Muscle Sport Magazine

An Indian-style Rice Pudding That Vegans Will Love

Indian cuisine is characterized by the use of vegetables, greens, and spices in dishes such as Kashmiri Aloo Dum, Tandoori Chicken, and Tikka Masala Chicken. Interestingly, or maybe not, Indian desserts are equally abundant in those ingredients.

Kheer, also known as Payasam or Payesh in some provinces, is a typical Indian dessert based on the classic milk and rice pudding with special ingredients that make it unique and distinctive, such as pistachios and almonds.

It is mostly consumed in southern India and is also usually eaten as a main course at dinner.

A tradition of rice desserts

Many people usually get confused when eating Kheer, as there is a very similar dessert called Phirni, typical in northern India, which like Kheer, is made of sugar, saffron, cardamom, and milk but differs in that Kheer has a Basmati rice base, while Phirni has ground rice base. This makes it creamier because the ground rice doesn’t need too much milk to get cooked, compared to the Basmati. Also, Phirni is usually eaten cold, while Kheer can be eaten both warm and cold.

Here you will learn a new way of making the much-desired rice pudding, but this time in its southern Indian version: Kheer.

It should be noted that this recipe is for a vegan type of Kheer, based on a coconut milk rice pudding, since all the ingredients used in it are vegan.

Next, some tips you should follow during the cooking process and interesting information about this dish.

Kheer or Indian Rice Pudding


  • 1/4 cup of Basmati rice type.
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or vegan butter.
  • 3 crushed green cardamom pods.
  • 3 cups of almond milk; you will divide it into two portions of 1 ½ cup.
  • 5 tbsp of coconut sugar.
  • 3 tbsp of chopped nuts and almonds.
  • 2 tbsp of raisins.
  • 1 pinch of saffron.

How to prepare

  1. Rinse the rice in water several times until the water comes out very clear. Then, soak the rice in water for 25 minutes and strain it. Set aside.
  2. Heat a deep pot and add the rice, the coconut oil or vegan butter, and cardamom. Mix while it gets cooked for 1 minute.
  3. Pour both almond and coconut milk into the pot, stir while heating until it boils.
  4. Once the milk starts to evaporate, reduce the heat and cook for 25 minutes. Stir the mixture every two minutes to avoid sticking, it will become gradually thicker.
  5. Add the coconut sugar, nuts, saffron, and raisins and mix while cooking for 5 more minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let it stand. As it cools down, Kheer will keep on thickening. Then serve it.

Preparation tips

If you want your Kheer to be thicker, you can continue cooking it for 10 to 15 extra minutes more before adding the coconut sugar and the saffron.

It is advisable to use Basmati rice because it is the most common type of rice used in India (if you want to make an authentic vegan Kheer). However, another good option in case you do not have this rice type at hand, is to use Arborio rice. Arborio rice, like Basmati, has a high starch content and helps the Kheer, or any other dish for that matter, to have a creamier texture.

Other options to make Kheer by using rice substitutes are sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, and pasta.

You can use low GI (glycemic index) agave nectar instead of sugar if you suffer any blood-glucose related illness. Also, golden sultanas would make this vegan Kheer juicy and sweet.

Lastly, a good accompaniment to Kheer is vanilla ice cream. You can serve a scoop of ice cream along with the dish. Moreover, adding a diced apple on top is a great option to give it a crisp and fresh touch.


Now you have learned a little bit of Indian gastronomy and some tips to make a delicious vegan Kheer (or Payasam, or Payesh), a healthier alternative for those who follow the green lifestyle, for fans of Indian cuisine, or just for those who like to explore any exotic cuisine.

Visit this site soon for many more recipes. See you next time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *