Simple, creamy Kheer

A wonderfully satisfying, delicious recipe for a bowl of pure comfort food. This is my version of my cousin’s (Guria’s) recipe and she insists it’s the only way to make proper Kheer! There are many variations to this North Indian style, including the Southern Indian Paysams, which tend also to include a little coconut milk and the East Indians, who would also include raisins, sultanas, nuts, calling it Payesh. Whichever way you chose to enhance this basic recipe, enjoy! Remember it’s all about the love you cook with, which will reflect in the end result!!

What you need


Milk, full fat                             2 litres or 3½ pints

Cream                                     400ml/14floz

Sugar, light Muscavado          200g/7oz

Basmati rice                            240g/8oz

Salt                                          small pinch

Cardamom, green                   1tsp/4g, seeds only, finely ground


Rose water                              ½ tsp (optional)

OR, Saffron, threads               little pinch (optional, but NOT suggested if using rose water)

Raisins                         50g/2oz (optional)

Pistachio nuts             50g/2oz (optional)

Rose petals, ground                1tsp (optional)

How to make it

  1. Wash the rice well and soak for ½ hour in enough water to cover it fully.
  2. Pop the milk, cream and sugar in a deep, thick-bottomed pan and bring to boil.
  3. Just as the milky mixture comes to the boil, add the rice and turn down to a very gentle simmer.
  4. Cook on low heat or in a medium, low oven, 170°C or gas mark 4, until the milk thickens and reduces to half its original volume, maybe for an hour to hour and a half…..Just keep checking on it from time to time…

NB If you’re doing this on your hob, then keep the lid off and stir occasionally, to prevent the rice sticking.

Serving suggestions:

You can serve straightway for full, glorious effect or allow to cool down, then pop into your fridge for a couple of hours and serve chilled, garnished with a few un-ground rose petals.

5. Add the almonds, raisins, if using, cardamom, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes.

6. Turn off the heat, add the saffron or rosewater and ground petals (if using), and stir well…..simple!

Why not try

This recipe has been tried and tested by the Green Saffron Masaalchi and is pretty much guaranteed, but if you want to change the quantities of a couple of ingredients, or add others, go for it….experiment and enjoy your cooking. With Green Saffron spices you can’t go wrong!!!