Indian Creamy Rice Pudding (Phirni)

"This is a Madhur Jaffrey recipe that I use often. The Prep time includes cooking time"
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
4hrs 30mins


  • 1 liter rich milk
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground rice (raw uncooked rice)
  • 6 -7 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons finely slivered pistachios or 2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted pistachios


  • Pour the milk into a wide, preferably non-stick pan.
  • Add the cardamom pods and bring to a boil without letting the milk spill over.
  • Quickly turn heat to medium- the milk should simmer vigourously as possible without boiling over- and cook, stirring now and then, for about 15-20 mins.
  • or until the milk has reduced to 750 ml (1 1/4 pints).
  • Sprinkle the ground ruce slowly into the pan, stirring as you go.
  • Add the sugar as well.
  • Stir now and then cooking for 7-8 mins.
  • or until the pudding has thickened to a creamy consistency, turning the heat down a bit towards the end.
  • Turn off the heat and pick out the cardamom pods and discard.
  • Roast the almonds and pistachios lightly over a cast iron griddle pan.
  • Set aside.
  • When the pudding has cooled to lukewarm stir in the almonds into it.
  • Ladle the pudding into 4-6 small serving cups (the kind used for caramel custard) Sprinkle the top with the pistachios and cover with cling film.
  • Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until cold and set.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Mallina Cashew
    This was great!! The ground rice really makes a difference in the texture and cuts down on the cooking time!! I needed to add some salt though. Also, I had to constatly be near the pot b/c the bottom of the pot began to burn!! The end result was well worth it. THX
  2. UmmBinat
    This didn't really work out. I used white rice flour that stuck together a lot. A whisk would definitely have helped with that. I had to sieve the pudding because there were rice flour chunks in it. I used rice milk as I usually do to be dairy free (this is not the reason it wasn't very good) and added an extra bruised cardamom pod but still I found the pudding lacked flavor. I used a lot less white sugar out of preference. We enjoy Recipe #64652 much more. Made for India -- More Than Just Curries Tag Game.
  3. alissakk
    I make this recipe often - when we have guests over for Indian food. I substitute coconut milk (to make it vegan) and use a rice cereal/farina (bob's red mill brand). Also, I sprinkle the toasted nuts on the top rather than stirring them in. I love the cardamom flavor & sometimes add grated coconut to the pudding as it cooks.
  4. Charishma_Ramchandani
    Tomorrow it's my dad's 54th birthday:-) I've made this dessert for him as he loves desserts and particularly those in which Milk is a vital ingredient. This has come out very well. I used a pinch a salt too as the other reviewer did. A cooking tip which I have learnt is when you make desserts, always add a pinch of salt to them while cooking. The flavour is enhanced almost MAGICALLY. I have tried this before with semolina halwa and it works like a charm! So, I had to share...try this dessert by adding 2 pinches of salt like I did, and then you will just love the taste. It will be much much better than without adding salt. I did not have saffron on hand, so I used 2 drops of yellow food colour{liquid}. The colour has come out very very pretty...I call this shade of yellow "baby yellow" because it is just as soft and light, yet distinct, as a little baby:) I did not have almonds and pistachios on hand, so I used lightly toasted cashewnuts as a substitute. I used 21 ground green cardamom pods to make this{we like more cardamom and the flavour is absolutely tantalising!}. One additional ingredient I used other than the salt for this recipe, is 1 1/2 tbsps. of Nestle sweetened condensed milk. This made the recipe get that "oomph" and "aha" that was missing. While cooking, when I did the taste test of this, I found that even with 7 heaped tbsps. of sugar, the sugar was still a little less than what my family's taste buds are tuned to enjoy. So, I added in 1 1/2 tbsps. of the sweetened condensed milk and continued to stir very well. I am so glad I added this additional ingredient, because, now, sitting right in front of me, is the yummiest dessert I have cooked in the year! The ground rice is the best part of this recipe. It really gives the phirni a wonderfully creamy texture. This recipe requires alot of patience and skill while cooking{so as to not let the milk stick to the bottom of the pot, you got to keep on stirring it continuously}. The final result is REALLY well worth all the effort that goes into making the dessert. I can't wait for Dad to dig into this after lunch tomorrow...will have to hide some somewhere otherwise our guests will have it all and dad will be a cranky baby on his birthday! lol....thanks a tonne for a yummy recipe! Here's wishing you a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy 2005!


<p>Am an avid baker and love cooking too. Live in Mumbai, India.</p>
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