This Instant Pot Kheer Recipe has the classic flavor of traditional Pakistani and Indian kheer without the fuss. This restaurant-inspired recipe has been rigorously tested and perfected until I can confidently call it the BEST Instant Pot kheer. Incredibly quick and easy to make, this kheer recipe is a sure crowd-pleaser.
Word on the street is you can make kheer in an Instant Pot. Throw in some milk, rice, and sugar, hit that “porridge” setting.
Tried it. Decent. Tastes like rice pudding, not kheer. Admittedly, you can’t go wrong with milk, rice, and sugar, but kheer is on another level.
There are two kheers I’ve tasted that I recall as outstanding. One – uncle Mir’s kheer that we used to have every Eid. And two – the kheer from my wedding and my sister’s, brother’s, etc…a most revered kheer that we often look forward to more than the wedding itself.
After a couple generic kheer trials, I knew it was missing that something. And my night wakings would continue unless my kheer tasted more like kheer kheer and less like Asian Buffet kheer.
On a whim, I called my wedding caterers, Kababesh Grill, to see if I could get some clarity. The owner answered and not only generously shared the recipe but gave me duas and well wishes as good uncles do.
This recipe is an easy, lightened up version of his kheer while staying true to its creamy, show-stopping, wedding-worthy taste. It’s rich and indulgent without being overly sweet or heavy.
What is Kheer?
Kheer, also called chawal ki kheer, is a South Asian style rice pudding made with milk, sugar, and rice. Traditionally, the milk and rice is reduced down for hours which results in a beautiful taste and texture.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Kheer
This kheer only requires 6 ingredients. In addition to milk, rice, and cane sugar, I use half & half and condensed milk to give it that essential depth and flavor. Optionally, you can add nuts, saffron, and kewra or rose water.
What kind of rice to use for Instant Pot Kheer
Should you rinse the rice?
Though I usually wash and rinse my rice, I don’t when making kheer. I find the starch actually helps enhance the creamy texture (plus, dry rice is just easier to work with). If you prefer, you can certainly rinse.
How to make Kheer in the Instant Pot
This kheer is so easy to make, it almost seems unfair. All you do is:
Pour in the milk, half and half, and cardamom pods and bring everything to a light boil. Stir frequently, but not constantly. It’s important to allow the milk to come to a boil because if you just dump and go, the milk is much more likely to stick to the bottom.
Mix in the pre-ground rice. Then close the lid, press Porridge Setting, and walk away. Allow the pressure to naturally release. Manually releasing will cause the kheer to splatter all over (guilty).
Once you remove the lid, stir and add the sugar and condensed milk. Then sauté down for roughly 5 minutes, until it starts looking too scrumptious not to taste.
Use a wooden spoon to mash the rice against the sides for a creamier texture.
Cancel Sauté when the kheer is a little thinner than you’d like as it thickens up once it’s removed from the heat. Add kewra essence or rose water and garnish with nuts, if desired. And you’re done!
How long does it take to make Kheer in the Instant Pot?
It takes 45 minutes for the Instant Pot to build up pressure, cook, and naturally release. Other than that, there are only 15 minutes of active hands-on time before and after.
Tea for Turmeric Tips to make Kheer in the Instant Pot
- It’s important to grind the rice prior to cooking to get the proper texture. Don’t worry if the rice is not completely homogenous after being ground.
- If you prefer, you can use cardamom powder instead of whole cardamom. If so, add the cardamom powder at the end with the sugar and condensed milk.
- To double (or halve) the recipe, simply double (or halve) the ingredients, but pressure cook for the same amount of time.
- Half & Half is half milk, half cream. So if you don’t have it or can’t find it, you can replace it with one cup heavy whipping cream and one cup whole milk.
- Leave the kheer runnier than you’d like because it will thicken up once removed from heat.
How to make Kheer on the Stovetop
I’ve tested this recipe many times (and then had my sister, cousin, and friend test it for good measure), but I still haven’t gotten around to trying it on the stovetop.
Since there is no evaporation when pressure cooking in the Instant Pot, you’ll need to add more liquid to achieve the same ‘cooked down’ taste. You’ll also need to stir more frequently to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
How to make Dairy-Free Vegan Kheer
Though I haven’t tried it myself, you can easily make this kheer vegan by substituting the milk and regular half & half with soy milk and dairy-free half & half. You can also use all soymilk and add coconut cream after cooking in the Instant Pot. (I have tried using a can of coconut cream after cooking and it worked beautifully to thicken while adding a light coconut taste.)
To replace the condensed milk, you can use vegan condensed milk, or just use more sugar or sweetener of choice.
For a lightened up, healthier Kheer
For a lighter, healthier version for every day, you can replace the half & half with more milk and add more sugar or sweetener of choice in place of the condensed milk. It won’t be as complex in flavors, but you’ll get your kheer fix.
How to serve Kheer
Kheer is usually served either hot or chilled.
I prefer leaving it plain with a simple garnish of nuts, but you can make it extra fancy with ghee-sauteéd nuts, golden raisins, or coconut flakes.
So without further ado, here’s my self-proclaimed best kheer recipe. I hope you try it and see for yourself! If you do, please drop a rating/comment below. I always love hearing from you!!
More Pakistani and Indian Dessert Recipes
For more Instant Pot Recipes, here are 10+ Easy Pakistani Instant Pot recipes.
The BEST Instant Pot Kheer
- Instant Pot
- Spice Grinder or Food Processor
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp basmati rice
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 cups (1 pint) half and half or sub 1 cup milk + 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 10 cardamom pods or sub 1/4 tsp cardamom powder*
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp pure cane sugar or to taste
- 3 tbsp condensed milk (or sub more sugar)
- ¼-1/2 tsp kewra essence or rose water depending on strength (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp finely chopped or slivered nuts such as almonds, pistachios, etc. (optional)
- Select the Sauté (More) setting on the Instant Pot. Meanwhile, in a spice grinder or food processor, pulse to grind the rice about 10-12 times, or until the consistency resembles steel cut oats. Shake the spice grinder in between to help distribute the rice. Be careful not to pulse too much as you don’t want a powder.
- Cancel Sauté, close the lid, and set the Pressure Release Valve to Sealing. Select the Porridge setting, with a timer set for 20 minutes on High Pressure. When the timer is up, allow the pressure to naturally release (~20 minutes).
- Remove the lid, press Cancel to turn off the Instant Pot. Select the Sauté (More) setting. Stir and add the sugar and condensed milk. Sauté, stirring constantly until the mixture reduces down slightly (~5 minutes). Note: Leave the kheer runnier than you'd like because it will thicken up once removed from heat. Use a wooden spoon to mash the rice against the sides to further crush the rice.