Chawal ki Kheer (Rice Pudding) Recipe

Authentic Eats: Dessert Edition

Photography by Trevor Long

Chattanooga has gained notoriety in recent years for its growing ethnic food scene and for good reason. Restaurants representing far-flung corners of the globe are wowing diners with their quality ingredients and expert flavor combinations. While these establishments are dishing up their fair share of show-stopping mains, those with a sweet tooth fret not! Here, we highlight worldly desserts from some of the city’s top cultural eateries.

Sujata Singh

“This is the celebratory dish of my childhood, made for birthdays and holidays. Since all the ingredients were always on hand, no extra fanfare or preparation was needed, and it also came together quickly, so it was a great dessert to be served when last-minute guests dropped in.”

chawal ki kheer

Spice Trail's Chawal ki Kheer (Rice Pudding)

Sujata Singh
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 cup short-grained ricesuch as Arborio or sona masoori
  • 1 Tbsp. + 4 cups whole milk,divided (can sub coconut milk)
  • 8-10 strands saffron
  • 1 Tbsp. ghee
  • ½ cup sugar or to taste
  • ¼ cup mixed toasted nuts such asalmonds, cashews, pistachios (optional)
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground cardamom powder
  • Cinnamon, to taste


  • Wash the rice a few times, and let it soak for 10 minutes before draining off all the water.
  • Warm the tablespoon of milk, and add the saffron strands so they can bloom while you cook the rest of the dish.
  • Boil the remaining 4 cups of milk over medium heat, making sure it does not boil over.
  • In a separate pan, heat the ghee over medium heat, and toast the rice until everything is evenly coated.
  • Add the rice to the milk, and bring it back to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer until the rice is cooked through and the milk has thickened. Add sugar, toasted nuts, cardamom, bloomed saffron, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Note: This dish can be enjoyed warm or cold. As the mixture cools down, the pudding gets thicker, so add milk to get to your desired consistency. 
Keyword indian recipe, pudding, rice, rice pudding
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