties, birthdays, and even potlucks.
- Adjust the sweetness of this dish to your liking.
- Pakistani kheer is easy to make.
- This dish is warming and comforting making it great for those cold winter days. But of course, you could enjoy this delicious kheer recipe any time of the year.
Cost To Make
Estimated cost = $2.85, or $0.48 a serve
Please note that below is a guide for some of the ingredients we used in the recipe. The printable recipe further down the page has the complete list of ingredients, including quantities and step-by-step instructions.
- Basmati Rice: The long-grain aromatic rice that gives kheer its distinct texture and flavor. You will need to soak your rice for at least 4 - 6 hours, or overnight before using it.
- Milk: Full-fat milk is typically used to create a rich and creamy base for the kheer.
- Water: It is often added in combination with milk to ensure proper cooking of the rice and achieve the desired consistency.
- Cardamom Pods: The fragrant and aromatic spice that adds a distinctive flavor to the kheer.
- Saffron: If you are unable to get saffron threads, you could use a pinch of saffron powder.
- Chopped Nuts: Nuts like almonds, pistachios, or cashews are commonly added to kheer as a garnish, providing a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.
This recipe for Pakistani kheer serves 4 to 6. The ingredient quantities can easily be adjusted to suit how many serves you need to make.
Wash and rinse the rice until the water runs clear. This may take about 3-4 rinses. Then cover the rice in fresh room temperature water and allow it to soak for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
Step One: Using a pestle and mortar, your hands, or food processor, grind the soaked and drained rice until most of the grains are broken but not completely mashed. Set aside.
Step Two: In a medium sized pot bring the milk and water to a boil, stirring occasionally so that the milk doesn’t burn.
Step Three: Reduce heat to a simmer and add the sugar and salt, stir until dissolved.
Step Four: Add the rice, cardamom, and saffron, reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is soft but not mushy.
The rice should be firm on the outside and soft on the inside. It could take about 20 to 25 minutes to cook (more or less depending on how long you soaked your rice for). Do not leave your pot unattended as it could boil over. Don't forget to stir occasionally.
Step Five: Once the rice is cooked and the rice pudding is thick, turn off heat and remove the cardamom pods. The rice pudding should have the consistency like double cream/heavy cream. Allow to cool or serve hot with chopped nuts to garnish.
This kheer will thicken as it cools. If you find it too thick, you could add some water or milk and adjust the seasonings to taste.
Tips for Success
- Rinse the Rice: Before adding rice to the kheer, rinse it thoroughly under cold water to remove any excess starch. This helps prevent the rice grains from sticking together and ensures a smoother texture.
- Don't forget to soak your rice for at least 4 to 6 hours before using it.
- Low heat is used to cook the kheer so that the rice will cook gradually and take on the flavors of the milk. To avoid sticking and scorching at the bottom of the pot, stir occasionally.
Substitutions / Variations
- Badam Kheer: Add a generous amount of finely ground almonds or almond paste to the kheer, infusing it with a nutty flavor and a rich, creamy texture.
- Mango kheer: Add some fresh mango puree or chopped mangoes to the kheer.
- Coconut kheer: Replace a portion of the milk with coconut milk to give the kheer a tropical and slightly sweet taste. Top with toasted coconut flakes for added texture and flavor.
- This pakistani kheer recipe is great to serve at special occasions such as birthdays, and weddings.
- Serve kheer in small dessert cups or bowls for individual portions, perfect for parties or gatherings.
- Top each serving of kheer with a sprinkle of crushed nuts, raisins, or a pinch of saffron to add visual appeal and a delightful crunch.
- Serve kheer as a grand finale to a traditional Indian or Pakistani meal, leaving a lasting impression.
- Use kheer creatively as a base for innovative desserts like kheer parfaits, kheer cheesecakes, or kheer-filled pastries, blending traditional flavors with modern flair.
Kheer can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Before serving, gently reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave and stir well to restore its creamy consistency.
Note that kheer may thicken over time, so you can add a splash of milk to adjust the consistency if needed.
Kheer is a rice pudding with a creamy texture, while firni is a dessert made with ground rice flour, milk, and a smoother consistency.
Basmati rice is the preferred choice for making kheer.
Its long grains lend a distinct aroma and delicate flavor to the dessert, while its ability to cook to a soft and tender consistency ensures a perfect balance in each spoonful.
Whole milk is the optimal choice for preparing kheer, as it adds a creamy richness to the dessert.
Its higher fat content enhances the smooth and velvety texture, resulting in a luxurious and indulgent experience with every spoonful.
Kheer, pronounced as "kee-r," is a traditional rice pudding dessert originating from the Indian subcontinent. In English, it is commonly referred to as rice pudding.
Made this recipe? Let us know how it went in the comments below! We'd love to hear how it turned out.
- ¾ cup (140 grams, 4.94 ounces) basmati rice rinsed and then soaked for at least 4-6 hours or overnight (see note 1)
- 2 ½ cups (625 ml/grams, 22.04 ounces) milk
- ½ cup (125 ml/grams, 4.41 ounces) water
- ¼ cup (50 grams, 1.76 ounces) white granulated sugar or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- 3-4 cardamom pods
- ¼ teaspoon saffron strands
- 2 tablespoons chopped nuts of choice pistachios, almonds, cashews, optional to garnish
- Using a pestle and mortar, your hands, or food processor, grind the soaked and drained rice until most of the grains are broken but not completely mashed. Set aside.
- In a medium sized pot bring the milk and water to a boil, stirring occasionally so that the milk doesn’t burn.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and add the sugar and salt, stir until dissolved.
- Add the rice, cardamom, and saffron, reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is soft but not mushy. (see note 2). It could take about 20 to 25 minutes to cook (more or less depending on how long you soaked your rice for). Do not leave your pot unattended as it could boil over. Don’t forget to stir occasionally.
- Once the rice is cooked and the rice pudding is thick, turn off heat and remove the cardamom pods. (see note 3). Allow to cool or serve hot with chopped nuts to garnish.
- Wash and rinse the rice until the water runs clear. This may take about 3-4 rinses. Then cover the rice in fresh room temperature water and allow it to soak for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
- The rice should be firm on the outside and soft on the inside.
- The rice pudding should have the consistency like double cream/heavy cream.