Rose, Pistachio & Cardamom Kheer

I absolutely love rice pudding, but it makes me sad how many people seem to have been put off for life due to the horrors of being force-fed it at school. I think most of us can remember the gluey/gloopy/lukewarm bowl of substandard ‘rice pudding’ in the school canteen but honestly this grown-up version will change your life! 

Rose and Pistachio is one of my favourite eastern flavour combinations – I drew inspiration for this rice pudding from a favourite childhood treat of mine. I say childhood, but I still love a glass of it every now and then – albeit I am obviously more aware of the amount of sugar it probably definitely contains. If you haven’t tried a Falooda then I really urge you to! It’s a South Asian drink/dessert made up of milk flavoured with rose syrup, sweet basil seeds (similar to chia), vermicelli and a large scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. There are lots of variations but I like the classic.

If you’re dairy-free then swap the milk in the below recipe for coconut milk, I’m not claiming this to be a ‘healthy’ recipe because it really isn’t. But it’s bloody tasty, and we all deserve a treat.

Rose, Pistachio & Cardamom Kheer


100g Pudding Rice
1L Milk
100g Sugar
Pinch saffron
1/4 tsp Crushed Green Cardamom
2 tsp Finely Chopped Almonds and Pistachios
2 tbsp Rose Syrup (the one most Asian households use is by T.G. Kiat & Co, available in most Asian supermarkets, but you can use any brand)

Handful rose petals
Extra chopped pistachios
Few drops of rose syrup


  1. Add rice and milk to a saucepan, and slowly bring up to a simmer, stirring often to prevent the rice sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  2. When the rice is cooked, and the milk has thickened add your sugar and spices. Stir in 2 TBSP rose syrup. Keep stirring until sugar has dissolved.
  3. Serve hot or cold depending on your preference and garnish just before serving.


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