Instant Pot Rice Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

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Making Rice Kheer just got a whole lot quicker with this easy Instant Pot Kheer recipe. This Indian Rice Pudding comes out creamy and flavorful, without spending hours in the kitchen.

A large bowl of Rice Kheer in a gold rimmed bowl with almond slices and a spoon on top in the bottom left of and a bowl of mixed nuts in the top right on a black table cloth with almond slivers scattered around.
Instant Pot Rice Kheer

What is Rice Kheer?

Rice Kheer, also known as Rice payasam or Indian rice pudding, is a dessert recipe with a history in many different cultures. Mexican culture has Arroz con Leche, Lebanese culture makes Moghli, and the Greek culture makes a similar dish, rizogalo, while the English call it porridge

Rice Pudding’s Origin

While many different countries have their own version of this recipe, rice pudding originates in the Tudor period in the United Kingdom. Gervase Markham first documented a recipe for rice pudding in 1615. Much like this kheer recipe the key ingredients in rice pudding are rice, milk, cream, and sugar. Variations all agree on these key components but differ in flavoring and preparation.

Other names for Rice Kheer

Kheer, khir, and Indian Rice Pudding are often used interchangeably for Rice Kheer. Rice Kheer might also be referred to as Rice Payasam or Phirni (Firni) but a few notable differences between them exist.

In the southern part of India, kheer is called payasam or payasa, meaning milk. The difference between the kheer and payasam are that payasam is typically made with jaggery and the consistency is usually thinner. A good example would be this moong dal payasam

Phirni uses ground rice and is served chilled while kheer uses whole rice and can be enjoyed hot or cold. 

Two small bowls of Rice Kheerr on a black folded up napkin on an oval silver tray with two spoons and a small bowl of mixed nuts to the right.
Rice Payasam

How to make Instant Pot Rice Kheer 

Traditionally, rice kheer is made by heating milk and simmering rice in the milk over a stove. The milk needs to reduce to give the kheer a creamy texture and that could take up to an hour.  That’s why you will love this Instant Pot kheer recipe. You just add the ingredients and walk away and let Instant Pot do its magic. I assure you the results are similar to the stovetop recipe – a velvety, caramelized kheer with a gorgeous light-brown hue. 

Commonly Asked Questions about Rice Khir

What are the main ingredients in kheer?

The main ingredients of kheer include rice, milk, and sugar.

What is the best type of rice for Indian Rice Pudding? 

Aromatic Basmati Rice is the preferred choice but if you don’t have it don’t let that keep you from making this dessert. Use the variety you have at home. 

What causes the thickening of rice kheer? 

During the cooking process, the starch in the rice releases, absorbing the milk and causing the mixture to thicken into creamy, delicious rice kheer. If you prefer a thinner consistency just increase the quantity of milk and add more sugar.  

How do you serve kheer? 

People serve Indian Rice Pudding in two different ways. Kheer recipes suggest serving the dish cold or hot. It also serves well as a delicious side or a sweet dessert. Simply put, enjoy your Indian Rice Pudding based on your preference. 

How long will the kheer keep in the fridge? 

This quick rice pudding recipe lasts 3-4 days in an airtight container.

How to make Instant Pot Rice Kheer

A step by step guide of how to make Indian Rice Pudding in an Instant Pot.
Rice Kheer Recipe- Step by step

1. Clean the Instant Pot properly to make sure there is no residue. This is an important step to prevent the milk from curdling while cooking.
2. Soak Basmati rice in 2 cups of water for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse the rice and set it aside.
3. Next, soak the saffron strands in about two tablespoons of warm water. Set aside.
4. When you are ready to begin, set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode on ‘Low’ setting and heat the ghee. After about 2 minutes, add cashews, and raisins.
5. When the cashews turn golden brown, add the rinsed rice and sauté it for about 2 minutes. Now, add the sugar and mix well.
6. The sugar will start to melt. Continue to cook till the sugar starts to caramelize (in about 5 minutes). This is an optional step but this is what gives the kheer that pretty light brown color.
7. Add milk and mix well. Deglaze the pot – i.e make sure there is nothing stuck to the bottom of the pot.
8. Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté mode, close the lid, and put on Porridge mode for 12 minutes.
9. When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally. (It will take about 20 minutes).
10. Move the steam valve to venting. Open the lid and add in the saffron along with the water it was soaked in. Add ground cardamom, along with pistachios and slivered almonds. Mix well.
11. Serve it warm or cold.

Helpful Tips

  • Steep the saffron in water instead of milk to get the deep red color.
  • Add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor.
  • While caramelizing the sugar is optional, allowing the sugar to turn light brown gives the kheer its pretty light-brown color.
  • Finish the dish with cardamom powder instead of adding it during the cooking process. This helps retain the cardamom flavor and allows you to use a smaller amount.
  • The kheer thickens with time, add more milk to dilute it to the desired consistency.

Variations

  • Rice pudding tastes great without nuts as well – feel free to skip it.
  • Add a pinch of ground cinnamon (or to taste) for a twist.
  • Replace ½ cup of milk with an equal amount of sweetened condensed milk to make it extra creamy. Use only ½ cup of sugar instead of 3/4th cup.
  • You can substitute sugar with jaggery. Replace the 3/4th cup of sugar with 1 cup of jaggery.
Two small bowls of creamy rice kheer on a silver platter on the left of the picture with mixed nuts in a small bowl of the right of the picture all on a black table cloth with almond slivers scattered on top.
Two servings of Instant Pot Rice Kheer.

Other delicious Indian Dessert Recipes that you’ll love

  1. Gulab Jamun – India’s most beloved dessert and a favorite at Indian buffets!
  2. Moong dal payasam– festive celebrations are incomplete without a delicious serving of Moong dal payasam or payasa.
  3. Instant Pot Sweet Pongal – Learn how to make this authentic-tasting Sakkarai Pongal or Chakkara Pongali (Sweet Pongal) in under 30 minutes using an Instant Pot.
  4. Puran poli This traditional Indian dessert goes by a few names – holigebele obbattu, or puran poli. Chapati like but with a flaky crust and a sweet lentil filling, puran poli is a favorite throughout India.
  5. Fig and walnut halwa – This Instant Pot fig and walnut halwa is perfect for when you need a quick and easy recipe to satisfy your sweet cravings. It is absolutely delicious and comes together in less than 30 minutes.


Got a new Instant Pot? Check out the links below to make the most of your pressure cooker -  
A large bowl of Rice Kheer in a gold rimmed bowl with almond slices and a spoon on top in the bottom left of and a bowl of mixed nuts in the top right on a black table cloth with almond slivers scattered around.

Rice Kheer

5 from 3 votes
Rice Kheer is a sweet and creamy Indian Rice Pudding. This dish is often served hot or cold and makes a delicious side dish or dessert.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Pressure release time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Diet : Egg-Free
Course : Dessert, Side Dish
Method: Instant Pot
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
 
 

  • ½ cup basmati rice, rinsed
  • 7-8 strands saffron, soaked in warm water, optional
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 6 cashews , halved
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom powder
  • pistachios, for garnishing
  • slivered almonds, for garnishing

Instructions
 

  • Clean the Instant Pot properly to make sure there is no residue. This is an important step to make sure the milk doesn’t curdle while cooking.
  • Soak Basmati rice in 2 cups of water for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse the rice and set it aside.
  • If you are using saffron, soak the saffron strands in about two tablespoons of warm water. Set aside.
  • Set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode on ‘Low’ setting and heat the ghee. After about 2 minutes, add cashews, and raisins.
  • When the cashews turn golden brown, add the rinsed rice and sauté it for about 2 minutes. Add sugar and mix well.
  • The sugar will start to melt. Continue to cook till the sugar starts to caramelize (in about 5 minutes). This is an optional step but this is what gives the kheer the gorgeous light- brown color.
  • Add milk and mix well. Deglaze the pot - i.e make sure there is nothing stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté mode, close the lid, and put on Porridge mode for 12 minutes.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally. (It will take about 20 minutes).
  • Move the steam valve to venting. Open the lid and add in the saffron along with the water it was soaked in. Add ground cardamom, along with pistachios and slivered almonds. Mix well.
  • Serve it warm or cold.

Notes

Helpful Tips
  • Steep the saffron in water instead of milk to get the deep red color.
  • Add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor.
  • While caramelizing the sugar is optional, allowing the sugar to turn light brown gives the kheer its gorgeous light-brown color.
  • Finish the dish with cardamom powder instead of adding during the cooking process. This helps retain the cardamom flavor and allows you to use a smaller amount.
  • The kheer thickens with time, add more milk to dilute it to the desired consistency.

Variations

  • Rice pudding tastes great without nuts as well – feel free to skip it.
  • Add a pinch of ground cinnamon (or to taste) for a twist.
  • Replace ½ cup of milk with an equal amount of sweetened condensed milk to make it extra creamy. Use only ½ cup of sugar instead of 3/4th cup.
  • You can substitute sugar with jaggery. Replace the 3/4th cup of sugar with 1 cup of jaggery.

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Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 7gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 74mgPotassium: 304mgFiber: 1gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 264IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 188mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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3 Comments

    1. Hi Subramanian – I use this recipe plugin called WP Recipe Maker and it uses an API called Spoonacular to calculate the nutritional information. Since I am not a dietician, I strongly recommend my readers to work with one if they have dietary restrictions. Hope that answered your question.

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