Fennel Seed and Cardamom Spiced Carrot Rice Pudding

Indian Spiced Carrot Rice Pudding (0051)

„Stay till Diwali!“ Last week my dad wished a few times. I wished we could …
A list of tasks to complete, must dos, deadlines to meet and unfinished projects to complete ran down like a matrix in my brain. Now as I sit here back in Weimar listening to the wind howl outside as the rain batters against the windows, I am thinking I wish I did. 

Diwali for me has very sweet memories. It has been a very long time that I actually celebrated it with my family. In Germany it kind of passes without much fireworks but I remember the celebrations we had with my parents and extended family members in Qatar, Delhi or the US – depending where we currently were.

Carrots (0029)

The Diwali days are sweet, spicy and savory, where much of the time revolves around food. Quintessentially, Diwali celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over bad, hope over despair. This ancient Hindu festival is a celebration of lights and fireworks and getting rid of the inner fears and demons. We all have them so no wonder Indians of all religions around the world celebrate Diwali by lighting lamps with hope and prayers for a brighter future.

This has always been my favorite Indian festival. Usually my mother will call to remind me to light candles, do prayers and invite friends to share the festivities. She does not have to – I remember – but I like that she does as we spend time sharing fond memories of past Diwali festivals we spent together. As I have just returned from Dubai she not only reminded me but has secretly packed some of my favorite Indian sweets in the suitcase. As I unpacked on Sunday I found gorgeous golden boxes lined with bright pink crepe paper holding fudgy Mysore pak, nutty cashew nut burfi and syrupy balls of black jamuns – mums are great that way.

Indian Spiced Carrot Rice Pudding (0042)

Fennel Seeds & Cardamom for Indian Carrot Rice Pudding (0060)

Cardamom for Indian Carrot Rice Pudding (0061)

Here back at home in Weimar, I stir rice into almond and coconut milk adding just a hint of spicy warmth with cardamom and fennel seeds. Carrots and raisins add vibrant color and soft sweetness. Indian rice pudding – kheer – is an all time favorite with Soeren and me. We enjoy a quiet moment by the window watching the trees dance in the winds. Our Diwali here is not as colorful or vibrant as they are in India or with a larger Indian community. But we do satisfy our sweet cravings, sharing tasty meals with friends by candlelight.

Indian Spiced Carrot Rice Pudding (0052) Indian Spiced Carrot Rice Pudding (0047)

This rice pudding is a sublime dessert with beautiful notes of cardamom and fennel seeds. It adds a warming cover around the flavors of carrots cooked in coconut and almond milk, while the plump raisins burst with juicy flavor. Not an ultra rich dessert the Indian cuisine is known for but nonetheless full-bodied, luscious and very satisfying.

Recipe: Fennel Seed and Cardamom Spiced Carrot Rice Pudding

Prep Time:
Total Time:
Serves: 6


  • 700 - 750 ml almond milk
  • 430 ml coconut milk
  • 200g long grained white rice, uncooked
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium sized carrots, grated
  • 50 g palm sugar / Muscovado sugar
  • 5-6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 250 g Indian or Iranian raisins
  • 75 g pistachios, coarsely chopped


  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot set over high heat, bring about 500 ml almond milk, coconut milk, rice, whole spices and salt to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low; add carrot and simmer, stirring often and slowly adding the remaining milk, until rice is tender but not mushy, 20-25 minutes.
  2. Once the rice is cooked remove from heat and stir in the sugar and the raisins. Allow to cool slightly as the rice pudding will thicken further as it rests. The rice can be served warm or at room temperature. Serve with a good sprinkling of pistachios.
Instead of palm sugar you can use jaggery or brown sugar too.
Cardamom is perfect for this rice pudding but you can use any of your favorite spices. Try this with allspice, stern anise or some finely grated ginger.


Indian Spiced Carrot Rice Pudding (0035)

We love rice pudding here and enjoy it in all kinds of variations. Our all time favorite are the Indian kheers infused with divine spices. The carrot is reminiscent of carrot halwa - another favorite Indian dessert in this pudding but adding another delightful layer with the rice cooked in the almond and coconut milk.

Happy Diwali to all my Indian friends and readers. Wishing you all a fabulous, sweet and vibrant festivity.

Enjoy more rice pudding treats from What’s for lunch, Honey?

Baked Vanilla Infused Peach Risotto Saffron Rice Pudding Spiced Risotto with Cherry Compote

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2014 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. Your Kheer looks so rich and divine Meeta. Your photographs makes me want to grab a spoon and dig into that bowl right now. Happy Deepawali to you and your family!!

    1. Thank you dear Nandita! Hope you had a great Diwali too. Glad you liked this recipe. It's the perfect mix or gajar ka halwa and kheer ;)

  2. I cannot get over how clean and gorgeous your new site. makes your styling pop and so aligned with the same sensibilities. :))) I know this isn't related to your post but I think the bright freshness of this post's images make it more apparent :D

    1. Thank you dear Asha! Yes I agree with you. I am totally delighted with the new look of the blog too. Corinna of Holistic Designs has done an outstanding job on this!

  3. Happy Diwali to you and yours! The rice pudding sounds splendid. Who can deny a dessert that is a blend of carrot halwa and kheer. Fabulous photos as always.

    1. Oh Lail - you got it! No one can resist such a combination ... that is why it was so popular here. Thanks!

  4. Happy Diwali to you and your family! We have a huge population of Indian families in Houston. I've been gradually becoming more familiar with it (...as in it takes place in October! I had no idea). The rice pudding looks delicious and I've learned to like anything spiced with cardamom.

    1. LOL! Yes I remember the Indian community in Houston from when we lived there and also my uncle (who still lives there) always has a few good stories. I hope that you do take the opportunity to take part in the Diwali festivities it's an incredible experience and so much fun ... and of course good food!

  5. There's just something about rice pudding that's so warm and comforting and your version sounds like a wonderfully elegant and spiced up version of an old favorite!

  6. I love the new logo, Meeta! It's so beautiful!

    Kheer has to be one of my favorite Diwali desserts. This carrot kheer looks so rich and decadent. Hope you and the family had a very Happy Diwali :)

  7. Hopping over from Prerna's blog.
    I am definitely going to love this kheer. My Mum used to make similar kheer but with vermicelli. :)


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