rice pudding

$2.74 recipe / $0.69 serving

What happens when you’re craving something sweet while watching Anthony Bourdain travel around India? You start googling saffron rice pudding recipes.

I found a few recipes that I liked (this one, this one and this one) but since I’m still working off of what I have in my pantry, I couldn’t follow any of them exactly but instead used the ingredients and techniques as inspiration.

I had plenty of sliced almonds and a bag of purple raisins that I’ve been desperate to get rid of. So, instead of the more traditionally Indian golden raisins, I used boring old American style purple raisins. I wasn’t disappointed after tasting it, though. Also, to my dismay, I realized that I did not have cardamom like I thought I did. Instead I went with a blend of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Again, that’s more like an American style rice pudding but I’m trying to use only what I’ve got. I liked the technique of toasting the nuts, raisins and rice in the butter (or ghee) before adding the milk so I did that with mine. I also loved the idea of adding a bay leaf so I threw one in there. It was good.

I had some jasmine rice on had so I used that for a little extra subtle flavor. YUM. I will always be using jasmine rice for rice pudding from now on.

Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

5.0 from 1 reviews
rice pudding
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $2.74
Cost Per Serving: $0.69
Serves: 4
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.05
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds $0.16
  • ¼ cup raisins $0.56
  • ½ cup jasmine rice $0.44
  • 4 cups milk $1.30
  • ½ tsp cinnamon $0.05
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg $0.05
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract $0.07
  • 1 whole bay leaf $0.02
  • ¼ cup sugar $0.04
  1. Saute the almonds and raisins in butter over medium heat for one minute. Add the dry rice and saute for 1-2 minutes more or until it looks slightly golden and toasted. Watch the heat carefully, if the butter or sugar from the raisins begins to burn take it off of the heat immediately.
  2. Add the milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and bay leaf to the pot. Using a whisk stir it well so there are no clumps. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium/high heat while stirring often with a whisk. As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium/low and let it continue to simmer until thickened (30-40 min). Stir often with a whisk to prevent caking and burning on the bottom.
  3. After 30-40 minutes the rice should be soft and the mixture should be thick and creamy. Serve hot or cold.


Step By Step Photos

raisins almonds butterHeat the butter in a large pot and add the raisins and almonds.

toasted almonds raisinsContinually stir the almonds and raisins until they are toasted (1 min). The sugars from the raisins can burn so be careful. Add the raisins later when adding the milk if you’re afraid of burning them.

toast riceAdd the rice and stir it for 1-2 minutes more or until it looks slightly toasted and transparent.

add milkAdd the milk…

add spices and sugarAnd the sugar and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and bay leaf).

bring to boilBring the mixture to a boil over medium/high heat. Stir with the whisk often to prevent it from caking and burning on the bottom of the pan.

simmer till thickOnce it reaches a boil reduce the heat to medium/low and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes or until thickened. Stir it often during this time.

thick rice puddingThen, like magic, it’s thick and yummy. It will get even thicker as it cools.

Rice Pudding


  1. What flavor does the bay leaf bring to the pudding?

    • It’s just adds a bit of depth. It’s not a strong flavor at all. It’s one of those things that you wouldn’t be able to pin point.

  2. Rodri says:

    Loved this. Thanks for sharing. Always checking this site for great new recipes.

  3. Sher says:

    Can we use almond milk instead of regular milk?

  4. Anonymous – I’m really not sure if this would work in a rice cooker. I’d have to try it out before saying if it would work or not.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Would this work in a rice cooker? Where i couldnt keep stirring and stuff

  6. Anonymous says:

    So delicious!! made this for dessert tonight. :) left out the bay leaf as i didn’t have any.

  7. Michelle says:

    I am lactose intolerant, so I’d like to know what do you think about changing the milk to vanilla almond milk. If I used the sweetened version, can I cut out the sugar?

  8. WOW! no egg? I make rice pudding on a regular basis. It’s a craving I get about every couple months and there’s NO ignoring it! The almonds are a GREAT touch! You should try craisins instead of raisins. they plump up and add a light tart taste.

    • Annette says:

      I love the idea of craisins. I don’t like raisins but dried cranberries make me smile

  9. Mamma3Monkeys says:

    I love making kheer. I got a recipe from the Hindi fellow that runs the market a couple blocks from me. Lots of milk and a suprisingly small amount of rice. I have tried several recipes to make it like the first Indian Restraunt I went to a long time ago… I use saffron I got from Trader Joes and a little really does go a long way. Green cardamom is my favorite to use because black has a tobacco like smell and you have to be pretty careful with it since it’s more pungent. I haven’t tried using ground cardamom yet though. I go in and out with whether or not I want raisins in it, but I always top them with almonds and pistachios. Some even have rosewater in it (tried that too, definitely more fragrant but I’m not convinced it added anything to the taste…) Anyways, it’s always so cool when someone else start to appreciate this dessert. :) BTW, Ghee is clarified butter, so you don’t have any of those solids on the bottom which burn. ;)

  10. Oooh I love rice pudding!!! I’m going to make this one today!

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