Desserts/Baking · Rice Dishes

Kewra Kheer-Aromatic Rice Pudding With Screw Pine Water & Foxnuts

Kewra Jal or Screwpine water is used to flavor a lot indian curries,biryanis,drinks and desserts particularly those which are milk based.It is also used in lot of indian sweets made out of squashes and dried milk.Drinks prepared with Kewra are said to be have a cooling effect on the body during the scorching summer months.Similar to rose-water or orange blossom water, the essence is more concentrated than Kewra water.The essence may be yellowish or transparent in color.

Other than food, if you happen to visit the beach destinations of India, you can indulge in Kewra water bath and spa sessions at many of the resorts and hotels.Perfumes and body lotions containing essential oils made with Kewra are also popular as stimulants to cure headaches and provide general relaxation to body. Ayurveda,the ancient form of medicinal cure with natural products is known to use Kewra for healing joint pains and bone related problems.All in all Kewra is supposed to have cater to those senses of your body which provide calmness to mind and soul.

Talking about “Makhana” or Foxnuts, these are used a lot to make curries and desserts.These are nothing but puffed seeds of the foxnut plant.Some people like to add foxnut seeds to the daily cereal to increase fibre in their diet.In indian cooking, it is widely used as a natural thickener in crushed or powdered forms.When toasted with butter/oil and sprinkled with salt and dried herbs, puffed foxnuts make a great snack with evening tea.Eating a handful of foxnuts daily is considered to strengthen the heart and is very useful in anemia.

Dont get the impression that the rice pudding that I have prepared using all the stuff above is healthy, but it is certainly rich and flavorful.Anyhow, after all that overdose of knowledge, let me come to the recipe which is nothing but “Kheer” or indian rice pudding made by cooking crushed foxnuts and basmati rice with whole milk and flavored with green cardamom powder and kewra water.It is the most luscious and exotic form of dessert for us.Indian kheer is different from the pudding recipes around the world in the sense that it is not egg based.Some people like to add condensed milk to rice pudding for fast thickening, I normally don’t do that and stick to the traditional way of thickening the milk via slow cooking.It is considered auspicious to offer Kheer to God during festivals.I prepared this recipe last week.Below goes the recipe:

Ingredients [Serves 4]

  • 1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 5 cups whole milk [or half n half]
  • 1/4 cup crushed foxnuts [makhana, available at indian stores]
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar [or adjust to taste]
  • 1 tbsp Kerwa water [If using essence put, 1-2 drops only] [Available at indian stores]
  • 1 tsp green cardamom powder
  • handful of golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • For Garnish- chopped almonds, raisins,toasted foxnuts,pinch of cardamom powder, shredded coconut [optional]


  • Wash the rice under 2-3 streams of water and let soak in 1.5 cups of water for one hour.
  • In a pot with heavy bottom, pour the milk and let come to a boil.Once boiling,reduce the heat to low, drain the rice and tip into the pot.Tip in the crushed foxnuts also along with rice.
  • Cook the milk and rice mixture on low heat for about 30-40 minutes on low heat stirring at intervals, so that the rice does not stick to the bottom.
  • Cook until rice is soft and broken and milk has reduced to about half the quantity and is thick.
  • Add chopped almonds,raisins and cardamom powder and cook for 10 minutes more.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for about 5-8 minutes to cool down a bit.
  • Stir in the granulated sugar and kewra water. Make sure that when you add the sugar the pudding is not very hot.
  • Serve garnished with almonds or any nuts of choice.


  • You can use rose water in place of kewra water.
  • This pudding can be prepared with foxnuts only also.


48 thoughts on “Kewra Kheer-Aromatic Rice Pudding With Screw Pine Water & Foxnuts

  1. Awesome Tanvi, mast lag raha hai 🙂 I’m not a huge fan of Kewra water except in biryani and normally go with rose water in kheer over khewra. Love that you add makhana. My mom used to use it extensively and it just dawned upon me that I don’t use it much! Should call her soon for recipes! Great job.

  2. This happens to be my all time favourite dessert Tanvi. And I just loved the way you have presented the ingredients as well as the Kheer. Just awesome 🙂

  3. How interesting, I’ve never heard of kewra before, but I like that it is supposed to provide calmness to the mind and soul. Rice pudding is a family favorite, it’s always fun to mix in different flavorings and change things up a bit sometimes.

  4. Delicious kheer..luv all those ingredients used in it and amazing pics! Happy a lovely weekend!

  5. The kheer is looking simply sensational Tanvi… !

    A new combo of ingredients, I wud luv to give it a shot soon. The pictures and presentation is looking awesome. Look forward to more interesting posts from you.

  6. Tanvi girl, believe it or not… I have never, ever tried rice pudding. You know how many rice restaurants we have in the city and I’ve never tried it. I don’t know why. I think maybe I just didn’t get a chance too. Now I am inspired to make this or try their versions. As always great post.

  7. I ve seen the foxnuts in Indian groceries here, thought it was kind of mushroom. Thanks for the info! Kheer is always a great prasadam, pict are great!

  8. Am sooo happy to learn about Screw pine water or kewra here and i never used it , but look around!
    Nor have i used foxnuts , ever ,or maybe i dont know what they are , am reading up both the links and thannxx a ton for teaching me something new today!

    the pics are sooo good Tanvi , love that milk bottle too!

    And the rice pudding is definitely FANTASTIC!
    Wish i could have a whole bowl to myself!
    bdw, i jus realized that me too scrooling up and down ur post , again and again:-)

  9. I’ve never heard of screwpine water before but my roommate is Indian so maybe I’ll ask her if her mom can find some for me…because this rice pudding looks too good not to try!

  10. I love kewa kheer and yours look womderrful.. it’s been a while since I had it. It’s time to now 🙂

    Have a great week ahead.

  11. Tanvi, you rice pudding looks delicious, I always like this dessert when in Indian restaurant, but never had a chance to make since there are so many ingredients that are unknown to me 🙂 Have a great week ahead!

  12. Lots of stuff I haven’t heard of in this dish! It’s making me really want to give it a try and see what it all tastes like. Just beautiful Tanvi!

  13. How interesting! Thank you Tanvi. I’ve never heard of Foxnuts, and that Kewra water sounds very intriguing too. There’re sooo many foods and ingredients on Earth, that’s unbelievable. That’s endless learning.
    Beautiful and informative pictures as always!

  14. So cool! I’ve never even heard of fox nuts before…they are so fascinating! And this just looks creamy, dreamy delicious! Thank you for sharing it w/ the hearth and soul hop this week, Tani 🙂

  15. Okay whenever I saw these foxnuts in the shops I always wondered what they are okay so now I know that these are makhanas,I had heard about them but did not know these were makhanas.

  16. My students at school taught me how to make Kheer – but not with the fox nut seeds. It is almost exactly how my own mother made out rice pudding at home. What it their Indian name? They may have used that with me. I have never seen anything like them. Do they taste like the popcorn they resemble. I doubt it, yet cannot imagine like what. You have really upped my curiosity, here. I will be sending messages to all of my Indian friends asking where we can buy this in Edmonton.

  17. I have never heard of foxnuts or Kerwa before…this looks absolutely amazing my friend! I can’t wait to try it and impress the in-laws. I just need to get to the Indian store. 🙂

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