Easy Instant Pot Cacao and Cardamom Kheer Dessert Recipe
Calling all chocolate lovers! This creamy, decadent, sweet-but-not-too-sweet dessert recipe is for you. Based on a traditional Indian rice pudding, called kheer, this delectable dish takes creative liberties by switching up the tastes, flavors, and ingredients to cook up something entirely new.
The result? A unique and delicious chocolatey treat that will have you coming back for more.
Rice is one of those ingredients that has made its way into almost every type of cuisine around the world. There is something deeply wholesome, familiar, and comforting about the simple yet nourishing quality of rice.
With simple ingredients and the ease of an Instant Pot, this recipe can be made anytime you’re craving a little treat or want to surprise your loved ones with something unconventional. And don’t worry, it can be made on a stovetop too!
A Peek at the Ingredients
This recipe starts with basmati rice, the slightly nutty and aromatic staple of Indian and Ayurvedic cooking. Basmati lends itself to both sweet and savory recipes and cooks up into a delightfully creamy texture in this dessert.
In Ayurvedic terms, rice has a sweet taste, which is excellent for grounding vata dosha, making it especially balancing during the fall season.
By swapping out cow’s milk for coconut milk, this recipe is suitable for vegans or those sensitive to dairy. Coconut has a sweet taste and a cooling action, making it balancing for both pitta and vata. Not to mention, it provides a divine and irresistibly creamy texture to the final product.
In place of processed sugar, we’ve chosen to use a small amount of maple syrup in this recipe. This healthy and natural sweetener is rich in minerals and generally easier for the body to digest. In other words, you can savor the sweetness without the guilt!
In this recipe, it harmonizes perfectly with the flavor of the cacao and the touch of cinnamon, and both spices help to promote healthy, comfortable digestion.
Finally, the addition of cacao powder is what makes this recipe the unique and tasty treat that it is. Cacao also happens to be packed with health-promoting nutrients such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidants.1
Knowing that, why not throw some cacao on the top as well? We’ve topped this recipe with cacao nibs, fresh raspberries, and bee pollen, which gives it a final pop of color and a perfect symphony of flavors and textures.
Feel free to switch up the toppings depending on the season and your mood—anything that goes with chocolate will do! Try strawberries in the springtime, apricots or figs in the summer, stewed pears and golden raisins in the fall, or a hint of orange peel in the winter.
Cacao and Cardamom Kheer Recipe
- ½ cup water (or 1 cup for stovetop)
- 3 cups coconut milk (or milk alternative of your choice)
- ½ cup basmati rice, soaked and rinsed
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- sprinkle of cinnamon powder
- cacao nibs
- fresh raspberries
- bee pollen
Start by soaking the rice for 20–30 minutes, then rinse well. Turn your Instant Pot to “Sauté” mode and add the water. Once the water starts to steam, add the coconut milk. This step will help to keep the milk from burning.
Add the rice, then set the Instant Pot to “Pressure Cook” on high heat for 20 minutes. Once it’s done, let the steam release naturally and open the lid.
Add the maple syrup, cocoa powder, cardamom, and a sprinkle of cinnamon and mix well. Note that you can add more or less maple syrup to adjust the level of sweetness.
Serve slightly warm or wait for it to cool completely, depending on your preference. Top with cocoa nibs, raspberries, and bee pollen. Enjoy!
This recipe can also be made on the stovetop. Simply use an extra half cup of water and simmer the rice for about 35–40 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning.