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Indian Phirni (Refined Indian Rice Pudding)

Indian Rice Pudding Recipe (Phirni)

Prep Time: 35 Minutes
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 50 Minutes


  • 50 g basmati rice
  • 120 ml + 550 ml milk
  • 50 g sugar
  • handful blanched almonds
  • 5-6 saffron strands (and some more to decorate)
  • 1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • some almond and/or pistachio flakes for decorating


1. Rinse basmati rice in running water and soak for at least 30 minutes (best 1 h) in water. If you are short of time take hot water - that will reduce the wait to 15 minutes.
2. Add blanched almonds to the small food processor or grinder and grind them with 1 tbsp water into smooth paste. If the paste isn't fine enough add another 2-3 tbsp. Transfer it to a small bowl.
3. Drain excess water and also transfer rice into the grinder or food processor. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water before grinding it into a thick and smooth paste.
4. Mix prepared paste with 120 ml of milk and keep aside. Heat remaining milk in a pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
5. Take the saffron strands, soak them in a teaspoon of the warm milk and set aside. When it starts boiling, add rice-milk mixture and reduce the flame to low and let simmer with continuous stirring until the mixture turns creamy and slightly thick. This will take around 5-6 minutes.
6. Add sugar, green cardamom powder and dissolved saffron strands. Keep stirring and cook until sugar is completely dissolved (about 2-3 minutes). Add almonds paste and mix well.
7. Turn off the flame after 1-2 minutes and add the rose water. Transfer hot phirni to a serving bowl. Garnish with some almond and/or pistachio flakes and some extra saffron strands and let it cool at room temperature before putting it into the fridge for 1-2 hrs.
8. Enjoy cold from the fridge or warm straight from the pot!

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