Skip to main content

Recipe: North Indian Style Kheer for Diwali

Diwali is around the corner and I am back with yet another delicious festive recipe. Of course, you don't need a reason to prepare this dessert. Preparing and savoring it, turns any normal day into a special one. Perfect sweet dish for any type of party - birthday, family get togethers, new year etc. and none of your guests could resist themselves with just a single servingšŸ¤¤. 

You can check out the recipe of other varieties of sweets like basundi, rava laddu, dry fruits laddu and sweet pongal in "Recipes" section of this blog. You can find the links to those posts at the end of this post. 

Kheer/ Payasam is a sweet dish, very popular in Indian households. It is made with milk, rice/ vermicelli/ tapioca/ dal/ bulgur wheat/ semolina, dry fruits, sugar or jaggery. Today's recipe is rice kheer or rice pudding, prepared in the North Indian style. With slight variations kheer is made in South India too and called as paramannam or arisi payasam or ari payasam or akki payasa. 

Over the time, in every house, every recipe gets slight variations/ adaptations, in accordance to their taste buds. Cooking is all about enhancing and experimenting. Isn't it? So, this is my version of rice kheer. Hope you like it!! 

This recipe needs as little as 5 ingredients and is prepared by slow cooking method. Hence it is time consuming. For the measurements specified in this recipe, it takes anywhere 1 to 1.5 hrs, depending upon the cooking vessel, heating system and quantity of milk you use. But it is totally worth the time. I suggest you start cooking the festival spread with kheer. By the time you complete preparing rest of the items, kheer will be ready. If you don't intend to offer kheer to deity, you may cook it the previous night and store it in refrigerator too. Kheer tastes yum while served chill.


  • Rice - 1/3 cup
  • Milk - 5 to 6 cups
  • Ghee (clarified butter) - 1 tbsp
  • Saffron - 8 to 10 strands
  • Sugar - 3 tbsp
  • Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cashew nuts (chopped) - 1 tbsp
  • Almonds (chopped) - 1 tbsp


  • Wash 1/3 cup rice thoroughly in water, until the water is clear
  • Soak rice in water for half an hour
  • Take a heavy bottomed vessel and once it is hot, add 1 tbsp of ghee
  • Drain out water, add rice and fry until it turns aromatic (by this time, the rice will also start to splutter). You can skip frying rice in ghee, but I suggest not to skip as this step enhances the texture and flavour of the kheer.
  • Add 5 to 6 cups of milk to rice and boil on high flame. You may increase the milk quantity depending on how thick or thin you want your kheer to be. With my measurement, the kheer is neither thick nor thin.
  • Once the milk starts to boil, reduce the flame to low or medium and mix well
  • Take 1-2 tbsp of the boiling milk in a small bowl and soak 8-10 saffron strands in it
  • Allow the rice to cook (uncovered), while you occasionally stir the kheer, to avoid burning at the bottom. To speed up the cooking process, you may also use a lid to cover. However be extra vigilant as the milk may froth and spill over. I bet, you don't want to end up cleaning a messy stove.
  • During this process of cooking, milk tends to solidify. As and when it starts to solidify, scrap it from the sides and bottom of the vessel and add it back to the kheer
  • Once the rice is 80% cooked, add saffron milk, 3 tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp cardamom powder, mix well and continue to cook
  • With further cooking, rice breaks down into fine pieces. This indicates, the kheer is well cooked 
  • Add chopped nuts and mix
  • Switch off the flame, transfer kheer to serving bowls
  • Garnish with chopped nuts, saffron strands and serve the kheer either hot or cold


  • I used sona masoori rice variety in my recipe. You may use Basmati rice too. I heard Bengalis use a special variety called Govindho Bhog rice and it brings in a lot of flavour to kheer. I haven't tried it though. 
  • You can also use full fat milk if you wish to. I use 2% as the full fat milk makes the kheer too creamy. I don't particularly like that taste and it is very heavy, making you feel too full.
  • Since rice gets cooked in milk, this recipe doesn't call for more sugar. You may also use brown sugar in place of white. However, brown sugar alters the taste.
  • I add saffron to give more flavour and richness to the dish and it is totally optional
  • You may use your choice of nuts and add them raw. But if you prefer, you may roast them in a tablespoon of ghee before adding. 
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to get notified about my latest articles!!

Below is the video recipe. 

Recipes of sweets on Manu's Medley.

  • Click here for Rava Laddu (Semolina Laddu)
  • Click here for Sweet Pongal (sakkarai pongal)
  • Click here for Dry fruits laddu
  • Click here for Basundi


Popular posts from this blog

Review: Anex Monkey Smart Watch

Hello Readers,  Welcome back. While browsing through a weekly flyer by Canadian Tire, my eyes got hold of a smart watch, primarily for its name - Monkey Smart Watch. It's original price was $89.99. On account of Father's Day, the price was slashed 70% and offered for just $24.99 (from June 9th to June 16th).  As it was listed on Canadian Tire website, I thought the product should be genuine and googled to know more about the product. But there weren't sufficient reviews online. So I decided to try it myself and booked it online. This smart watch was launched in the last quarter of 2021 as Anex Monkey Smart Watch. Last year, it had been sold for just $19.99 as part of Black Friday deal. Even after 5 days of waiting, Canadian Tire didn't process my order. On the other hand, the stock was vanishing real quick and only 80 watches were available in our near by store. When checked with their customer service executive, I was told to cancel my online order or wait until they p

Are you planning to take CELPIP?

It is a known fact that anyone who aspires to come to Canada on a student visa or as a Permanent Resident has to give an English Test to prove their proficiency. If you are contemplating between IELTS and CELPIP or want to know which test suits you better or looking for some guidance on how to prepare for CELPIP, then read on. This blog is specially curated for you!! ** Long post alert - consider this article as an essay from IELTS / CELPIP reading. Voila, you already started your preparationšŸ‘ IELTS is an English Language Test that is accepted by wider English speaking countries like the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland and hence its reputation amongst the aspiring immigrants. Unlike IELTS, CELPIP is Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), specifically designed to evaluate test takers ability to function in English for Canada's permanent residency, citizenship and professional designation. In the recent times, especially during the pandemic, man

Why I Write - Q&A with Manu

I keep getting direct and indirect questions on Why I Write? There won't be a better occasion than this to address this Q and other frequently asked Qs. It's been exactly 2 years since I started this website -  Manu's Medley  and apparently this is my 100th blog post.  So Why I Write?  I can give a fancier reply stating "I chose to follow my passion". But I won't, as it isn't true. After being in the IT industry for more than a decade, working tirelessly all through the weeks, months and years, I moved to Canada carrying my little one, when the whole world was witnessing one of the deadliest diseases COVID. It was at the same time, I had to take a career break due to few compelling personal reasons and decided to be a full time mom.  It's a new place and a new role, with almost zero support, unlike the support system at India. To top it, the lockdowns and restrictions were never ending. The three of us spent months together within our apartment and my

Recipe: Idiyappam | Sevai | String Hoppers

Idiyappam, is a well known break fast item in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Sri Lanka. It is also known as sevai or string hoppers (in English) and is primarily made out of rice floor. Like idli, idiyappam is made through steaming using no oil, making it very easily digestible and light on stomach.  When I think about idiyappam, I remember 2 instances from my childhood. One of my friend's mom, used to feed her 2 year old with different colourful sevais for evening snack - white, yellow, red along with a liquid version of it too, almost 3-4 times in a week. Later I learnt from her elder daughter (my friend) that they are coconut sevai (sweet version), lemon sevai, tomato sevai and rasam sevai. Though born and brought up in Chennai, we aren't much into idiyappams.  I don't remember eating them until I crossed 10 years. Whenever we visit a doctor with fever, our doctor used to give a list of food items - kanji, bread, idli, idiyappam and rasam rice, which I was usually averse to even

Book: Before We Say Goodbye by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before We Say Goodbye by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is the 3rd book I read this year. The 2nd was Meet Me in Mumbai by Sabina Khan. I have posted its audio synopsis and review on my you tube channel - Our_Bookshelf. It is available in this link . Meanwhile, if you wish to read my latest articles and watch the content I create, follow me on  Instagram  and  Facebook !!  Before The Coffee Gets Cold is the first book as part of the series written by Toshikazu Kawaguchi. It was originally a play written in Japanese in 2010 that turned out to be a bit hit. Later it was published as a novel in the same language in the year 2015. Due to its popularity, the book was translated into English. The author published sequels Tales from the Cafe, Before Your Memory Fades, Before We Say Goodbye, Before We Forget Kindness in 2017, 2018, 2021 and 2023 respectively. All except Before We Forget Kindness have been translated into English and the fifth book is expected to be released in English in Nov 2024. When I