Ras Kheer Recipe | Rice Pudding Made with Sugar Cane Juice

Like all Punjabi festivals Lohri is linked to certain foods; gur, moongfali, rewrian, and ras kheer (jaggery, peanuts, sesame seed candy, and sugar cane rice pudding). It’s pretty much impossible to celebrate Lohri without indulging in some of these seasonal treats.

ras kheer recipe

Gur, moongfali, and rewrian are pretty easy to come by at your local Indian grocer, but gane ka ras is another story all together. While many retailers have started to carry full sugar canes, the juice is harder to source. While the idea of ripping back a piece of sugar cane with my teeth and taking bites directly from the stalk has some nostalgia (back home people bite off pieces of the stalk, chew it until the sweetness runs out, and then spit it out), I don’t really want to break a tooth today. I also don’t think a household juicer could tackle a sugar cane (although, if I could somehow get the skin off the stalk, my ninja could probably get the juice out). So my mom, mami, and I set out on a mission this morning; find fresh ras.)

We ended up venturing over the bridge to Vancouver, which is pretty shocking because usually all things desi are found in Surrey. There is a little shop on Fraser Street called Super Spice House where they were extracting the juice fresh. Apparently they also had two types of sugar cane (white & red), and the white version is not quite as sweet and better for drinking, whereas, the red version is extremely sweet and perfect for ras kheer.

ras kheer recipe

So the deal with ras kheer is this; you cook it today and you eat it tomorrow. Why you ask? Today is Lohri, the last day of the year according to the Nanakshahi calendar (which most Punjabis and Sikhs follow for festivals and holidays), and tomorrow is Maghi – the first day of the year and we have an expression; ‘Poh riddhi Maag khadi’. This expression basically means – cook something in Poh (the last month of the year) and eat it in Magh (the first month of the year). 

The recipe I’m going to share for ras kheer came from my mamiji (aunt). I’ve never made it before so I watched her and tried my best to make notes as she went. Half the fun of transcribing a family recipe is trying to keep up and measure things before my aunt drops them in the pot! 

If you are going to make this recipe, remember; sugar cane is only in season from October – January!

ras kheer

 Ras Kheer Recipe

12 Cups of Gane ka Ras (Sugarcane Juice)

2 Cups of basmati rice
1 teaspoon baking soda
4-5 cardammom pods crushed

Start by heating the ras. You don’t want it to boil, but it should be nice and warm. Once you’ve warmed the ras, add a teaspoon of baking soda and mix well. The baking soda will cause all the jhag (foam) in the ras to rise to the top and then you can skim it off.

ras kheer recipe

Once you’ve skimmed all the foam add your rice to the pot. {I usually always soak rice before cooking but my aunt just dropped it right in after a quick rinse}. Add a few crushed cardamom to the mixture. 

Then, drop the temperature down to medium and let everything simmer together for 45 – 60 min. You want the rice to be nice and soft but not mushy, and the ras should reduce by about 75 percent. 


Ras kheer is very sweet and best served in small portions. I hope you are able to track down some sugar cane juice and try this Punjabi Lohri recipe too!


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