Kheer : South Asian Sweet Dessert

Kheer is a tasty rice pudding popular in Nepal and North India. It is similar to European rice pudding but with the addition of spices like cinnamon, cardamon, fenugreek and cloves.  It is a delicious pudding to satisfy a sweet tooth after a hearty curry.

Kheer is the most endearing sweet dish. Kheer was also a part of the ancient diet. Rice Kheer is also served as an offering to god to show respect and love. It has different names in different parts of the country. Romans used the sweet kheer dessert as a stomach coolant and also, as a detox diet.

  • Health benefits of Rice Kheer
  1. When Rice Kheer is made with natural ingredients, it is very healthy and comes across as a better alternative to other sweet treats. It has fewer calories and offers 4 grams of protein. Every 5-ounce serving provides a small amount of both vitamin A and vitamin C. Also, it’s a good source of calcium and low in cholesterol.
  2. It has a cooling effect on the body, which is helpful in the summer when the subtle energy that controls metabolism and can cause us to overheat dominates.
  3. Rice is a great source of carbohydrates which helps in restoring your glycogen that gets depleted from the muscles after exercising.
  4. Milk that is one of the main rice kheer ingredients contains proteins and carbohydrates that help your body assimilate the amino acids which are required to perform all its important tasks.
  5. It can help you lose weight as well and is the best alternative for coffee or tea since it is very light.
  6. Note: Avoid kheer or take in less quantity if you have poor digestion.

In Nepal, festivities are of common occurrences. Whether it be esteemed festivals like Vijaya Dashami or other significant ones such as Mata Tirtha Aunshi (Mother’s Day), Nepalese are often observing these revelries. Similarly, Shrawan 15 is marked as Kheer Khane Din, in Nepalese calendars.

“Kheer” is a common, yet an auspicious delicacy in Nepali cuisine. Although being just a sweet rice pudding, it is considered a pure and holy treat. Kheer Khane Din (literally translated as day for eating Kheer) marks the achievement of farmers in Nepal.

The Nepali month of Asadh and Shrawan marks the rice harvesting period for the farmers. Paddy farming in Nepal is a joyous occasion in Nepal. Whether it be men, women or people from different social backgrounds, they work in unity to plant the saplings and ensure a good harvest. Since, Shrawan marks the end of the harvest period, they offer Kheer as Prasad (holy offering) to the deities and enjoy themselves as well.

Want to commemorate the harvest of paddy by enjoying a delicious bowl of this sweet rice pudding? Here’s how you can make it.

Ingredients for kheer rice pudding

  1. 2 litres of milk
  2. 250 grams of long grain rice like Basmati
  3. 150 grams of grated coconut
  4. 4 tablespoons of caster sugar
  5. Spices: cardamon, cinnamon, cloves and fenugreek:
  6. Spices for kheer – Nepalese rice pudding
  7. Spices for kheer – Nepalese rice pudding

How to make kheer:

1. Bring the milk and rice to a boil in a pan.

2. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat, stir and add the grated coconut and all the spices.

3. Let it simmer for around 20 minutes to cook the rice, then add the sugar.  Keep stirring to avoid the bottom of the pan burning.

4. When the sugar has dissolved into the mixture, continue cooking for a further 10 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat and transfer mixture to a separate bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for around 4 hours or over night.

By : Shreya Kandel