Phirni: Traditional Slow-cooked Ramzan & Eid Sweet Pudding
Image Credit: Phirni

Whether you have eaten your main course or are about to, puddings are something you simply cannot resist eating. Well, no day is complete without dessert or anything sweet, but festivals are special occasions where sweet foods are mandatory. A rich, creamy pudding made from pulverised rice is called Phirni.

Phirni, also known as Firni, is a traditional slow-cooked sweet pudding made in India from basmati rice, milk, almonds, and sugar. It is flavoured with cardamom powder, saffron, or rose water. It is a requirement in North India during festival events or unique celebrations like Diwali, Eid, Ramzan and the Karwa Chauth Festival. Try this Phirni recipe, complete with illustrated instructions and a video. It will undoubtedly become your new favourite Indian sweet.

Punjabi Phirni and Kashmiri Phirni are two particularly well-known varieties of Phirni, which are each unique to different regions of India. In Calcutta, Mughlai restaurants are known for serving Phirni in this specific form. Without Phirni as the final course, no biriyani feast is complete. 


Given the existence of supporting evidence, it is thought that phirni originated in ancient Persia or the Middle East, and that the Mughals invented and introduced it to India. The regal milk-based meal became well-known during the Mughal Empire's enjoyment of it. The creamy, milky, nutty, and fragrant rice pudding served in earthen bowls, according to studies, is a Mughal legacy.

The creamy rice pudding, known as Sheer Birinj, was discovered to have been utilised as the diet of angels in Persia, the region where Phirini is thought to have originated. It was initially presented to Prophet Muhammad when he flew to the seventh floor of heaven to encounter God.


    75 g Basmati rice (non-parboiled or atop)

    1 litre Full-fat milk

    75 g Sugar

    1 pinch Salt

    ½ tsp Cardamom powder

    4–5 strands Saffron

Method For Preparation:

1.    After washing, soak the rice for 30 minutes in water. Don't over wash the food or we'll lose the starch, which is important for the phirni's creaminess. After the rice has soaked for 30 minutes, drain it over a colander and let it air dry.

2.    Additionally, soak the Bhnaar (is an earthen utensil) in water for 30 minutes.

3.    When the rice is dry, put it in a grinder and pulse it 4 or 5 times to make powder. Both a coarse and fine grind are acceptable. Take 1 cup of the total milk and combine it with the rice flour. Rice flour won't clump if you combine it with cold milk first, then add it to boiling milk.

4.    Crush some cardamom pods into a powder after gently toasting them in a pan. To make sure the powder is fine, sift it using a tea strainer. We used 4 large cardamom pods to get the 12 tsp of cardamom powder that we needed.

5.    In a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, warm the milk and reduce it for about 10 minutes. To avoid rice clumping, add the rice flour and cold milk mixture next and whisk right away.

6.    Choose whether to add 1 tsp of kewra water OR 4 or 5 saffron threads to the pan.

7.    Up till the phirni thickens, continue to reduce on low heat. Stirring frequently will assist release starch and create creamy phirni.

8.    Add sugar and a dash of salt once the rice has finished cooking. Don't forget the salt; it helps phirni taste better by balancing the sweetness. Now add the powdered cardamom as well.

9.    Cook the phirni until it is the proper consistency. When poured, it should almost reach its own level; it shouldn't be too thick or thin.

10.    Transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl, such as a Maati'r Bhnaar, and let it stand. To thoroughly set, place the bowls or dishes in the refrigerator for 24 hours while they are covered with plastic wrap. The plastic cover will stop any "strange fridge odours'' from soaking into the phirni. Enjoy it cold.

The most common phirni variations in India are kheer and payasam. While the sinful treat is known as Muhallabia in Egypt and Turkey, the rich pleasure is known as Fereni in Iran. The Romans brought rice pudding to Europe for the first time in the 17th century, mostly as a stomach and digestive remedy. They were regarded as rice pottages, which were made by boiling rice, adding cow's milk for sweetness, and then adding sugar.