Vibrant Phirni

… Admin / September 6, 2023 / Photo Credit:


Elevate your culinary journey with the divine elegance of Phirni, a cherished Punjabi dessert that weaves together the essence of tradition, artistry, and indulgence. This velvety sweet delicacy stands as a testament to Punjab’s rich culinary heritage, offering a symphony of flavors that enrapture the senses. Phirni is a creamy rice pudding infused with the heady aroma of saffron and delicate hints of cardamom. The dish is meticulously prepared by grinding fragrant Basmati rice into a smooth paste, which is then slow-cooked with milk until it thickens to a luxurious consistency. The addition of sugar and finely chopped nuts lends a textural contrast that elevates each spoonful.

What distinguishes Phirni is its serving style in earthenware or clay pots, adding an authentic touch to the experience. Chilled to perfection, Phirni’s silken texture and the gentle crunch of nuts offer a delightful interplay that dances on the palate. Every bite of Phirni is a celebration, encapsulating the warmth of Punjabi hospitality and the legacy of timeless flavors. Often served during festive occasions, this dessert embodies the spirit of togetherness and joy that Punjab is known for. Prepare to immerse yourself in the symphony of taste and tradition as you indulge in the blissful indulgence that is Phirni. It’s not just a dessert; it’s a cultural treasure that beckons you to savor the artistry and richness of Punjab’s culinary tapestry.

  • Origin: Punjab, India
  • Category: Phirni is a Punjabi Vegetarian Dessert which is considered Dessert
  • Ingredient: Rice, Milk, Sugar, Saffron, Cardamom are treated as main ingredients for this recipe. Other ingredients used are Nuts, Rose Water
  • Time and Flavour: This recipe takes approx 2-3 hours and the flavour is Creamy and Aromatic
  • Nutritional Information: Phirni contains 160 kcal calories per 100 g serving. This serving contains 6 g of fat, 4 g of protein and 21 g of carbohydrate. The latter is 7 g sugar and 0 g of dietary fiber, the rest is other nutritional component. [ These values may vary based on ingredients used and its quantity ]

Punjabi Food - Phirni

Photo Credit:


Phirni is a traditional Punjabi dessert that epitomizes the rich and creamy essence of Indian sweets. It's a rice pudding made from ground rice and milk, delicately flavored with saffron, cardamom, and nuts.

To prepare Phirni, rice is soaked in water for a few hours and then ground to a coarse paste. This rice paste is then cooked in milk on low heat, allowing it to thicken and absorb the milk's essence. As it cooks, sugar is added to sweeten the mixture.

Saffron threads are often infused in a small amount of warm milk and added to the Phirni, lending it a subtle golden hue and a delicate fragrance. Ground cardamom is sprinkled for its aromatic and warming notes. Chopped nuts like almonds, pistachios, and sometimes rose petals are generously sprinkled on top, adding crunch and visual appeal.

The Phirni mixture is poured into earthenware pots or bowls, which not only lend a traditional touch but also help cool and set the dessert. Once chilled, the Phirni thickens further, creating a smooth and creamy texture that's indulgent and satisfying.

Phirni is enjoyed during festivals like Eid, Diwali, and other celebratory occasions. Its luxurious combination of milk, rice, and aromatic flavors creates a delightful experience that captures the essence of Punjabi cuisine's sweet side.


  • Rice [ चावल ], 1/4 Cup
    → Soaked.
  • Milk [ दूध ], 4 Cups
  • Sugar [ चीनी ], 1/2 Cup
    → Adjust To Taste.
  • Cardamom Powder [ इलायची चूर्ण ], 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Saffron Strands [ केसर ], A few Strands
    → Soaked In Warm Milk.
  • Nuts [ खाद्य पदार्थ ], 2-3 Tablespoons
    → Mixed Nuts, Optional, Chopped. To Be Used For Garnishing.
  • Edible Silver Leaves [ खाद्य चांदी की पत्तियाँ ], As desired
    → To Be Used For Garnishing.


Method for preparing Phirni

  • Wash the rice well and let it sit in the water for about 2 hours.
  • After sitting, pour off the water and grind the rice into a coarse paste. You can use a little milk to grind if you need to.
  • Bring the rest of the milk to a boil in a pan with a strong bottom.
  • Add the ground rice paste to the hot milk and stir it constantly to keep lumps from forming.
  • Cook the mixture on low heat, turning it constantly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  • As the rice cooks, the mixture will thicken as it simmers. This might take about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Add sugar to the mixture and continue to cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and the mixture gets thicker.
  • Add cardamom powder and stir well.
  • Soak some saffron threads in a little warm milk, and then add them to the mixture. This gives the phirni a lovely taste and color.
  • Cook for a few more minutes, until the liquid becomes thick like custard.
  • Take the pan off the heat and let the phirni cool down a bit.
  • Pour the phirni into serving bowls or clay pots (called matkas).
  • Let the phirni cool down fully, and then put it in the fridge for a few hours to chill and set.
  • Once the phirni has been cold and set, sprinkle it with chopped nuts and press edible silver leaves (varak) on top.
  • Your delicious Phirni is ready to be eaten.
  • Serve it cold as a delicious dessert.

Health Benefits

  • Milk Nutrition – Phirni is prepared from milk and rice, and it contains calcium, protein, and other important nutrients.
  • Rich in Carbohydrates – Rice is high in carbs, which contribute to energy levels and satiety.
  • Nutrition Variety – Phirni may be served with nuts and saffron to offer extra nutrition and antioxidants.
  • Moderation – Because it is a dessert made from milk and rice, phirni should be consumed in moderation.
  • Culinary Enjoyment – Phirni is a creamy and delectable dessert that is often served as a treat on special occasions.

Although these components may offer some health benefits, it's crucial to keep in mind that everyone's experience may vary, and they must be consumed in moderation as a part of a balanced diet. If you have any specific health issues or concerns, it's recommended to speak with a healthcare provider.

To Conclude

Phirni stands out as an elegant and flavorful classic in the rich tapestry of Punjabi cuisine. Ground rice, milk, sugar, and aromatic cardamom come together in perfect harmony in this creamy mixture. The silkiness of Phirni is a reflection of the skilled chefs in the area, who take their time and care in making it. This dessert, best enjoyed cold from ceramic pots, not only pleases the taste buds but also brings to mind times past when friends and family gathered to celebrate. Phirni is more than just a dessert; the saffron threads that decorate its top elevate it to the status of a work of art that narrates the history of Punjab's regal cuisine. As you take a bite, you join a story that spans millennia, where flavors from the past and the present come together in a delicious symphony of cuisine and tradition.

Thank You

The pictures displayed on this website are usually royalty free stock photos taken from Unsplash, iStock, Pixabay, Pngtree, and other sources. We appreciate the work of the individuals who own them. This is to thank them for their work and let them know how much it is appreciated.

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