Main image of Shir Berinj - Afghan Rice Pudding

Shir Berinj - Afghan Rice Pudding

45 min


10 ingredients or less

One-bowl / one-pot


Shir berinj is a pudding consisting of shir (milk) and berinj (rice). It's a common dessert in countries like Afghanistan, Iran, and Azerbaijan. The sticky pudding is flavoured with rose water and cardamom, which gives it a unique and delicious flavour.



45 min


5 min


40 min

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  • 1 cup (200 g)
    uncooked short-grain white rice, washed, soaked 4 hours*
  • ¼ cup (60 mL)
  • 3 cups (720 mL)
    unsweetened oat milk
  • ¼ cup (50 g)
    granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL)
    rose water**
  • ¼ tsp
    ground cardamom

Optional garnish

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  1. To a saucepan on medium-high heat, add the drained rice and water. Let the rice soak up all the water while stirring occasionally, this will take about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the oat milk, bring the milk to a very light simmer and cook uncovered for 20 - 25 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  3. When the rice is cooked, add the sugar and cook it for 2 more minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on it, as the sugar can burn quickly.
  4. Stir in the rosewater* and cardamom, and remove the pan from the heat to allow it to cool off completely.
  5. Garnish with cinnamon***, rose petals, pistachios, and enjoy!


  • * Traditionally the rice is soaked, but this is not totally necessary. If the rice is not soaked, simply add more milk. For every 1 cup of rice, 4 cups of milk should do the trick.
  • ** Rosewater is a common ingredient in some Middle Eastern cuisines and gives the recipe a floral taste. You might find it most easily in Persian, Moroccan, or Indian supermarkets. We even found ours at our local Asian supermarket. If it's your first time using rose water, you may want to consider adding less to start, and you can always add more later, as the floral taste might be overpowering if you're not accustomed to it.
  • *** Cinnamon is traditionally only added to the top of the pudding decoratively, but as a kid, I preferred it when my mum mixed it into my rice while it was cooking. You're welcome to do the same if you're also a cinnamon lover!


Let us know what you think

Nutrition info

We believe that focusing on numbers can harm our relationship with food. Instead, our philosophy is to Nourish the Cells & the Soul. If you require specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a dietitian or physician. The nutritional information provided is composed with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed values, see also our disclaimer.

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Discussion & Rating

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Charlotte - Sept. 8, 2021, 10 p.m.

I couldn't find rose water so I soaked dried rose petals in water for 24 hours and it seemed to do the trick. I have made rice pudding before and this one certainly hits different with the addition of rose water and ground cardamom. I love cinnamon so I favored the version with the cinnamon mixed through. I am always excited to try something new and this did not disappoint!

PUL Team - Sept. 8, 2021, 11:56 p.m.

Ooo lovely idea, Charlotte, thank you for the review and sharing your experience with the rice pudding 😊

Marzieh Khan - Sept. 7, 2021, 9:04 p.m.

It's no different than Kheer made in India and sub-continent, anyway thanks for sharing this, As now I know it's pashto word...

PUL Team - Sept. 8, 2021, 5:58 p.m.

It's so lovely to hear the different connections to recipes from around the world! Thank you, Marzieh :D

Nancy - Sept. 3, 2021, 10:49 p.m.

This is the first time I ever ate any kind of rice pudding. Usually, I can't stand even looking at it. I put half the amount of rosewater, and maybe it was a bit too much for my taste at first, but the flavour is starting to grow on me. My husband LOVES rice pudding which is why I made it in the first place. He's not used to rosewater either, but he liked it. I used medium rice, since I couldn't find short rice in the store.

PUL Team - Sept. 4, 2021, 1:50 a.m.

Hi there, Nancy! The rosewater can totally be overpowering if you're not accustomed to it, we find it becomes more familiar with time 😊 We're so glad the recipe was enjoyed in any case ✨

Nancy - Sept. 4, 2021, 2:58 a.m.

Two out of three kids liked it, and one husband, so it's a keeper.

Sarah - Sept. 1, 2021, 4:33 p.m.

This looks delicious! I’m not sure where to find short grain white rice. I usually have jasmine in the cupboard - would that work in place of a short grain rice?

PUL Team - Sept. 2, 2021, 3:22 a.m.

Hello, Sarah! Thanks for the lovely question. Jasmine rice is generally a long-grain rice, so it provides less creaminess. If your local grocery store carries "arborio rice" used to make risottos that'll work perfectly. I think even sushi rice might work. You may find it in the international aisle of your local grocery store. Let us know how it goes if you experiment with this one 🤗

Zahra - Sept. 1, 2021, 4:08 p.m.

I’m from Bahrain, and we do the same recipe, but after we soak the rice we blend it in the Blender to be a milk-like consistency, and we cook it as usual pudding same as you did.

PUL Team - Sept. 2, 2021, 2:48 a.m.

Mmm, sounds so lovely, Zahra! We love to hear how different cultures have similar food connections. Thank you for taking the time to share 🌻

Victoria Arianna - Sept. 1, 2021, 2:41 p.m.

I will try this one. As soon as I saw the picture it reminded me of a dessert we eat in my country. I'm from Argentina and we eat something similar called "arroz con leche" which means "rice with milk" in Spanish, so both have a lot in common. The only diference is that it is made with lemon zest, sugar and cinnamon.

PUL Team - Sept. 2, 2021, 2:46 a.m.

Ooo thank you for sharing your connection to this one, Victoria, it's so appreciated! We hope you enjoy it if you give the recipe a try 🥰

Emily D - Sept. 1, 2021, 2:29 p.m.

Can coconut milk be used in place of oat milk or would that be too different a flavor / texture?

PUL Team - Sept. 1, 2021, 2:45 p.m.

Hey Emily, it'd be a different taste for sure but I imagine it would be quite delicious! If you prefer the taste of coconut milk over oat milk, I say go for it 😊

Lou - Sept. 1, 2021, 1:22 p.m.

Absolutely love rice pudding but my stomach can't tolerate rice any more. Is there a way to do this with millet or another grain?

PUL Team - Sept. 1, 2021, 2:34 p.m.

Hey Lou, it will be quite different, but if you can't tolerate rice millet (or maybe even couscous) might be your next best bet. The main difference too is short-grain rice is what offers a natural creaminess to the dessert when cooked, whereas millet is a bit more dry and nutty in taste and texture when cooked. You can certainly give it a try though! Let us know what you think of it if you give it a go 😊

Emily - Aug. 31, 2021, 8:22 p.m.

Where does one find rose water? I have no idea where to look. Do grocery stores stock it? I'm in Vancouver, so do you know of any local shops?

PUL Team - Aug. 31, 2021, 10:31 p.m.

Hey Emily, Persia Foods should definitely carry it in Vancouver, and they have several locations 😊 I hope this helps!