Saffron and Cardamom Rice Pudding

Cardamom and Saffron Rice Pudding (Kheer)

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My name is Garima Vir. I am a  lawyer, dog mom, wife and home cook.

I have a passion for food and love to try new dishes when I go out and at home.

I love being creative and trying new things but also enjoy making things that are easy and quick.

Join me on my journey as I learn more about food and cooking.

Creamy saffron rice pudding slow-cooked on the stovetop. This wonderful treat can be made in advance. Perfect tret to carry with you on a hike or picnic. It is mildly sweet but creamy with textural variety from pistachios and raisins.

Toast the rice in ghee and cook in milk seeped in cardamom and saffron. Let the milk thicken and let the rice cook. Add sugar and let it dissolve. Let the milk finish cooking the rice. Turn the heat off when the texture is slightly thinner than desired as the kheer will thicken as it cools.

Saffron and Cardamom Rice Pudding
Saffron and Cardamom Rice Pudding

What is Kheer?

Kheer is a dessert pudding from the Indian subcontinent. Made with cooking milk and sugar with one of the following: rice, wheat, millet, tapioca, or vermicelli. Often flavored with desiccated coconut, cardamom, dry fruit, saffron, pistachios, and nuts.

Can you make Kheer in advance?

Kheer is mildly sweet with great earth and floral flavors coming from the cardamom and saffron. This is a great make-ahead dessert. Kheer is best served the next day. Store in the fridge for up to five days.

Saffron and Cardamom Rice Pudding
Saffron and Cardamom Rice Pudding

What is Saffron?

Saffron is a spice with a sweet and floral flavor and aroma. To help the saffron bloom and release more flavor, crush the saffron between fingertips and drop into hot milk. The saffron flavor blooms in the hot milk and evenly distributes throughout the dish.

Saffron is an important ingredient in sweet and savory dishes. Use it to make Seafood Paella or Mango Barfi.

Where can I buy Saffron?

I was lucky to receive some fragrant and flavorful saffron from Nafis Saffron. Nafis ships saffron worldwide from their Instagram distributor.

Luxe Pack for $49
Regular Pack for $37
Saffron and Cardamom Rice Pudding
Saffron and Cardamom Rice Pudding

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Saffron and Cardamom Rice Pudding

Cardamom and Saffron Rice Pudding (Kheer)

  • Author: hungrygirlinqueens
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Indian


Delicious and simple gluten-free Indian Kheer dessert. This saffron and cardamom rice pudding is cooked with pistachios and raisins. 



  • 1/4 cup rice basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or butter
  • 3 green cardamom pods,  crushed
  • 4 cups of milk, whole preferred
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios and raisins
  • pinch of saffron


  1. In a large even bottomed pan, add ghee and heat to medium-high heat.
  2. Add crushed green cardamom, pistachios and raisins and continue to heat.
  3. Add rice and toast for 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Add 3 1/2 cups of milk and let it come to a gentle boil and lower to medium and let the rice cook to just cooked should take about 8-10 minutes. 
  5. Heat up 1/2 cup of milk in the mircowave for 45 seconds. Add saffron to hot milk and let seep.
  6. Add sugar and saffrom milk to the rice and let it finish cooking for a couple mintures while the sugar dissolves. 
  7. The pudding will thicken as it cools so turn the heat off before it gets to the desired consistency. 
  8. Let the rice pudding cool on the stove top for 30 minutes and then store in an air tight container in the fridge. 
  9. Garnish with saffron threds and pistachios. 


  • Remove the cardamom pods before serving is desired.
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