Simplest pudding of all time: Phirni | Recipe

The proof of a pudding is in the eating.
-Spanish proverb

Classic Indian rice pudding, Phirni, banks upon the simplicity of flavours of the handful of ingredients that go into making it. Commonly prepared in Northern India, especially on the festival of Eid, Phirni is a creamy dessert made with ground rice and milk. Traditionally served in shikoras i.e. earthen clay pots, Phirni is flavoured with saffron and/or cardamom and is garnished with dried fruits.

Traditional Phirni

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 3-4

4 tbsp rice (preferably basmati)
6 tbsp sugar
1-litre full-fat milk
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Strands of saffron(optional)
Chopped dried fruits for garnish


1. Soak the rice in water for about 1 hour. If you’re short on time, soak in lukewarm water for 30 mins.
2. Drain the rice and dry on an absorbent kitchen towel. Blend in a mixer to a coarse powder.
3. Add ½ cup of cold milk to the grounded rice and mix well to make a paste. Keep aside.
4. Boil the rest of the milk and gently stir in the rice paste.
5. Cook for about 15 minutes on a slow flame, while stirring continuously.
Add the sugar and cook for a couple of more mins. If the mixture gets very thick, then adjust by adding a little more milk.
6. Pour into earthenware containers and keep aside to cool. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
7. Serve chilled garnished with dried fruits and/or saffron strands.

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