Traditional Kheer (The Rice Pudding from India)

Kheer India Pudding

I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I took a vacation for the summer. Now school is starting in three weeks and I’m sitting her on a cold rainy night. It’s almost August?

Last night we took our youngest daughter to the movies. I lifted the arm rest and curled up on my husbands lap crossed over two seats. I slept.

I don’t do movies. In fact, I didn’t even watch television (or) movies for over six years. I can’t explain why.

So it might seem peculiar that I signed up for:     Food‘nFlix

It’s where bloggers get together and watch a movie, then post a recipe that’s inspired by the film. I’ve decided that I will pick a book from my Vintage Cook Book library that reminds me of the movie and post a recipe from that book.

This is fun. The movie was Monsoon Wedding. It’s about an arranged marriage in India during the monsoon season which is usually in July. What I loved most about the movie was the portrayal of the leading men (the groom and the brides father.) They were handsome and honorable. Indian men are not often portrayed that way in the news.

I watched it over three nights. It wasn’t a long movie, it’s just that I have to learn to settle down and watch a movie. That’s why I’m so excited about participating in this group. It will force me to watch at least one movie a month. I have YEARS of movies to catch up on!

The book I picked from my collection was originally published in 1973 by Madhur Jaffrey. This is a copy of the first printing.

Invitation to India


I love this book. She’s so real and authentic. Look at what she says… Don’t you dare call it rice pudding! Ha! But does “rice pudding” sound so much better than “Cold Cardamom Basmati Soup?” How could our American taste buds relate? Pronounced KEY-EAR or KEEHD or rhymes with HERE if you don’t have a good Indian accent, which I don’t. 🙂

I just stared at the page when I read the recipe. How could this be? One Tablespoon of rice? HUH? When I made this recipe, I made half, just to be sure not to waste too much milk in case this was some type of publishing error. But it wasn’t. Count on the recipe to make 2-3 servings, max. It was difficult to find pistachios that were unsalted. So I bought salted, and then rinsed them in hot water. It worked just fine. I sprinkled some on top like the recipe specifies but really that crunch was too much. If you put them all in when it’s hot, they soften and are so delicious in the kheer by the time it’s chilled and ready to serve. This is really like a cold soup, often it is considered a milky pudding but not thick at all like the pudding we know. Let’s just stop calling it pudding right now! Ha Ha.

Now, here at The Vintage Cook we share “Recipes Your Grandma Used to Make, ~with a Twist!” This was a simple twist today. I pureed some nice ripe mango and swirled it on the top. My Mom and I go to the Indian restaurant from time to time and for dessert I usually get the kheer with a little dollop of mango ice cream. Something about kheer and mango, it’s a harmony of comfort.

A few minutes ago I sat in the kitchen, … relaxed in the dimness of a rainy evening. I’m pondering love and all the ways it evokes and evolves, or dissolves. Enjoyed every spoonful of this classic and flavorful Indian dessert.


Be sure to use Basmati rice and Whole Milk. 🙂 To reduce the cost, you can use some ground Cardamom to taste in place of the pods.

How to boil milk down 1

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