Phirni or Firni is a broken rice pudding served cold. Similar to Kheer that is made with whole rice and is served both hot and cold. It’s scented with Cardamom and Saffron and garnished with Pistachios or other nuts.

A couple of years ago I brought back these terracotta pots or madkas after eating some Kulfi in India. I washed and dried these carefully and packed them well in my suitcase. These were the inspiration to make this Phirni, however you can set them in small bowls, ramekins or even in a large bowl to serve family style.

Phirni or Firni – Broken Rice Pudding Dessert

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  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • Seeds of 5 Cardamoms
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 liter Milk
  • Pinch of Saffron
  • Nuts to Garnish


  • Soak the basmati for an hour
  • Drain the water and then pulse it till it looks like granules
  • Heat the ghee and saute the cardamom seeds
  • Saute the rice
  • Add the sugar and the milk
  • Keep stirring till the milk is reduced by half
  • Add the saffron
  • Keep stirring till the milk thickens and the rice is cooked
  • Cool and add some saffron strands and sliced pistachios to garnish
  • Chill before serving