Kheer, Rizogalo, Rice Pudding … Creamy Cardamom-Scented Basmati Rice Pudding

My grandmother’s rizogalo (rice pudding) is ingrained in my memory for ages to come; she made it so often and always sent up half a dozen or so bowls for us to devour. When the smell of cinnamon would waft up the stairs from her apartment to ours, we knew what was coming! Her recipe was simplicity at its best: milk, rice, sugar and a dash of cinnamon. I’ve made it often and rarely veered from her always-delectable version.

Until now. I brought home a bag of Basmati rice the other day and I was immediately inclined to use it in a sweet recipe as opposed to a savory application. I also had a small jar of cardamom pods (entirely under-used and neglected) nestled away in my pantry and as I often associate cardamom with Indian sweets and also had that Basmati rice, I decided an Indian rice pudding was in order.

I found this recipe on a site called Blue Jean Gourmet. Simple, fast and exactly what I was looking for, the family didn’t even let it cool adequately before spooning it all up. My impressions? I will never use a rice other than Basmati to make rice pudding. Using plain old rice in the past, I’d always find half-cooked grains with too much bite mixed in with the fully-cooked rice. It wasn’t pleasant. But this, oh, this Basmati rice pudding was utter perfection.

Kheer – Indian Rice Pudding
Makes 4 small (4-inch) ramekin servings

4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup basmati rice, rinsed
1/4 to 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 cardamom pods, finely ground
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

In a medium pot, heat the milk and vanilla over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, rinse the rice, drain and add the rice to the milk, stirring to combine with a wooden spoon.

Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, about 30 to 35 minutes. Check the rice for doneness and once cooked through, remove the pot from the heat.  Stir in the cardamom, then swirl in the sweetened condensed milk (add more or less as desired). Serve warm or at room temperature.

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15 Responses to “Kheer, Rizogalo, Rice Pudding … Creamy Cardamom-Scented Basmati Rice Pudding”

  1. Cherine says:

    Oh YUM, I just want to dig in and enjoy that rice pudding.

  2. Μαρία μου φαίνεται υπέροχο! Το κάρδαμο θα του δείνει ξεχωριστό άρωμα!

  3. Rosa says:

    Marvelously delicious! I’d love some now. Basmati is so fragrant.



  4. This has got to be the best rice pudding I have seen in a long time!

  5. As a mad ryzogalo fan this looks divine! Love the Indian inspired flavours here Maria. Must try the basmati in my next rice pudding!

  6. Peter says:

    My dad’s been on a rice pudding kick as well and I’ve been enjoying a bowl here and there. Great plating/pics…I’m inspired.

  7. I love rizogalo and haven’t made or eaten it for such a long time. I love how you made it here with basmati rice and cardamom. I have some cardamom pods stowed away that I need to use still. Such an intoxicating spice!

  8. Ivy says:

    I made kheer several years ago and although it’s not bad I definitely prefer our traditional ryzogalo.

  9. Just the scent of cardamom elevates any dish–savory or sweet.

  10. maria says:

    i love rizogalo, it’s not something we make often though
    the scent of cardamon and basmati is intoxicating – i look forward to making this one soon

  11. Tiffany says:

    I love cardamon! This sounds amazing and I love your red polka dot plates! :D

  12. admin says:

    Tiffany, aren’t those little plates cute?! I’ve been buying quirky plates/dishes anywhere I find them with my blog photos in mind … and now I’m running out of space to store them!

  13. phoenikia says:

    Beautiful! Love kheer, but have never tried to make it before.

  14. Ruby says:

    How serendipitous! I was just talking to my dad last night about rice pudding. He couldn’t believe I’d never made it for my family (who loves it) just because I don’t like it. I’m selfish that way. I promised him I’d make an attempt and I’m bookmarking this recipe now to do just that. I have everything in stock already – perfect! And your photos are really lovely.

  15. Nishta says:

    Glad you enjoyed the recipe! I love how similar dishes show up in such different cuisines, and rice pudding is definitely one of those.

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