An Indian Milk Pudding with Rice and Saffron

Kesari Kheer


Preparation info

  • For


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      1 hr

Appears in

The Rice Book

By Sri Owen

Published 1993

  • About

This recipe, which I think is a very traditional one, was given to me by Chef Arvind Saraswat, who also showed me how he cooks it in his kitchen at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi. Kesari means saffron.


  • 1.5 litres/ pints/ cups milk
  • 84 g/3 oz/ cup Basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes or longer, then drained
  • 15 g/½ oz ghee/clarified butter
  • 112 g/4 oz/½ cup sugar, or more if the dish is to be served cold
  • ¼ tsp ground green cardamom seeds
  • 28 g/1 oz/¼ cup almonds
  • 21 g/¾ oz/ cup raisins
  • 1 g/a small pinch of saffron, dissolved in milk


Boil the milk. At the same time, in another saucepan, heat the ghee/clarified butter and fry the rice for 2–3 minutes, stirring it so that every grain is well coated in butter. Add the boiling milk, and bring this back to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently until the rice is cooked. Add the sugar and continue simmering until the dish is reduced to the desired consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and stir them well in. If you intend to serve the kheer cold, add a little extra sugar.

Serve hot or cold in stemmed glasses.