Makhane ki Kheer is the creamiest and most flavorful pudding you will ever have! It’s a traditional milk-based Indian dessert made with lotus seeds, sugar and infused with the rich aromas of cardamom and saffron. It’s amazingly delicious and is generally prepared on auspicious occasions like Mahashivratri, Navratri vrat, or other fasting days.
Growing up, Phool Makhana kheer kept appearing up at our holiday dinner table as a special dessert. But, I was never a fan of this sweet treat. I used to drink away the milk part and toss out the soft makhanas.
But, the time has a way to make us change our habits. When away from home, you start liking things that, as a kid, we did not accept.
What is Makhane ki Kheer
In English, Makhana is often quoted as Puffed Lotus seeds or foxnuts and is a plant-based starchy and edible seed that many eat during the vrat season. Makhanas are regularly consumed in Indian cuisine for their anti-inflammatory properties and their health benefits. Besides being a nutrient-rich food, Makhana offers endless room for experimentation.
They are incredibly versatile and can be prepared in both sweet and savory dishes, making them an excellent carb option for vegan and gluten-free diets alike.
Kheer, a traditional Indian pudding, is ubiquitous in the Indian subcontinent. It is usually made by cooking rice with milk, sugar, and toasted nuts into an addictive after-meal dessert. Besides rice, there are other variations too made with cracked wheat, tapioca (sabudana), vermicelli kheer, lauki, to name a few.
In my adaption of Kheer, I have used roasted Makhana (foxnuts) boiled in reduced milk and flavored with cardamom, raisins, saffron, and nuts such as cashews, pistachios, and almonds.
Reasons You’ll ♡ Makhane ki Kheer
Here are a few reasons out of THE many why I really love this kheer –
- Easy to make
- Made with superfood makhanas that have high nutritional and medicinal values
- Ready in under 30 minutes
- Loaded with irresistible flavors
- So creamy and rich that it is a delight for taste buds
- Its beautiful color is a treat for the eyes
- Gluten-free but can also be made vegan, and
- Can be doubled or tripled to feed a large gathering.
Now, isn’t that a great way to enjoy a dessert that all comes together in one pan for a beautiful blend of flavors? And the best part?
It can be enjoyed warm, cold, or at room temperature.
Ingredient list for Phool Makhana Kheer
Say hello to this one-pot dessert that comes together quickly, doesn’t require much hands-on time in the kitchen, and it is made with simple ingredients such as —
» Ghee — Ghee is a must-have to roast the Makhanas as it lends a subtle nutty flavor to the Kheer.
Substitute — You can use coconut oil as a substitute.
» Phool Makhana — Also known as foxnuts , can be readily found at any Indian grocery store or online.
» Milk — For a creamy taste, use full-fat milk for Makhana kheer. You can use 2% fat milk, but please don’t use skim milk. Skim milk will not yield great results.
Substitute — You can use half-n-half for a thicker consistency.
» Flavoring — I have infused my Makhane ki kheer with cardamom powder, raisins, and saffron strands. Raisins add a nice tang as well as additional sweetness to the kheer. Likewise, saffron infuses the kheer with a unique color and flavor.
» Nuts — I have used slivered almonds, cashews, pistachios, and charoli seeds. Feel free the omit the nuts if you are allergic to them.
Substitute — If you are allergic to nuts. you can add melon seeds or sunflower seeds to the kheer.
» Sugar — I have raw used cane sugar to sweeten the Makhana Kheer.
Substitute — You can use regular white sugar, condensed milk, or even gur (jaggery) to sweeten the kheer.
» Milk Powder — Also referred to as powdered milk, is added to thicken the milk. Apart from thickness, it will lend a creamy and rich taste to our kheer.
» Garnishes — Mixed nuts and slivered pistachios.
How to make Makhane Ki Kheer
This section walks you through a detailed step-by-step recipe with pictures. For the FULL, printable recipe card, please scroll down to the bottom of this post.
» Roast Makhana — Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat. Once hot, add phool makhana and roast them for 4-6 minutes or until the makhanas are light brown and crunchy. Once done, remove from heat and set them aside on a plate.
PROTIP — Keep stirring the makhanas occasionally to prevent them from burning. Do not leave them unattended at any time as they may burn.
» Toast dry nuts — To the same pan, add ghee. Once hot, add raisins, cashews, almonds, and charoli seeds to the pan. Sauté the nuts for a minute over medium-low heat. Once done, remove the nuts from the pan and transfer them onto a plate. Set it aside.
» Prepare the milk base — To the same pan add milk and stir it for 1-2 minutes. Now, add toasted saffron strands and cardamom powder to the milk and stir it well. Add milk powder and stir until no lumps remain. Bring the milk to a frothy boil. Add sugar and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until the milk thickens a bit.
PROTIP — Keep stirring constantly to prevent the milk from getting burnt or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
» Add Phool Makhane — Time to add toasted phool makhane and toasted nuts to the boiling milk. Mix it well. Cover the pan and allow the makhanas to simmer in the milk for 4-5 minutes or until the makhana pearls soak up the milk and becomes soft. The makhanas will meld into the milk base and become very soft. Take it off the flame. Add the slivered nuts and mix well.
PROTIP — The Makhana kheer will thicken as it cools, therefore, do not overcook the kheer.
» Serve — If you prefer it chilled, then allow the kheer to cool down completely. Transfer it to an airtight container and chill overnight. Garnish it with slivered pistachios and serve.
PROTIP — If makhane ki kheer becomes too thick after cooling, warm 1/4 cup of milk in a microwave and add it to the kheer. Mix gently until thoroughly combined.
Frequently asked questions
Can I make Makhana kheer with Jaggery?
You sure can! For a healthier version, you can sweeten Makhane ki kheer with crushed jaggery. To add jaggery to the kheer, the process will be a little different — cook the kheer as mentioned in the recipe. Skip the step where sugar is added and proceed with the recipe as mentioned.
Once the Makhanas are soft, take it off the flame and add crushed jaggery to the kheer. Stir until the jaggery is completely dissolved. Jaggery will add a beautiful caramel-y hue to the phool makhana kheer.
PROTIP — Do not add jaggery to the simmering milk, as it will cause the milk to curdle.
How to make vegan Makhane ki kheer?
To make a vegan kheer –
- Swap ghee with coconut oil or vegan butter.
- You can replace milk with any plant-based milk. Almond milk works the best.
- This kheer is sweetened with vegan cane sugar, but for a dark and robust flavor, you can sweeten your kheer with maple syrup or dates paste too.
- For milk powder, you can powder half the quantity of toasted makhanas in a blender and add it to the simmering milk. Powdered Makhanas will add a nice creamy consistency and will thicken the kheer.
Other ways to flavor Phool Makhana kheer
If no cardamom powder or saffron on hand, flavor your makhana kheer with 1 tablespoon of Thandai mix or a teaspoon of rose water. Kewra water will work great too.
What can I use instead of milk powder?
The closest substitute would be – homemade mawa. You can add 1/4 cup of crumbled mawa (mawa#3) to the simmering milk.
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!
This rich and creamy Makhane ki kheer is a great dessert, especially lovely for festive celebrations, but it can be served any time of the year. The soft and tender makhana bites will melt in your mouth and will surely impress your guests.
Should you make this recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.
More delicious festive treats that you’d love –
Makhane Ki Kheer
- – – Slivered Pistachios
- – – Mixed Nuts
- Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat.
- Once hot, add phool makhana and roast them for 4-6 minutes or until the makhanas are light brown and crunchy.
- Once done, remove from heat and set them aside on a plate.
TOAST DRY NUTS
- To the same pan, add ghee.
- Once hot, add raisins, cashews, almonds, and charoli seeds to the pan.
- Sauté the nuts for a minute over medium-low heat.
- Once done, remove the nuts from the pan and transfer them onto a plate. Set it aside.
PREPARE THE MILK BASE
- To the same pan add milk and stir it for 1-2 minutes.
- Now, add toasted saffron strands and cardamom powder to the milk and stir it well.
- Add milk powder and stir until no lumps remain.
- Bring the milk to a frothy boil.
- Add sugar and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Simmer for 3-4 minutes until the milk thickens a bit.
- Add toasted phool makhane and toasted nuts to the boiling milk. Mix it well.
- Cover the pan and allow the makhanas to simmer in the milk for 4-5 minutes or until the makhana pearls soak up the milk and becomes soft.
- The makhanas will meld into the milk base and become very soft.
- Take it off the flame. Add the slivered nuts and mix well.
- If you prefer it chilled, then allow the kheer to cool down completely. Transfer it to an airtight container and chill overnight. Garnish it with slivered pistachios and serve.