Friday, March 24, 2017

Kesar Kheer | Saffron Rice Pudding

Blogging Marathon #74 Week 4 Day 1
Theme: Are you Pudding me?
Dish: Kesar Kheer | Saffron Rice Pudding 

An amazing blend of milk, rice and sugar. This delicious kheer (rice pudding) is flavored with saffron and full of nuts! 

It is Friday and I am craving something sweet! While I type out this kheer recipe, I want another bowl of this warm milk based pudding today. It is almost the end of March yet we have a rainstorm today! It is cold, windy, dark and boring. I had a couple of recipes to shoot today and now they are pushed to tomorrow. 

Ok enough about the weather and other things, wonder why I am adding an Indian sweet dish when there is no festival in sight? Well this week I am blogging puddings for the Blogging Marathon and what better than our very own kheer? 

This rice pudding has different meanings for different families. Some make it to celebrate any festival, some for puja and some for a quick dessert. Last week I wanted something yummy and I made this delicious rice pudding. 

Generally kheer is white in color with just sugar, rice and milk. I made a more royal version with saffron, rose petals and edible silver varakh. Most people enjoy it with puri or roti. We did likewise, some warm kheer with roti for lunch and the rest was refrigerated for dessert post dinner. 

From start to finish the recipe takes about an hour to make. The most time is taken by the milk to thicken. Once the milk thickens, it is just adding ingredients you like to finish off the kheer. 

This recipe is from my grandma's collection. She used to make the most delicious kheer for Sunday lunch. Her secret ingredient was nutmeg. It is believed to induce sleep and I remember finishing bowl fulls of this kheer with puri and then sleeping for hours blaming the nutmeg! It was not really the pinch of nutmeg that would put us to sleep but the heavy lunch that induced all the sleep! 

Now I make kheer the same way as she taught me not long ago. The taste is great and flavors amazing. However, nothing can replicate the taste that she made! I am sure that I can make it for years and still not be able to make it the same way! So we enjoy this form of kheer whenever we crave it.


I generally make it with 2% fat milk and it is not as thick. This time I made it with a mixture of 2% and whole milk. The result was a thick kheer that was super delicious. Also, I used basmati rice that I made from scratch for the recipe. The same recipe can be made using leftover rice. The only difference is that the rice should be added once the milk thickens. 

In this kheer I added sugar. Some people also add jaggery or condensed milk. The taste does change a little but it has a different flavor of it's own. Plus, you can added any dry fruits of your choice and cardamon and rose petals. If you do not have any of the ingredients or you do not like it, leave them out. 

To shorten the time required to make kheer, add a can of evaporated milk to the milk. That will make the milk thick really soon and you do not need to boil the milk for a long time. 


Basmati/ long grain rice 1/2 cup
Milk 3 cups ( I used whole milk and 2%, 1.5 cups each)
Sugar 1/2-3/4 cup
Cardamom 2-3 pods, crushed
Saffron strands/ Kesar 1/4 tsp
Almonds, Pistachios 4-5 each
Nutmeg powder a pinch
Dried Rose Petals a few
Silver varakh if desired


Wash and place rice with 1 cup water in a thick bottom pan. Bring to a boil and simmer till the water is absorbed by the rice and the rice is cooked. 

Add the milk and heat on medium flame. Let the milk keep boiling till it reduces to half. 

Take a tablespoon of the hot milk and mix in kesar. Once the kesar mixes, add the yellow tinted milk back to the pan. 

When the milk reduces to half, add sugar, crushed cardamom, nutmeg powder and mix well. Adjust the sugar as per your preference. 

Turn down the heat, add some almonds and pistachios. Mix well and enjoy warm or cold. Add dried rose petals, remaining almonds and pistachios and silver varakh just before serving. 

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  1. yumm yumm yumm !!! refreshing and rich !!

  2. What a rich looking rice pudding, how delicious those bowls looks. Simply ultimate with beautiful presentation.

  3. Smruti, I can't decide which picture is more beautiful!. all are such classic shots. I love all pudding and this with rice must have tasted so yum!

  4. Saffron rice pudding looks yummy. Nice pics.

  5. gorgeous color and garnishes - these photos look so attractive I would be afraid to use my spoon to mess up the beautiful plating

  6. Tempting pudding and the pictures are stunning and i would love to grab few spoons :-)

  7. Who doesn't like a well made kheer? Amazing clicks...

  8. Wow!!! that kheer looks so colorful. Wonderful clicks !!!

  9. What a creamy and delicious looking kheer. It looks amazing.

  10. OMG.. love those those shots and perfect festive kheer.