Zafrani Kheer: A Royal Dessert Infused with Saffron

Desserts hold a special place in the world of culinary delights, and when it comes to Indian sweets, the options are endless. One such dessert that stands out both in flavor and elegance is Zafrani Kheer. This rich and creamy rice pudding, infused with the exquisite aroma and color of saffron, is a delightful treat that has been savored for generations. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of Zafrani Kheer and guide you through the process of making this royal dessert at home.

The Allure of Zafrani Kheer

Zafrani Kheer, also known as Saffron Rice Pudding, is a traditional Indian dessert that is often prepared on special occasions and festivals. It’s loved for its velvety texture, aromatic saffron strands, and the perfect balance of sweetness. Whether you’re celebrating a festival, hosting guests, or simply craving a comforting dessert, Zafrani Kheer is the perfect choice.

Ingredients for Zafrani Kheer:

For the Kheer:

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1 liter full-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
  • A generous pinch of saffron strands
  • 2 tablespoons warm milk (for saffron)
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • A few strands of edible silver foil (optional, for garnish)


1. Preparing the Saffron Infusion:

  • In a small bowl, place a generous pinch of saffron strands and pour 2 tablespoons of warm milk over them. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow the saffron to release its color and flavor.

2. Cooking the Rice:

  • Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the rinsed rice and 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let the rice simmer until it’s soft and fully cooked. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
  • Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it cool.

3. Preparing the Kheer:

  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, pour in the liter of full-fat milk and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let the milk simmer, stirring frequently. Continue simmering for about 20-25 minutes until the milk thickens and reduces to about half its original quantity.

4. Assembling the Kheer:

  • Add the cooked and cooled rice to the simmering milk. Stir well to combine.
  • Add the saffron-infused milk, which should have a beautiful yellow-orange color and a lovely aroma.
  • Stir in the sugar and continue to cook on low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves completely and the kheer thickens to your desired consistency. This may take another 15-20 minutes.
  • Add the cardamom powder and chopped nuts, reserving some for garnish.
  • Continue to simmer for a few more minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

5. Serving Zafrani Kheer:

  • Once the kheer reaches the desired consistency, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
  • Refrigerate the kheer for at least a couple of hours or until it’s nicely chilled.
  • Serve Zafrani Kheer in individual bowls, garnished with chopped nuts and edible silver foil if desired.

Zafrani Kheer is a dessert fit for royalty, with its luxurious saffron infusion and creamy texture. Whether it’s a festive occasion or a simple indulgence, this dessert is sure to captivate your taste buds and leave a lasting impression. So, why not embark on a culinary journey and savor the regal flavors of Zafrani Kheer in the comfort of your own home.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  1. What is Zafrani Kheer?
    • Zafrani Kheer is a rich and creamy Indian dessert made with rice, milk, and saffron. It’s known for its royal and exotic flavors.
  2. How do I make Zafrani Kheer at home?
    • You can make Zafrani Kheer by simmering rice in milk, sweetening it, and adding saffron and other flavorings. Find a detailed recipe for it online or in cookbooks.
  3. What makes Zafrani Kheer unique?
    • The use of saffron in Zafrani Kheer gives it a distinctive yellow color and a unique, aromatic flavor, making it a royal and special dessert.
  4. Is Zafrani Kheer suitable for special occasions?
    • Absolutely! Zafrani Kheer is often served at celebrations, weddings, and festive occasions, making it a perfect dessert for special events.
  5. Can I customize Zafrani Kheer with additional ingredients?
    • Yes, you can personalize your Zafrani Kheer by adding ingredients like nuts, rosewater, or cardamom to enhance the flavor and texture to your liking.

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