Roh Di Kheer: A Punjabi Harvest Festival Special Rice Pudding
Image Credit: Reethika Singh/Cupcakeree

Roh di kheer, also known as ras di kheer, is an heirloom recipe from the ancient traditions of Punjab. Cooked patiently to mark the commencement of the harvest season, the rice pudding was originally cooked on wood-fired angeethi (fireplace). As the sugarcane juice cooks down and begins to caramelise, the rice acts as a thickening agent, offering the creamy texture of the pudding. Sugarcane juice is a common beverage up North and is found being sold on almost every other street corner. Since sugarcanes were in abundance and the fragrant basmati rice was a common feature in pulaos and biryanis, which inevitably also ended up in this delicious dessert.

Although the dessert might look simple because of a bare minimum list of ingredients, slow-cooking is the process that would yield best results. If you’d like to vegan-ise the dish, any plant-based milk alternative would work. This rustic dish has many parallels across other parts of North India, that are referred to by different names, of course. The pudding, offered as prashad, is one among the many variations of sweet rice made during harvest festivals across the country.



Also Read: 

A Guide To Making Creamy Odia Style Kheer

  • 4 cups fresh sugarcane juice
  • ½ cup basmati/gobindobhog rice
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds and cashews

Image Credits: @easyfoodsmith/Instagram


  • Wash and soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. Strain and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring the sugarcane juice to a boil and reduce the flame to low.
  • As the scum or impurities begin to surface on top of the boiling sugarcane juice, use a strainer to gently extract it and discard periodically. Halfway through the cooking (roughly 15 minutes in), add the soaked grains of rice and let it cook gently in the sugarcane juice.
  • You will start to notice the mixture thickening slowly and the grains softening. Crush the cardamom pods and add them in at this point. In a small frying pan, add the ghee and the dry fruits to fry until browned.
  • Once the kheer has reached the desired consistency, pour the milk in and stir until everything is combined. Cook for another couple of minutes before turning off the stove and adding in the browned nuts. Serve warm or cold, garnished with a few almond slivers or dried rose petals.