Sweet Indian rice recipes: How to prepare them at home

Sweet Indian rice recipes: How to prepare them at home

  • When exploring the culinary tapestry of India, one must recognise the enchanting world of sweet rice recipes.
  • From the delightful Jeera Rice, Meethe Chawal, and Rice Kheer, each dish shares a tale of taste and a mouthwatering melody of Indian cooking.
  • This post expounds on sweet Indian rice recipes you should try out.
  • Also, Food and Lifestyle Content Creator Priyanka shares insights into the regional variations of Indian rice recipes with Briefly.co.za.
Indian rice recipes
Spicy south India fried rice, spice, cashew nut, raisin and curry leaves. Photo: Dorisj
Source: Getty Images


Rice is India's primary staple food. What is the most popular Indian rice? Basmati is considered the most popular and renowned variety of rice in India. It is known for its distinctive aroma, long grains, and fluffy texture.

Insights from the expert

Food and Lifestyle Content Creator Priyanka Govender-Chanderdeo (@inspiredbyprisfood) shares regional variations of Indian rice recipes and highlights unique flavors and techniques:

Rice is such a wholesome grain that shines differently in various parts of the world. I like braising cooked rice with butter ghee, turmeric, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and desiccated coconut. It’s so tasty and fragrant.

Read also

25 snack platter ideas for South African parties and family gatherings

She also listed several options for our readers to try:

  1. You can elevate plain rice by merely adding one cinnamon stick while it’s cooking, and you will notice the biggest difference.
  2. Other whole spices that elevate plain rice when it’s boiling are spices like star aniseed, bay leaves, cumin, fennel seeds, cardamom pods, and cloves.
  3. These are prominent whole spices used to flavor rice for biryanis and pulaos. There are tons of varieties.
  4. Other prominent flavors that can be used to add an Indian flair to your rice are using flavors like tamarind and saffron. Priyanka highlights that "these two are massive flavor bombs and can really transform rice from being a plain grain into something glorious and tasty."

Sweet Indian rice recipes

What dishes are made from rice in India? India boasts a diverse range of rice-based dishes that cater to various tastes and preferences. Below are popular recipes on how to make Indian rice at home.

Read also

Top 10 most expensive steaks in the world and their prices

Jeera rice recipe

Indian rice
Closeup view of Jeera rice, also known as cumin rice, served in a bowl. Photo: Jayk7
Source: Getty Images

Jeera Rice is a quick way to add flavour and texture to your plain, boring white rice and give it a delicious taste. Jeera rice is simply rice cooked with cumin seeds and ghee or butter. Below are step-wise instructions on how to make Jeera rice.


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2-inch cinnamon piece
  • 2 teaspoons jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 4 cloves
  • Ghee or oil for cooking
  • 1 strand of mace (javitri)
  • Water for cooking


  1. Begin by rinsing 1 cup of basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of ghee or oil over medium heat in a pan.
  3. Add the jeera (cumin seeds), bay leaf, cinnamon piece, cloves, green cardamom, and mace (if using). Allow the spices to sizzle and release their aromatic oils.
  4. Add basmati rice to the pan once the spices are aromatic. Sauté the rice to allow each grain to be coated in the fragrant mixture.
  5. Sear on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Be sure not to stir too vigorously to avoid breaking the rice grains.
  6. When using a pressure cooker, pour 2½ cups of water; for a pot, use 3 cups. Add ½ to ¾ teaspoon of salt and stir. Taste the water, and adjust the salt to your preference.
  7. Turn down the heat, cover the pan with a lid, and let the rice simmer.
  8. Once cooked, remove the bay leaf and cinnamon piece. Gently fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains.

Read also

Learn classic South African Magwinya (Vetkoek) recipes to try at home

Rice Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

how to make Indian rice
Close-up of creamy Rice Kheer (khir) garnished with saffron and dry fruits for pooja (spiritual celebration). Photo: Ziprashantzi
Source: Getty Images

Rice Kheer is a traditional North Indian rice pudding made with basmati rice, full-fat milk, sugar and cardamoms. Here is how to prepare the sweet dish.


  • 4 cups or 1 litre of full-fat milk
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • Sugar
  • ¼ cup basmati rice


  1. Begin by rinsing 1/4 cup of basmati rice under cold water for 30 minutes. This helps to cook the rice quickly.
  2. Pour 1/4 cup water or grease a heavy bottom pot to prevent the kheer from getting scorched at the bottom. Boil 4 cups of full-fat milk in a heavy-bottomed pan.
  3. Add the rinsed basmati rice to the milk, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.
  4. Cook until rice is soft and slightly mushy, and add sugar to the mixture. The quantity of sugar can be adjusted based on personal preference, ranging from 1/3 to 4 to 6 tablespoons. Stir well to ensure the sugar dissolves completely.
  5. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of cardamom powder into the kheer, infusing it with a delightful fragrance.
  6. Continue simmering the kheer until it reaches a creamy consistency.

Read also

Here is how to make tasty samp

Meethe Chawal (Zarda rice pulao)

Indian rice seasoning
Sweet Rice or Zarda Pulao on a grey background with copy space. Photo: DipaliS
Source: Getty Images

Meethe Chawal, also known as Zarda, is a dessert made with long-grain fragrant rice, ghee, spices, yellow colour, sugar, mawa and dry fruits. Learn how to prepare the spicy Indian rice dish in the comfort of your home.


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 4 crushed cloves
  • Yellow food colour
  • 5 cups water for boiling rice.
  • 4 tablespoons ghee
  • 4 crushed cardamoms
  • 1 teaspoon kewra water (optional)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mawa (khoya or khoa) (optional)


  1. Wash the rice thrice and soak it in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot and add yellow food colour.
  3. Add the drained rice to the boiling water and cook it 95%. At this point, pressing the grain between your fingers must get it mashed well.
  4. Drain the rice and spread it wide in the colander.
  5. Heat 4 tablespoons of ghee in a separate pan and add crushed cloves and cardamoms to the hot ghee.
  6. Gently transfer the rice with tempered ghee and spices to the pan. Stir the rice, ensuring it's coated with the flavoured ghee.
  7. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of mawa (khoya or khoa) to the rice. This is optional but adds a delightful creaminess.
  8. Cover the pan with a lid and let the rice cook on low heat until it's fully tender and has absorbed the flavours.

Read also

Sosatie recipes: How to make the best and tastiest sosaties on Braai Day!

What is Indian rice seasoning?

Indian rice seasoning involves blending spices and herbs to enhance the flavour of rice dishes in Indian cuisine. The common spices include Cumin seeds (Jeera), methi, turmeric (haldi), and dried fruits.

How to make rice more delicious

How to make rice more delicious?
Traditional Indian street food rice with vegetables close-up on a plate on the table. Photo: Alleko
Source: Getty Images

Whether preparing a savoury side or a sweet dessert, the tips below can elevate your rice dishes to new culinary heights.

  • Choose a type of rice that complements the dish you're preparing.
  • Rinse the rice under cold water before cooking to remove excess starch. This helps prevent the rice from becoming overly sticky and enhances the texture.
  • Instead of using plain water, cook rice in vegetable, chicken, or beef broth for added depth of flavour.
  • Infuse the cooking liquid with aromatics like garlic, ginger, or onion.
  • Enhance the flavour of rice by stirring in citrus zest (lemon, lime, or orange) just before serving.

Try these Indian rice recipes to elevate your dishes to new culinary heights. Savour these timeless desserts with your loved ones by choosing and preparing your favourite recipe from the options shared above.

Read also

See this easy traditional trifle recipe: favourite dessert in South Africa

READ ALSO: 10 easy mince recipes for South Africans to try in 2024

Briefly.co.za published an exciting post about mince recipes for South Africans. Savoury mince dishes are resourceful and guarantee an excellent experience for all family members.

Recipes with mince are tremendous and limitless in their variations, which is one of the reasons why they are famous across the globe. South Africans are mainly known for preparing mince recipes that are uncommon in other parts of the world. So, how do you prepare South African mince recipes?

Source: Briefly News

Online view pixel