Kheer-ioca (Indian-style Tapioca Pudding)

This recipe is my attempt to capture the taste of the Indian dessert "kheer" in an American context of a tapioca pudding.

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

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Kheer-ioca (Indian-style Tapioca Pudding) Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon small-pearl tapioca
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups milk (2% "reduced fat" milk is fine)
  • 4-6 whole cardamom pods
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • splash of rosewater, optional
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Preparation Instructions

In a medium saucepan, mix the egg, tapioca, vanilla, and sugar. Start to heat the pan and add the milk gradually, about a third cup at a time, and stir continually. Add the raisins and cardamom pods to the mixture, stirring constantly on medium heat, until it starts to boil. The cardamom pods will have broken, releasing some of the black seeds. (Allow about twenty minutes.)

Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Once it's cooled, cover the pudding and refrigerate it.

Before serving, you may want to sprinkle a few drops of rosewater on the pudding to enhance the aroma.

Yield: 4 - 6 servings
Helpful Hints

This recipe makes a tapioca pudding that is thinner and less starchy than some versions of the dessert. Also, you can feel free to push the cardamom husks aside, rather than eat them. They are extremely pungent.


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1 Comment

Amy I

This was delicious though the tapioca did not cook through completely. In other Indian kheer recipes, the tapioca should be soaked for at least an hour prior to being added into the pudding. My custard was boiling within 5 minutes, not the 20 as suggested in the recipe. All in all, two of us gulped every last bit of the pudding down so that's saying something. I can't get enough cardamom and all of the pods were still in tact so it was fun biting into them to release the seeds. This recipe took 5 minutes to boil, about an hour on the stovetop to come to room temperature, and was cool enough to eat within another hour. Yum!