Festivities are another word for sweets in India, or so we would like to believe. The fanfare that most Indian sweets enjoy at celebratory occasions like Diwali and Holi are proof. Since Diwali is only a few days away, halwais as well as sweet shops are gearing up for the season with heaps of laddoos, barfis, and pedas being stocked up for sale. However, what’s the fun in buying packaged sweets when you can actually make them at home too.

From phirnis to rabdi and tehri, there are plenty of desserts that can be prepared at home. Fret not, because we’ve already fetched the recipes for your Diwali decadence from Vikram Simha Akula, Chef at Art Of Dum, Hyderabad. While one is a classic kesar-flavoured phirni, a close cousin of kheer, the latter is a pista-infused lachcha rabdi. Finally, the best is saved for the last as it is a sweet twist to a savoury dish called tehri.  

Made with rice and similar to pulao, tehri is Allahabad’s favourite comfort food. Giving it a sweet spin by adding in litchis, the dessert tehri is prepared. Without further ado, let’s dig into these decadent sweet meats right away.  

1.   Kesar Da Phirni 


    2 lts full cream milk  

    150 gm basmati rice  

    150 gm khoya  

    400 gm sugar  

    5 gm elaichi powder  

    30 gm ghee  

    20 gm pistachio silvers  

    A few sprigs of saffron 

    10 silver warq

Source: Kesar Da Phirni/Art Of Dum


    Grind basmati rice dry into a coarse powder and grainy consistency.  

    Boil milk and reduce to ¾ volumes and add the ground rice. Keep boiling.  

    In a pan, add khoya. Slightly cook the grated khoya and add it to the reduced milk.  

    Cook for 10 minutes on a low flame until the milk mixture starts thickening.  

    Add sugar and flavour with elaichi powder. For additional flavour, add a few sprigs of saffron.  

    Remove from fire, pour the contents into small cups and cool them.  

    Garnish with sliced pista and silver warq and serve chilled.  

2.     Lachha Rabdi  


    2 litre full cream milk  

    400 gm khoya  

    400 gm sugar  

    100 gm ghee  

    5 gm elaichi powder  

    10 ml rose essence  

    15 gm sliced pista

Source: Laccha Rabdi/Art Of Dum


    Pour the milk in a thick bottomed pan, boil the milk and reduce it to ½ the volume.  

    Add grated khoya (Hariyali Mawa) into the hot milk and continue cooking.  

    Add ghee and sugar and continue cooking for a while for around 10 minutes on a slow flame. 

    When it starts to thicken, remove from the fire and add the elaichi powder and rose essence.  

    Chill in a refrigerator and garnish with silvers of pista.  

3.     Litchi Ki Tehri 


    2 litre full cream milk  

    150 gm basmati rice  

    250 gm sugar  

    50 gm khoya  

    20 canned litchis (or 30 fresh litchis)

Source: Litchi Ki Tehri/Art of Dum


    Grind rice into coarse grains and keep aside.  

    Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pan and reduce to ¾ volume.  

    Add grated khoya and continue boiling.  

    Add the ground rice and cook for a while. When it thickens, add the sugar.  

    Cook for 5 minutes and remove from fire. Cool it down.  

    Drain a can of litchis and chop them up lightly. Add to the milk mixture and mix lightly.  

    Serve chilled.

Note: If the litchis are available fresh and are in season, peel and deseed around 30. Add 40 gm of sugar and cook them lightly. Then, cool them and add to the milk mixture in place of canned litchis.