Sunday, 3 January 2010

Sweet Beginnings: Kheer (Rice Pudding)

The past one month, or rather the last month of 2009 seems like a blur. In between traveling, visiting friend's wedding, falling ill, vacationing, several rounds of packing and unpacking, I left my 3.5 year long association with my current (now past) organization.
Even now, my mind is still full of to - do lists and preparation for the new assignment which I am due to begin in a week's time.

So, when I opened my mailbox today after 3 days, and read Ushnishda's mail wishing me a Happy New Year (and reminding me that the Ginger tea has been long drunk), I realized how long it has been since I last blogged. There are quite a few recipes ready to be posted - as in the pics have been clicked, and it was a bit difficult to choose what to post. My impulse was to post about the lunch we had hosted today afternoon for a couple of friends, but I decided to start the new year on a sweet note. Yes, with a dessert.

This is a dessert which is made in most Indian households, though the recipe and the name may vary - Kheer, Payas, Payasam, also referred to as Rice Pudding. I developed the taste for it a bit late in life - I think in my teens. This was the first Indian dessert I learnt to prepare, and I pride myself at making it quite well. I am still trying to perfect it the way my dear Grandma makes, but I think it will take years to reach that level of expertise!

Here's to the year 2010! Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy new year!

This recipe has been made without condensed milk, and the rice has been "broken" a bit to give the kheer "Rabri" like texture. It is not a quick recipe - and takes around 45 minutes to prepare.

Milk: 1 litre
Rice: 1/4 cup
Sugar: 2 - 3 tbsp / to taste
A few strands of saffron, soaked in 2 tsp warm milk
Almonds / Cashews: To garnish

  • Grind the rice in a mixer for a few seconds to "break" it roughly, not powder it
  • Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pan
  • Add the rice to the milk, and let it simmer on low heat. Keep stirring it from time to time
  • When the milk reduces to around half the quantity, the rice will also have cooked. Add the sugar and saffron, and keep stirring to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom
  • The kheer is done when the milk starts bubbling on the top and makes a "bubbly" sound. The rice and milk are mixed well, and the mixture takes on a creamy hue.
  • Turn off the heat, and cover it with a lid. This is to prevent a layer of "Malai" to form on top
  • Garnish with your favourite nuts and serve hot or chilled


  1. Thanks for sharing! This looks delicious and simple to make. I've never made rice pudding before so will reference this recipe next time when I make it!

  2. Dear MEF
    Thats the right way of starting the New Year, gthe year should be sweet...and being a Bong, only sweets register in the brain 1st.
    I never broke the rice before, I will try..Actually it is almost impossible to make the rice like butter soft with 1 liter of milk per 1/4th cup of rice. As the boiling continues, water has to be added, until rice becomes butter soft and then concentrate..the nett result is 3-4 hrs of standing in front of the burner and gas bill is additional. The taste is worth it though. There is another Bengali version where rice powder is used, and small rice dumplings stuffed with cooked coconut and jagery. It is called "Puli Pithe", generally made on Makar sankranti ( around 15th Jan). If SOMEONE remembers it, I had it..brcause I have to make those dumplings :-)
    Now I will try your technique
    Have a nice week ahead


  3. Thats really a sweet way of starting a New Year:)
    Looks delicious!

  4. These look amazing! I would love to try this!

  5. Happy new year. Thank you so much for your kind words... really appreciate it.

    Let me know if you ever need any assistance.

  6. Happy New Year. May your year be sweeter than the delicious kheer :)

  7. I'm just digging out from under. Beautiful puddings from such a short list of ingredients. Wonderful!

  8. Hi Experimental Culinary Pursuits, Thanks for visiting. Do try the dessert. Its simple and delicious.

    Hi Ushnishda, We almost never add water to the kheer. If the consistency becomes too thick to handle, it is recommended to add more milk. I keep the rice - milk ratio low, so that the milk thickens while the rice gets cooked.
    Do let us know how the Puli Pithe turned out :) It sounds interesting.

    Hi Mye, wish you a very happy new year too!

    Hi Thessa, thanks for the comment. Do try it.

    Hi Raaga, Will surely get in touch with you!

    Hi Sandeepa, thanks for visiting, and wish you and your family a very happy new year as well.
    I am quite an ardent follower of your blog, and tried the "Kamla Kheer" recently. It was delicious.

    Hi Vegetable Matter, thanks for visiting, and thanks for the comment :)

  9. Lovely pictures...brings back memories of birthdays and grannies

  10. Hi Kalyan, thats so true. Kheer always reminds me of my Grandma.


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