Phirni or Firni (Rice and Milk Pudding)


As the unusually hot Summer continues, my quest for cool things continues… 🙂 Today, I was yearning for something sweet and cool to eat when I suddenly realised I could make Phirni.

I have been meaning to make Phirni for ages but somehow have been side-tracked by something or the other. Surprisingly I ate Phirni for the first time quite late in my life; when I was studying Engineering. Our college was in Bandra where you would get the yummiest of desserts during Ramazan. Well, as a vegetarian, the only thing I could look forward to were the desserts;  Malpua, Falooda, Phirni, Sevai, Meethe Chawal….. 🙂

Of all the desserts, I used to look forward to Phirni because it was so delicately flavoured and so light on the stomach. And I was fascinated by the earthen dish in which it was served. I got this recipe from the mother of a dear friend and it has served me faithfully over the years.

Serves: 4

Nice to Have: 4 shallow earthen bowls (~4″ diameter)


  1. Full Cream Milk – 1/2 Litre
  2. Rice – 2 tbsp
  3. Sugar – 4 tbsp
  4. Saffron – 10 strands
  5. Pistachios – 8
  6. Elaichi or Green Cardamom – 3


  1. Soak the rice in 1/2 cup water for 1 hour.
  2. Soak the saffron in 1/4 cup warm milk for about 15 minutes.
  3. Grind the sugar and cardamom seeds to a fine powder.
  4. Drain the water and the rice to a coarse paste with about 2 tbsp water.
  5. Boil the milk.
  6. When the milk boils, turn the heat the low.
  7. While stirring continuously, add the ground rice paste.
  8. Over medium heat, cook the rice-milk mix for about 10 minutes till the rice cooks and the milk thickens.
  9. Turn off the heat and add the ground sugar and mix well till it dissolves.
  10. Add the saffron milk and mix well.
  11. Pour the mix into four shallow earthen bowls.
  12. Decorate with crushed pistachios.
  13. Let the Phirni cool to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  14. Serve chilled.


  • The earthen dishes is the tradition way to serve Phirni but you could also serve it metal, glass, or ceramic bowls.
  • You could add about 4 tbsp of Alphonso Mango Pulp to make Mango Phirni. If you are making this variation, omit the saffron and add the mango pulp after the Phirni has cooled.


  1. Pingback: A Roundup of Vegetarian (and Some Vegan) Recipes for Iftar at Ramzan or Ramadan | ãhãram

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.