Quinoa Badam Kheer | Desi~licious RD

Medically reviewed by Shahzadi Devje, Registered Dietitian (RD) & Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

Pakistani badam Kheer is a delicious, creamy pudding that’s typically prepared with rice and almonds, although in this case quinoa is used instead of rice to provide an extra nutritional boost. It’s so easy to make and can be savoured as a dessert or a high-protein snack. This recipe is dairy free, gluten free, and vegan.

a bowl of yellow thick pudding topped with nuts and pink petals on a gold tray staged with a multicoloured scarf.

As a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, I often hear that recipes for delicious healthy vegan desserts can be hard to come by. So, the last few days, I happily retreated to my kitchen trying a slew of ingredients and techniques. My goal was to craft a badam kheer recipe that hits all the right notes.

Honestly, I am obsessed with this scentful kheer – particularly its texture! You’ll be overjoyed to learn that it’s nutritious, with plenty of fibre, calcium, and iron. It’s also high in protein, making it a great choice if you’re seeking healthy sweet recipes.

What is badam kheer made of?

Badam kheer is typically made with rice, milk, and almonds. The name Badam comes from the Persian badem, which means “almond.” In both Urdu and Hindi, almonds are also referred to as badams.

Badam kheer is traditionally flavoured with cardamom, rose essence, saffron, and nuts like almonds and pistachios. It’s a cherished Pakistani dessert that’s customarily served at weddings and other celebratory occasions, including Ramadan and Eid.

There are several variants in other cultures as well. In India, badam kheer is also known as badam payasam. Payasam does not use rice, and instead uses vermicelli noodles or simply almond flour. It’s also common to see badam kheer made with semolina or tapioca pearls. Kheer made with semolina is called sewaiyan badam kheer while the one made with tapioca pearls is sagoo badam kheer.

close up perspective shot of a bowl of yellow pudding topping with crushed nuts and pink petals on a gold tray.

Why use quinoa instead of rice?

Because it’s such a wholesome and versatile grain — and tastes exquisite in this creation!

Quinoa may be incorporated into any meal and is especially wonderful in desserts. It adds an interesting texture to badam kheer, though. And it also provides a nutritional upgrade.

You’re perhaps more familiar with quinoa as a selection for healthy dinner options; however, it can also be used in both savoury and sweet dishes. That’s because quinoa has a mild taste that pairs well with an assortment of ingredients.

I particularly love it alongside vegetables and greens.

And like some of you, I, too, turn to nutritious salads in the springtime, where I combine quinoa with a rainbow of ingredients to satisfy and nourish myself.

perspective shot bowl of yellow pudding topped with nuts and petals on a gold tray.

Cooked quinoa nutrition

Cooked quinoa is:

  • a powerful protein source, since it provides all nine essential amino acids
  • gluten-free and ideal for folks with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity
  • high in dietary fibre
  • low on the glycemic index, meaning it is diabetes diet friendly
  • a good source of iron
  • a source of magnesium, calcium and folate
  • a source of antioxidants (quercetin and kaempferol)

The following is a breakdown of cooked quinoa nutrition info (1 cup):

  • Almost 9 grams of protein
  • About 40 grams of carbohydrates
  • Approximately 230 calories
  • 5.5 grams of dietary fibre

Nutrition information per serving of kheer

The nutrition information for one serving of badam kheer is as follows:

  • 8 grams of protein (high protein snack)
  • Low in saturated fat (5% DV)
  • A good source of dietary fibre (16% DV)
  • High in calcium
  • A source of iron

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. Interpretation of DVs from US FDA.

After looking at all of the scientific evidence and considering how well it meets stringent criteria, the American Heart Association concludes that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, can help lower your risk of developing heart disease.

Ingredients

Below, you’ll find a list of ingredients you’ll need to make this quinoa badam kheer recipe:

bowls and ramekins of ingredients on a wooden lazy susan. There is also a jug of milk and a glass of water
  • Quinoa: You’ll need 1 cup of uncooked quinoa for this recipe. I use the standard white variety.
  • Water: To cook the quinoa, and help achieve the ideal consistency of the kheer.
  • Macadamia milk: You can make badam kheer with cow’s milk, but I prefer using Macadamia milk as a vegan and dairy-free option.
  • Maple syrup: To sweeten the badam kheer. You can also use honey, agave nectar, or coconut sugar.
  • Green cardamoms: A key component of the scent of badam Kheer. I would recommend opting for fresh pods and crushing the seeds for an extraordinary fragrance.
  • Almonds and almond flour: You’ll need whole almonds and almond flour for this recipe. The badam kheer has a more intense flavour when you use almond flour.
  • Rose essence: You can find this in most South Asian or Middle Eastern grocery stores. If you don’t have access to it, you can use dried roses or almond extract as a substitute.
  • Saffron: The taste of the kheer is amplified with saffron. Plus, it gives a lovely yellow colour to the dish.
  • Vanilla: This helps to control the amount of sweetener used in the badam kheer. You can use fresh vanilla pods or pure vanilla extract.

Instructions – step by step

This recipe is done in under 30 minutes. Here’s how to make it:

  1. In a saucepan, add quinoa and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until the water has mostly been absorbed (Step 1).
  2. Then, add the milk, cardamom, and saffron to the saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  3. The flour is next. Stir the almond flour thoroughly (Step 2).
  4. Simmer and cook the quinoa for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Stir from time to time to ensure that it does not stick to the saucepan’s bottom (Step 3).
  5. Once the badam kheer is thick, use a hand blender for 5 seconds to make it even more smooth, thick, and creamy. Now, it’s time to stir in the vanilla, rose essence, and maple syrup (Step 4).
  6. Serve badam kheer warm or cold garnished with chopped almonds and dried roses (optional) – Step 5.

You can find the complete ingredient list, along with detailed instructions, in the recipe card below.

Tips and substitutions

  • Badam kheer thickens as it cools, so if you want to thin it out, just add some more milk.
  • You can make badam kheer with cow’s milk, but I prefer using macadamia milk as a vegan and dairy-free option.
  • You may also try using semolina as a quinoa alternative.
  • Instead of sweeteners, you could use dates or date syrup.
  • I would highly recommend not skipping the saffron as it gives badam kheer its distinct flavour and colour. However, if you don’t have any on hand, you could use ground turmeric as a natural colouring agent.
  • Use fresh green cardamom pods for the best flavour. If you don’t have any, you could use ground cardamom instead.
  • Make sure to use blanched almond flour and not almond meal as it’s too coarse and will make badam kheer grainy.
a bowl of yellow thick pudding topped with nuts and pink petals on a gold tray staged with a multicoloured scarf.

Storage

Badam kheer will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, reheat on the stove over low heat or in the microwave until warm. You may need to add a splash of milk to thin it out as it thickens when chilled.

What are your go-to healthy sweet recipes?

If you try this recipe, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours,

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Quinoa Badam Kheer


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Pakistani badam Kheer is a delicious, creamy pudding that’s typically prepared with rice and almonds, although in this case quinoa is used instead of rice to provide an extra nutritional boost. It’s so easy to make and can be savoured as a dessert or a high-protein snack. This recipe is dairy free, gluten free, and vegan.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time15 mins

Total Time25 mins

Servings: 5 servings

a bowl of yellow thick pudding topped with nuts and pink petals on a gold tray decorated with a multicoloured scarf on the side.

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, combine the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer for about 4-5 minutes, until most of the water has been absorbed.

  • Add milk, cardamom, and saffron to the saucepan and bring it to a boil.

  • Stir in almond flour. Simmer the quinoa for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Stir frequently to ensure that it does not stick to the saucepan’s bottom.

  • Once the kheer has thickened, blend it with a hand blender for 5 seconds to make it smooth and creamy.

  • Add vanilla, rose essence, and maple syrup. Stir to mix well.

  • Serve badam kheer warm or cold garnished with chopped almonds and dried roses (optional).

Notes

Tips and substitutions

  • Badam kheer thickens as it cools, so if you want to thin it out, just add some more milk.
  • You can make badam kheer with cow’s milk, but I prefer using macadamia milk as a vegan and dairy-free option.
  • You may also try using semolina as a quinoa alternative.
  • Instead of sweeteners, you could use dates or date syrup.
  • I would highly recommend not skipping the saffron as it gives badam kheer its distinct flavour and colour. However, if you don’t have any on hand, you could use ground turmeric as a natural colouring agent.
  • Use fresh green cardamom pods for the best flavour. If you don’t have any, you could use ground cardamom instead.
  • Make sure to use blanched almond flour and not almond meal as it’s too coarse and will make badam kheer grainy.

Nutrition Facts

Quinoa Badam Kheer

Amount Per Serving

Calories 320
Calories from Fat 108

% Daily Value*

Fat 12g18%

Saturated Fat 1g5%

Trans Fat 1g

Polyunsaturated Fat 2g

Monounsaturated Fat 5g

Sodium 67mg3%

Potassium 316mg9%

Carbohydrates 47g16%

Fiber 4g16%

Sugar 20g22%

Protein 8g16%

Vitamin A 5IU0%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 267mg27%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Please note the nutritional analysis values are estimates and suggestions. This nutrition facts table does not know your life – your body, including your hunger and satiety cues, change daily. It’s okay to eat more or less. Say no to food guilt and instead embrace mindful eating.



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Shahzadi Devje