Flip Cookbook

Girl geek foodies making healthy cooking fun and easy.


Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

In my kitchen I have a bookshelf built into the side of a cabinet. On the two wooden shelves, I have well over 20 cookbooks and a couple of binders filled with print outs of recipes I’ve found online (this obviously was well before I built Velvet Aroma). I love this little nook. It’s where I go to whenever I need a little inspiration by just randomly flipping pages of cookbooks.

Recently I decided the shelves could use a little organizing. I put all my Indian cookbooks together (I own 8 different Tarla Dalals). All my SCD ones right next to it. A few vegetarian ones that I love. Then at the very edge you’ll find two Indian notebooks. I say “Indian” because they’re nothing like the notebooks that you get in America and yes, because I got them in India. They have cardboard covers, are about the half the size of a standard 8 x 11 notebook and are bound like an old encyclopedia (as opposed to having ring bindings).

One of these notebooks is especially dear to me. On it’s covers, paper with light pink roses printed on it, is carefully glued. If you flip to the last few pages you’ll see a child’s scrawling telling me that “Roses are red. Violets are blue. But memories of U R forever true”.. and that I should “Enjoy”.. followed by three very fat exclamation marks. If you flip to the first few pages of the book the handwriting changes dramatically. It’s artistic, light and feminine. These words unlike the ones in the back instruct me. They instruct me to start a flame in my kitchen. To grind my spices with a mortar and pestle. They instruct me to make Kheer.

This book was given to me by my wonderful Aunt when I left India. A woman who has been such a giver of love in my life. In it she has detailed out some of my favorite Indian recipes…. so that I could recreate a small piece of my childhood in my adult kitchen.

Kheer is a dish eaten often at times of celebration in India. As most Indian recipes, there are many ways you can vary it up. Including even using noodles instead of rice. I personal prefer the rice version I’m sharing today. It has a mild sweetness and is a great alternative to some of the seriously caloric Indian desserts (or even non Indian ones). You can choose how thick you want it by boiling it more or less. Also you can choose if you want to eat it warm or cold. I prefer mine super warm and definitely on the thick side (think oatmeal consistency).


P.S. This has been shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Fat Tuesday.

Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: About 1 hour
Ready in: About 1 hour


  • 1/3 cup basmati rice (white rice)
  • 1 liter milk (33 oz. / about 1 quart)
  • 1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter)
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey (depending on how sweet you want the pudding)
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds and some more to garnish


1. Wash the rice. Over medium high heat, heat the ghee. Add the rice and stir till it turns translucent and a light pink or tan color; about 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.

3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes to an hour till the milk reduces to about a third of what you started out as.

4. Peel the cardamom. Using mortar and pestle or spice grinder, crush the cardamom. Stir in the cardamom, honey, raisins and almonds. You can dry roast some of the almonds and use it as garnishing.

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10 Responses to Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

  1. i’ve been looking to try kheer for sometime! can you make this vegan by using non-dairy milk? and skip the butter?

    • Raj says:

      I think this would taste pretty delicious with coconut milk. I wouldn’t try soy though — most indian dishes where I’ve substituted soy milk instead of regular just tasted horrible. And yes – definitely you can skip out on the butter. I would probably use a very light vegetable oil instead.

  2. Mmm, that looks delicious. There’s nothing better than creamy rice pudding and I love that this is sweetened only with honey 😀

  3. Stopping by from Fat Tuesdays. I LOVE the bookshelves built into cabinets… one day when we build a house I want to incorporate that! Anyhow, your recipe (and picture) look tasty! I also LOVE your picture instructions!

    By the way, I would love for you to link this up to Healthy 2day Wednesdays this week (and every week until Saturday afternoon) You can add articles such as recipes, natural remedies, going “green” tips, suggestions, etc. Hope you’ll check it out!

    • Raj says:

      Hi Rachel! So glad you stopped by from Fat Tuesday. I just missed Healthy 2day Wednesdays this week but looking forward to it next week! Btw – I host Sugar Free Sunday every sunday to promote Sugar Free recipes.. feel free to link up!

  4. Chelsea says:

    Hey Raj,

    Can you buy ghee and cardamoms at a regular grocery store?



    • Raj says:

      Yes! Cardamoms are easily found in just about every grocery store’s spice aisle. Ghee is a little tougher… I know my Whole Foods carries it. Btw – Indian stores are surprisingly just about everywhere.. do a quick yelp search around your area!

  5. kitchenriffs says:

    Great recipe. I’ve had Kheer often at restaurants, but never made it. Using honey as a sweetener is a nice touch. I love cooking Indian main dishes but haven’t cooked Indian desserts – I should definitely start. Thanks for a great post.

    • Raj says:

      So glad you took the time to comment! 🙂 I’m not much of a refined sugar kind of person… therefore the honey. You’ll find all my recipes fall into that category.

      Btw – one thing I forgot to mention in the post – if you have saffron.. a couple of strands in this dish makes it just amazing.

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