Sweet rice, also known as Kheer, is a thick rice pudding that has been flavored with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. It is sweetened with sugar or condensed milk and served warm or cold. This tasty rice pudding is typically served at Hindu or Muslim religious functions as a dessert. It can sometimes be eaten with puri, which adds another layer of texture and flavor. This is a special recipe, as it belongs to my grandmother. I have yet to taste a sweet rice recipe that is as good as hers. It has the perfect balance of sweetness, creaminess, and flavor.
Being Hindu and growing up in a Hindu home meant helping my mom and grandmother cook traditional foods for our Jhandi's or Pooja's (this is what we call a prayer service). We would invite all of our family members, friends, and neighbors to the prayer service and prepare delicious foods to serve afterwards. My mom would make all of the traditional foods that are typically served at a Hindu prayer services. "Jhandi food" as I like to call it, includes seven different types of curries, rice, dhal puri, roti, along with even tastier desserts/sweets such as peera (fudge), mithai, and sweet rice.
The one dessert that I was always drawn to was my grandmother's sweet rice. It seems this may be an easy dish to make, but the truth is, at any point during the cooking process, things can go haywire. Mishaps such as under cooking the rice, adding too much rice for the amount of milk, and even adding too much sugar are all factors that can mess up the entire dish. Until I made all of the above mentioned mistakes, it made me appreciate my grandmother's careful attention to making gigantic pots of this wonderful pudding without any said errors. Now that she lives in India, it is hard to watch her cook and jot down measurements as she goes, but fortunately for me (and you) my aunt has mastered my grandmother's recipe so I was able to document it for all of posterity. Yes, it's that serious 😉
SWEET RICE / KHEER
Sweet Rice / Kheer
- 3 cups water
- ½ cup long grain white rice
- 1 whole cinnamon stick or ½ tsp ground
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom or 2 pods
- Dash of nutmeg
- Dried cherries/raisins/nuts (optional)
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 12oz can of evaporated milk
- Condensed milk to taste (about 7oz)
- Bring 3 cups of water to a medium boil. Add washed rice, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg. Let rice boil until cooked all the way through on medium heat. If needed add more water ½ cup at a time until rice is completely cooked. This step should take about 30 minutes.
- Once rice is completely cooked, it will look soupy, add 1 cup of whole milk and reduce heat to low and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add the desired amount of cherries or raisins/currants.
- Add one 12oz can of evaporated milk. Rice mixture will look loose and watery after adding evaporated milk. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes on very low heat until mixture starts to get lumpy and thick. Stir frequently, but refrain from scraping the bottom.
- When rice mixture is thick and lumpy and has a pudding texture, add the desired amount of condensed milk to sweeten. I added 7oz which is about half of the standard sized tin. Stir and enjoy!
thank you so much for the recipes! they are very well written and easy to follow! i am also a Guyanese american so this really helps. i can not wait to try your recipes, this one will be the first:)
Hi, was the whole dish done on medium flame or low flame?
You should cook the rice on a medium flame and then lower the heat once you add the milk.
This is the best Kheer recipe it came out so well. thank you.
I love your site! I'm also Guyanese-American, and everyone in my family cooks by "averaging" something I never got the hang of, finally I can make the food I want and know what all the measurements are! Thank-You so much!
Glad to hear it Elise!
You are very welcome Kamini! And yes, I know the struggle of having no measurements!
this recipe seems good trying it out as I speak , smells like the real deal , can't wait to taste it!!
Hi Juliana, hope it turned out well!
This recipe is great! Turned out yummy!
Making this right now and looks and smells delish....trying to keep the traditions alive for my kids as I'm a Canadian-Guyanese:)
I doubled this recipe for a party I was having last month. It turned out amazing! Just the right consistency and amount of sweetness with your measurements. I don't usually like a strong cardamom flavour, so your amounts were just perfect! Got a lot of compliments and referred the guests to your blog. Love from Toronto!
Making this right now don't know what's the outcome going to be but smells good so far
My husband overwatered the rice when cooking it. I don't want to throw it out, would it be a good idea to use this as a base for Kheer?
Hi there, Yes I think so, but depends on what type of rice you are using. This recipe calls for white long grain rice. Not sure if my comment got to you in time.
Thanks I've used this recipe the last three years and it has always came out great and simple!
Wow! We make sweet rice in Brazil, it's a little different but I loved the idea of add cherries!
Hi Vanessa, yes it's so delicious with cherries! Give it a try next time 🙂
So glad to hear that, thanks for leaving a comment!
Thank you for this recipe Alicia. I've been following your blog for a while now and made this recipe for Sweet Rice last Diwali. My first try was perfect! My husband and friends loved it. I've also made your salara, best recipe I've found.
Thanks I've used this recipe the last three years. Amazing and simple
If the rice is already cooked, (my husband overwatered it), can it still be used to make Kheer?
Fasting for Ramadan and came across your recipe in FB. Making it right now and everything seems to be going well. I love measurements . Photos help a great deal. I am Guyanese Canadian and this is my first time making.
Welcome! Glad it's going well! Do let me know if you have questions :).
Thank you so much for posting this! My family is Spanish but we came over to the US in the 17th century and a lot of our cultural traditions mixed with the local population of what is now Albuquerque, NM. My grandmother makes a Sweet Rice dish that I ate growing up for either breakfast or desert (breakfast has an egg added to it). And no matter how many times I’ve tried to recreate it from memory it’s been an epic fail. I tried finding a Mexican rice pudding recipe or Arroz con Leche recipe that I could use but nothing was at all similar to what my grandmother made. But then I found your recipie and this is almost EXACTLY like hers! We don’t use cardamom or nutmeg or fruit in our recipie. But everything else is exactly the same. Thank you so much for posting this I am looking forward to making my sweet breakfast treat (now to figure out how that egg works....)
Alicia , thenk you for this recipe ! You make everything looks so easy ! I’m making this right now using your recipe so far so good . I added the Evaporated milk and left it to simmer . Can’t wait to try it in a few mins ???
You are welcome, enjoy!