Instant Pot Carrot Kheer (Carrot Payasam)


This sweet and creamy carrot kheer is a great springtime or summer dessert!

instant pot carrot kheer (carrot payasam)

Carrot kheer, also known as carrot payasam, is a sweet milky pudding perfect for any special occasion. It’s really easy to make too! You toss a few ingredients into your instant pot and cook! I use baby carrots in the recipe, so you need to give them a quick rinse and toss them right into the pot along with milk and a bit of cardamom.

Unlike the more popular rice kheer, this recipe is rice-free, making it grain-free as well. I realize that a rice-free kheer may seem unusual, but trust me – it’s delicious!

instant pot carrot kheer (carrot payasam)

With Easter just around the corner, I have carrot desserts on my mind! This would be an excellent brunch dessert to serve at your egg hunt! I love Indian desserts, and Indian carrot desserts just so happen to be a favorite of mine. I already have a gajar ka halwa recipe on my blog, as well as an Indian carrot cake. Carrots and cardamom go so well together.

I use quite a bit of sugar in this recipe, but you can definitely use less. If I’m making this for my toddler, I will cut the sweetener down to ¼ cup, but if I’m making this for a party/gathering, I will use ½ cup because desserts are meant to be sweet. You can replace the sugar with the sweetener of your choice. Honey and maple syrup are good options. You can also use coconut sugar or jaggery if you don’t mind changing the color of the dessert. 

Kheer or Payasam?

You might be wondering why this dish has two names? That’s because kheer is the term used in North India. In South India, this type of dish is more commonly referred to as payasam. I had never heard of “payasam” until I met my South Indian husband because, in my family, we always called this type of dessert kheer. 

You can make kheer or payasam out of different things but the dessert usually has a few similar ingredients: cardamom, nuts, dried fruits, and sugar or jaggery. I use cane sugar for this carrot dessert because I prefer to keep the bright orange color. If you don’t care about that then try jaggery – it’s delicious. I have a Keralite moong dal payasam in my cookbook and I love that dessert with jaggery (it’s already brown so preserving the color isn’t important in that case).

Carrot Dessert Soup

A lot of people think of kheer as a pudding. But really, the texture is more soup-like. I thought about naming my blog post “carrot dessert soup.” But then I thought you might think I was crazy. Because what the heck is dessert soup? But this really does taste like a dessert soup!  I can’t decide whether or not dessert soup sounds appealing.

And if you’re wondering if this is more like one of those trendy smoothie bowls (a concept I still don’t understand… just use a glass?), it’s not. Kheer is different because it’s made with milk that is cooked down. It’s rich and decadent, but you can tell yourself it’s a (sugar-filled) smoothie if that makes you feel better.

How to Serve This:

Garnish it! Top it with crushed nuts of your choice and golden raisins if you like them. You can serve this in a bowl or even in shooter glasses – I bet that would look so cute! 

This is a dessert that tastes even better the next day, once the cardamom has really had time to infuse into the dessert, so if you’re planning a party then make this in advance. This would be a great brunch dessert!

You can serve this orange-colored kheer at any temperature. I normally prefer rice kheer to be warm but I actually prefer this carrot kheer chilled. 

And if you’re serving it chilled, top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Ooh, or better yet – pistachio ice cream!

instant pot carrot kheer (carrot payasam)

Instant Pot Carrot Kheer (Carrot Payasam)

instant pot carrot kheer (carrot payasam)

Instant Pot Carrot Kheer (Carrot Payasam)

5 from 4 reviews
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Servings 8
Cuisine Indian


  • ½ cup water
  • 3 cups whole milk or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 16 ounce bag baby carrots
  • ¼ cup cashews*
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom adjust to taste
  • ½ cup sugar or sweetener of choice adjust to taste
  • Crushed nuts of choice garnish
  • Golden raisins garnish


  • Press the sauté button and add ½ cup water to the pot. Once the water begins to steam, pour the milk into the pot. (Make sure the water is steaming before adding the milk as this will prevent the milk from burning at the bottom of the pot.) Add the carrots, ¼ cup cashews, cardamom and stir.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 1 minute at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree the contents of the pot (or use a blender to puree then pour the contents back into the pot).
  • Press sauté. Add the sweetener to taste and stir until well combined. The kheer will slightly thicken as it cools. 
  • Serve this dessert hot, warm, cold or at room temperature (I prefer carrot kheer to be chilled).
  • Garnish with toppings (nuts and raisins) prior to serving.


  • I use raw unsalted unroasted cashews in the dessert (I get them from trader joe’s but you can find them in most grocery stores). You can leave this out if you don’t tolerate nuts.
  • You can replace the sugar with coconut sugar or jaggery if you don’t mind it changing the color of the dish. You can also use honey or maple syrup.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Pratibha P says

    Have you tried this with coconut milk? Half my family is vegan but I’m a bit nervous to try coconut milk in an instant pot. Any tips?

    • My Heart Beets says

      I often make my rice kheer with coconut milk but haven’t tried this carrot kheer with it – though I’m sure it would be great. Canned full fat coconut milk typically works as a good substitute for regular milk. Let me know what you think if you give it a try!

  2. Neha Sharma says

    Thank you for sharing all your recipes. They are a treasure trove for people like me. Had the texture of carrot soup. I wonder if I should have spiralized the carrots into noodles to get the kheer texture?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Neha! You can make regular kheer but skip the rice then at the end add the spiralized carrots and heat until cooked through 🙂 I have a regular kheer recipe in my book but plan to share it on the blog soon!

  3. sharon says

    I love all of your recipes! And when I make them everyone says how good they are! But I don’t have an instant pot or pressure cooker. Is there a way to convert the recipes? I was going to buy the book but I didn’t think I would be able to make the recipes 🙁

  4. Maneesha says

    This sounds great! I love that it is grain-free as well! Could you use regular carrots instead of baby carrots?

  5. Gauri says

    That looks delicious! Could you please let me know how many cups would a 10 ounce bag of carrots be?
    Being in Canada i may nees to convert ounce therefore thought of posting this question.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Gauri, thank you! It should actually be a 16 ounce (1 pound) bag of baby carrots! I just updated the post – sorry about that! I’m not sure about the number of cups though…

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