Phirni (Indian Rice Pudding) Recipe

Prasanna Sankhe

Recipe Details

Phirni (Indian Rice Pudding) Recipe

Prep 5 mins
Cook 25 mins
Active 30 mins
Total 30 mins
Serves 4 servings


  • 1/2 cup long grain rice (3 1/2 ounces; 100g), preferably Basmati
  • 1 quart (945ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces; 100g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 pinch saffron strands
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds (1 1/4 ounces; 35g), roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup raw pistachios (1 1/4 ounces; 35g), roughly chopped


  1. Place rice in a large bowl and cover by 2 inches with cool water. Using your hands, vigorously swish rice until water turns cloudy, about 30 seconds. Using a fine-mesh strainer, drain rice, discarding the cloudy soaking water. Refill the bowl with cool water, and repeat rinsing and draining process until rinsing water runs clear.

  2. Place drained rice in a medium bowl and cover with 2 cups (475ml) water. Soak for 2 hours. Using a fine-mesh strainer, drain rice, discarding water. In a blender or food processor, grind rice until a coarse paste forms (there should still be large pieces visible), about 8 one-second pulses.

  3. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine rice paste, milk, sugar, cardamom, and saffron. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is completely tender and pudding is thickened, about 25 minutes. Stir in half of the almonds and pistachios.

  4. Allow phirni to cool slightly. Serve warm in individual bowls and garnish with remaining almonds and pistachios.

Special equipment

heavy-bottomed saucepan, food processor

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