Kheer is Indian pudding made by boiling milk with a starch such as rice, tapioca, or corn. This whole-food, plant-based recipe uses plant-based milk instead of dairy milk and brown rice instead of white. The result is an aromatic sweet pudding that is as healthful as it is heavenly.


  • 3 cups unsweetened, unflavored plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
  • 1 cup dry brown rice
  • ¼ cup chopped dates
  • ¼ cup pure cane sugar or pure maple syrup
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 tablespoon slivered or sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon roasted pistachios, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Garnishes: few strands saffron, slivered or sliced toasted almonds, chopped roasted pistachios


  • In a large saucepan combine milk, rice, dates, sugar, and 1 cup water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, about 45 minutes or until rice is completely cooked, stirring frequently. (The liquid should not be completely cooked off.)
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine saffron and 3 to 4 Tbsp. hot water. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add saffron with soaking liquid, raisins, almonds, pistachios, cardamom, and ½ cup water to cooked rice. Cook 10 to 20 minutes more or until rice is creamy, stirring occasionally. Top servings with desired garnishes.

Comments (17)

(5 from 4 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Becky Mowat

This was sweet enough, without maple syrup— the dried fruit made it sweet. I added a tsp of ginger, cinnamon , extra cardamom and salt to taste. A great breakfast with additional fresh fruit, or a dollop of homemade unsweetened applesauce and dried roasted pistachios & cashews.




So delicious! I added a little extra cardamom because I love it, very warming and tasty. I will be making this again…..perhaps tomorrow!


I made this recipe, and I cooked it as long as it said, plus about 10 additional minutes to try and get the rice soft. My rice is still a bit crunchy. So I think the next time I make this I will pre-cook the brown rice.


Can this be made in an Instant Pot?

Roxane J Johnson Johnson De Lear

Yes, I made it in insta pot. leave out 1 cup of milk. Pressure Porridge for 28 minutes and then let natural release. Then add the 1 cup of milk that is left and the rest of the ingredients.

C. Turner

Lovely flavor! Rich and decadent. I'm going to start out with cooked brown rice next time so it doesn't take forever and just reduce the liquid amounts.

Sharmila Hume

We have nut allergies here too and the dish is still good without nuts


Do you have to use the saffron at all?


Is there a substitute for the almonds and pistachios? Allergic to both.


I’ve usually seen nuts more as garnish. If you can have them, hazelnuts work well, as do pecans, cashews or walnuts. After that I’d look to seeds, added at the end or in the bowl, for crunch. Pumpkin, chia, sesame.


Is there a substitute for saffron?


I substituted saffron with turmeric and it was delicious


Leave it out. I'm an Indian and in my house we use either (or all) of: - nutmeg (small amount of grated sliver) - cardamom - saffron Traditionally the dish uses dairy milk, white rice, no dates.

Donna Wilhelm

Can you tell me what the nutritional information is for this dish? Including calories in serving size please. Thanks so much


They don't really do that on this site. The aim is that if you eat mostly plants, you don't have to count calories. If you eat a wide variety of plants, including beans, you don't have to worry about nutrition because you'll get enough.

ernest barker

total bliss and i don't even love raisins

About the Author

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About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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