Instant Pot kheer step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Kheer is a rich and creamy rice pudding made with three main ingredients - rice, milk, and sugar. Rice pudding is a popular dessert all over the world. The Indian version of rice pudding is flavoured with cardamom or saffron (or both) and is topped with nuts like almonds and pistachio. It can be served either warm or cold depending on personal preference.
Making kheer on the stovetop is easy but takes a long time. Plus, it needs constant monitoring to make sure the milk doesn't burn. But with an Instant Pot, this dish is ready in 20 minutes (and less than 5 minutes of hands-on time), with no monitoring whatsoever.
Read on for ingredients, tips, and FAQs to make rice, creamy and luscious kheer in an Instant Pot
Origin of kheer
The word kheer comes from the Sanskrit word kshirika, which means made with milk. It has been mentioned in the Ayurveda and is known to be a part of ancient Indian food. Its first mention was not as a rice pudding but actually made with jowar (sorghum) and milk. Millets were commonly used back in the early 14th century and this millet pudding was sweetened with fruits or jaggery. Also called payasam, payesh, payas, or payasa, every state in India has its own version and can also be made of vermicelli or millets. Payas is considered auspicious and is also associated with annaprasana (infant's weaning ritual). This sweet treat became widely popular once it was being served as prasada in temples. The white color (shwet) of this dish is associated with purity and is often a part of festivals and celebrations.
Rice: I use Basmati rice to make kheer. Any Indian variety of rice works well.
Milk: Use whole milk to make creamy kheer.
Sugar: I use raw sugar; however, plain white sugar also can be used.
Cardamom and saffron: They are used to add flavor to the kheer. You can use either one of them or both.
Nuts and raisins: These are added as a garnish. They add a great texture to the rice pudding. Almonds, pistachio, cashew, raisins, etc. are commonly used.
Tips and tricks
Make sure the lid and sealing ring of the Instant Pot is cleaned thoroughly. I set aside a spare sealing ring that I use to make sweets.
Rinse the rice well and soak it for 15 minutes.
The first step is to set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add ½ cup water. Once the water is hot, add the milk and rice. This is a common trick used when boiling milk on a stovetop - add a small amount of water first and heat it so that the milk does not burn.
The amount of sugar I add gives me a mildly sweet kheer. You can increase the sugar to ¾ cup for a sweeter kheer.
You can use any nuts as per your liking. You can also skip it to make nut-free kheer.
Making it thick or thin is a personal preference. However, the kheer thickens quickly when it is cooling down. The amount of milk I have used makes thick kheer. You can add more milk to make it thin. You can also adjust the consistency after cooking.
Do not do a quick release of pressure. Wait for the pressure to come down naturally.
To make kheer on a stovetop, boil the milk in a saucepan and add rice. Let it simmer until the rice is fully cooked. Then, add sugar and mix well.
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Kheer can be served either cold or hot. This is a personal preference. We prefer eating kheer chilled. Make ahead and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
Basmati rice is widely used in North India to make kheer. In Bengal, a special variety of rice called Govindobhog rice is used which is short-grain, sticky, and very aromatic. Any variety of Indian rice can be used to make kheer.
Store kheer in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It can be stored for 2-3 days. Once stored, the kheer tends to thicken. You can add some milk and thin it out before serving.
Yes, it can be frozen. Portion and store in a freezer-safe container. Freeze it for up to three months. Defrost the kheer by placing it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Do not defrost it at room temperature. Add some milk and mix it well before serving.
Traditionally, this kheer is made with whole milk and is not vegan. I have not tried making it with dairy-free milk.
When made in an Instant Pot, the kheer is usually thick and creamy. Follow the proportions in this recipe to get thick and creamy kheer. Also, keep in mind that the kheer thickens as it cools down.
This Instant Pot kheer is:
- very easy to make and requires minimal hands-on time
- rich, creamy, and luscious
- served either cold or hot depending on your preference
Step by step instructions
1. Put the Instant Pot in saute mode and add ½ cup water.
2. Once it is hot, add milk, rice, and sugar. Stir it well.
3. Close the lid and put the Instant Pot to Porridge mode and let it cook for 20 minutes.
4. Do a natural release of pressure. Mix well.
5. Add chopped nuts, raisin, cardamom powder, and saffron.
6. Mix everything well.
Read the tips section above to know how to make sure the milk does not burn. Thick and creamy kheer is ready to be served
Instant Pot Kheer
- ½ cup Basmati rice
- 5 cups whole milk
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoon nuts
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- ¼ teaspoon saffron
- Wash the rice in water for 2-3 times. Soak the washed rice for 10-15 minutes
- Put the Instant Pot in saute mode and add ½ cup water
- Once it is hot, add milk, rice, and sugar. Stir it well
- Close the lid and put the Instant Pot to Porridge mode and let it cook for 20 minutes
- Do a natural release of pressure
- Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix it well
- Add chopped nuts, raisin, cardamom powder, and saffron. Mix well
- Serve kheer warm or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold