This easy rice kheer or chawal ki kheer is probably the most popular Indian dessert there is. Made with long grained basmati rice and sweetened with condensed milk, it’s simple enough that you can make it often, and elegant enough to serve to guests!
This is another recipe in my Diwali menu for this year. In the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing some other recipes which will make any table on Diwali brighten up. You should check out these thin and crispy jalebis, chocolate kheer, the spicy kabuli chana pulao, punjabi samosas and tandoori paneer tikka.
I know everyone has a preference for how they like their kheer to taste. I definitely like my grains intact, with a thick milky base and my kheer served lukewarm. No matter what you like, this rice kheer recipe will definitely deliver.
Chawal ki kheer or this rice pudding can be made in two different ways – one where the milk is simmered till it thickens and forms a rabri like base; and this one where the milk is thickened with condensed milk which also sweetens the kheer.
I love this version where the kheer is made with condensed milk because:
A. Its faster so you don’t have to spend hours stirring and simmering the milk
B. You still get the creaminess of kheer with the caramell-y flavor of condensed milk
C. There is no risk of overcooking rice where it gets mushy
The right Rice for Kheer
Traditionally, kheer is made with basmati rice. Aged basmati is fragrant and its long grain adds texture to this kheer. However, you can use short grained rice too if that’s what you have. Just be mindful of how long you cook it, so that it doesn’t break down completely and turn to mush.
Can rice be substituted?
Kheer has so many forms. It’s probably one of the most versatile desserts there is. You can easily switch the rice for vermicelli, broken wheat, tapioca pearls (sabudana) and even lentils. In the south, it’s also called payasam and is made with coconut milk and jaggery which also makes kheer vegan.
Kheer: Served hot vs. cold
I like my kheer lukewarm and it’s really a personal preference. Some people like kheer served warm and some prefer it chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours before eating.
Whatever you do, make sure to top it with lots of nuts. They add some crunch and so much texture and flavor.
And that lovely yellow you see? Pure saffron. Don’t let anybody fool you into adding food coloring to kheer or skipping the saffron.
If you are planning your Diwali menu like I am, make sure you add kheer to your list!
- 1 liter Full cream Milk
- 1/3 cup Rice washed and soaked for 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup Condensed Milk filled to the brim
- 1/2 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
- 10-12 Saffron Kesar(strands)
- 2 tablespoons Raisins
- 1/4 cup Cashew / Almonds / Pistachios chopped and mixed
- Soak saffron in 2 tablespoons warm milk for 15 minutes.
- Pour milk in a heavy bottom pan. Drain the rice and add it to the milk.
- Bring the milk and rice mixture to a boil on high heat and then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring frequently till the milk thickens and the rice gets cooked and homogenizes slightly in the milk.
- Rub the soaked kesar with your finger to release both its color and flavor and add it to the kheer. Add the condensed milk and cardamom powder and cook for another 5-8 minutes. Add the raisins and chopped nuts and mix. Cool slightly before serving. Or if you prefer, refrigerate for a few hours and serve it chilled.