Thick, creamy and subtle, this kheer made with grated sweet potato and rice flour is total comfort food. Cold Lahori winter trips would include a freshly made bowl of shakarkandi ki kheer made by my aunt. Traditionally it is eaten cold, but I prefer it hot.






Skill level

Average: 4 (25 votes)


  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) sweet potato
  • 1 L (1¾ pints/4 cups) full-cream (whole) milk
  • 6 cardamom pods, bashed to expose seeds
  • 50 g (1¾ oz/¼ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 350 ml (12 fl oz/1½ cups) condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp chopped pistachios, to decorate
  • 1 tbsp ground pistachios, to decorate

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Peel the sweet potatoes, then cut them into cubes and boil them in a pan of water for 10–15 minutes until soft. Drain, return to the pan and mash well, then set aside.

Bring the milk and cardamom pods to the boil in a heavy-based saucepan. Turn the heat to very low and cook for 10–15 minutes until the milk starts to become thick. Add the sugar and allow to dissolve, then add the mashed sweet potatoes and stir until the milk and potatoes are well combined.

Mix the rice flour and 2 tablespoons of cold milk together in a small bowl, then add to the sweet potato mixture still on the heat. Keep stirring until it starts to thicken. Add the condensed milk and stir, then cook for 10 minutes until the mixture is thick. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the pan.

Serve at room temperature, chilled or warm, scattered with the pistachios over the top.


Recipe from Mountain Berries and Desert Spice by Sumayya Usmani (Murdoch Books, hb, $39.99). Food photography by Joanna Yee.  Read more about Pakistani sweets and find more of Sumayya’s recipes here.