Bengali Rice Kheer

This dish can be made at any time, and it is also a favourite sweet at Diwali.

Diwali Kheer

This beautiful Indian dessert is a favourite dish made at Diwali, but it can be made at any time. It is quite wonderful, an Indian take on a rice pudding. One of the beautiful traditions of Diwali is the making and sharing of sweet things.

Similar recipes include Warm Rice Pudding with Star Anise Sauce, Pandan Rice Pudding with Lime Syrup, Sago Payasam, and Greek Rice Pudding.

You might like to browse our dessert recipes here, or our Indian recipes too. Find inspiration in our Mid-Spring recipes.



Chaler Payesh | Bengali Rice Kheer

Cuisine: Indian (Bengali)
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: several hours
Serves: 4 people

1.5 – 2 l Milk
100 g Basmati or Ambemohar Rice
1.5 tspn Ghee
100 g Sugar
pinch salt
1.5 Tblspn Cashew nuts
1.5 Tblspn Raisins
3 – 4 green cardamom pods
1 – 2 Indian Bay leaf (Tej Pata)

Place the milk in a large heavy saucepan, bring to the boil over a low flame, and allow to boil slowly until it is 3/4 of its original volume or less.

Melt the ghee and add it to the rice and mix it well through the rice.

When the milk has reduced enough, add the rice and cook on high flame, stirring often.

When the rice is cooked and the mixture is thickening, add the sugar, salt, cracked cardamom pods and Indian bay leaf.

Stir until the sugar dissolves, and allow to continue to cook for 5 minutes or so. Add the cashew nuts and raisins. Stir them through, remove the bay leaf, and allow the rice to sit for 5 minutes.

Serve hot or cold. You can garnish the rice with raisins, cashew nuts or fresh or dry fruits.

Diwali Kheer

recipe notes
As you reduce milk by boiling for an hour or two, you get the most sweet liquid – condensed milk, but so very different to the tinned condensed milk that we can buy.

The recipe uses Indian Bay leaf, tej pata. This is not the same as the western bay leaf. If you cannot lay your hands on tej pata, the best substitute is a cardamom leaf, though these are hard to find. Leave it out if cannot locate tej pata or cardamom leaf.

The rice needs to be a sweeter rice, like Basmati or Ambemohar Rice.

Diwali Kheer


25 thoughts on “Bengali Rice Kheer”

  1. Mmm rice puddings are always so comforting, I simply love them. I will have to look out for the Indian bay leaves to try this. Happy Diwali

    1. It is very much like using a fresh cardamon leaf. i am so glad that I found this alternative as i have cardamom growing 🙂 . The Indian bay leaf is very similar to one used a lot in Balinese cooking – this is where I first came across it.

  2. What a lovely custom/festivity! It must be so special being in India now…
    And your rice kheer looks SO delicious! We DO actually get Indian bay here at your market, so I’m looking forward to make this some time1

  3. Great blog! I love seeing new blogs about food and cooking. Some of the recipes here sound very interesting. I can’t wait to try making one of them. Bon Appetit!

  4. I was touched by the Obama video. I know it may just be a cynical political thing to do but he’s got to get extra points on being so inclusive (first with the gay community as well).

    Congrats on joining tastes potting too 🙂

  5. Actually, it’s not celebrated by all Indians. It is a religious festival celebrated by people who follow the hindu religion 🙂

    1. Hi Mina, thank you. As I understand it, Diwali is celebrated by a number of religions:

      (from wikipedia) Diwali or Dīpāvali is a significant 5-day festival in Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism occurring between the end of September and early November. Diwali is an official holiday in India and Nepal.

      I take your point that it is not all Indians – thank you so much for clarifying.


  6. rice kheer is the best…so easy to put together and never fails to please anyone. And you are right, it is the taste of the tej patta that adds a different twist to the kheer, been ages since I made it this way.

  7. Cool Recipes from all over the world. Creating meals that wow your friends and family. Not reinventing the wheel, making proper use of it!

  8. each and every part of India if full of Lights… 😀

    Wishing A Very Happy and Lightful Diwali..

    One single lamp can say goodbye to darkness and this picture is so beautiful.
    The lamps and the gods together saying goodbye t evil and darkness

    missed India so much this Diwali

    I guess that Little Girl is You.. 😀
    BTW Belated Happy Diwali Himani.. 😀
    And If you don’t mind may I know Where are you right
    now and What do you do?
    and you?

    I had a amazing Diwali with my friends..But was little sad
    as I was not with my family.. 😦
    and nice to know about you.. 😀

    Happy Diwali friend. Have a great year and keep smiling!

    Happy Diwali to you and your family! God bless!!
    Wishing you a year full of light. Nice shot!

    Happy New Year & diwali! May the light of Gods shine upon you.

    Harsha. Always look toward the light…

    Nicely taken.
    Lighting is very good.
    Happy Diwali!

    Very very happy and prosperous Diwali to you and your family.

    I really liked the picture

    And yes I think i know “Boys Diwali Celebrations..”
    It goes on and on and on

    Happy diwali Sapna to you and family and everyone around you ..

    Have a good one and enjoyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    but just bought a couple of kgs of flowers from the highway near by!
    following your advise of noise free diwali

    yayyy.. Happy Diwali sash! Have a great time at home.

    A very Happy Diwali to you too! So nice to hear about your cracker-free celebrations.

    And the pic that you have put up on your blog is just awesome!

    A very Happy Diwali to you too! Hope the year brings lots of

    Thank you for sharing your journey and thoughts with
    us.For many of us who have only lived in cities and never had to worry about having a roof over our heads or the next meal- this has been an awakening.
    Of course we were surrounded by beggars and poor people but few
    of us had a social conscience. People like you will drive a change …..

    I hope you have a guilt free Diwali…you guys have done more
    in 1 month than most of us in a lifetime!! Kudos

    be it just a wee bit
    Thank you for the inspiring idea! Can i hope dat is only a beginning and you will have some exclusive social plans for future… Best of luck:)


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