The Perfect Kesar Phirni Recipe!

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This Phirni Recipe is made with fragrant rice, creamy milk, and aromatic saffron, it’s a heavenly Traditional Indian dessert. Perfect for gatherings or festive celebrations!

kesar phirni recipe

What is Phirni

Phirni also called ‘Firni’, is a traditional Indian rice pudding made with whole milk, ground rice, sugar, and nuts.

Traditionally, phirni is served in small earthen bowls known as shikoras or matkas.

Not only do these small earthen bowls add an earthy aroma to the dessert, but they also absorb excess moisture, making the consistency thicker.

It is a beloved Indian Dessert that is often enjoyed during special occasions, celebrations, and festivals.

Try this Easy Phirni Recipe and treat yourself, your friends, and your loved ones to the taste of traditional Indian Dessert!

Why You Will Love It!

  • A traditional Indian dessert
  • Unique and Exotic flavor
  • A rich aroma and golden hue
  • Luxuriously creamy texture
  • Simple yet premium ingredients
  • Perfect for family gatherings & celebrations

Watch the Recipe Video!

How to Make Phirni

Step 1 – Wash and Soak Rice

To begin, rinse the rice with water until the water runs clear. Soak the rinsed rice in enough water for about 30 minutes.

kesar phirni step 1

Step 2 – Grind Rice

Drain the water from the soaked rice and transfer it into a grinding jar. Grind it into a coarse paste. You can also use a mortar and pestle.

kesar phirni step 2

Step 3 – Boil the Milk

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the whole milk and bring it to a boil. Keep stirring so it does not stick to the bottom.

kesar phirni step 3

Step 3 – Add the Ground Rice

Add the ground rice powder to the boiling milk. Stir continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Let the rice cook on low heat till the mixture thickens.

kesar phirni step 5

Step 4 – Flavoring the Phirni

Once the rice is completely cooked, add sugar, cardamom powder, and saffron strands (kesar) to the pot.

kesar phirni step 5

Step 5 – Cooking the Phirni

Continue cooking until the phirni reaches a thick, creamy consistency. Remove the pot from heat when the phirni has reached the desired consistency. Remember it thickens more after cooling down.

kesar phirni step 6

Step 5 – Setting and Garnishing

Transfer the phirni to small earthen bowls or any serving bowls. Garnish the Kesar Phirni by sprinkling chopped nuts—almonds, cashews, or pistachios.

Let the phirni to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight to let it set.

kesar phirni step 7

You might also like – Badam Halwa | Almond Pudding

Variations of Phirni Recipe

1. Mango Phirni – is prepared by adding mango puree and mango pieces to the phirni.

2. Badam Phirni – is made by incorporating finely ground almond paste into the phirni. The addition of almonds gives it a flavorful nuttiness.

3. Fruit Phirni – Add a mix of chopped dried fruits such as dates, figs, and apricots, along with a variety of nuts. Adjust the sweetness because chopped fruits have natural sweetness so it is important to achieve perfect balance.

4. Rose Phirni | Gulkand Phirni – is made by adding a few drops of rose water or 2-3 tablespoons of gulkand during the cooking process.

kesar phirni featured image

Recipe Tips

  • Substitute sugar with jaggery or palm sugar. Add melted jaggery or powdered jaggery when the phirni has cooled down, and the heat is turned off.
  • Add sugar to the Phirni only after the rice is completely cooked, as the rice will stop cooking upon adding sugar. Therefore, make sure to check if the rice is cooked before adding the sweetener.
  • Slow cooking is the key to making the best phirni. Be patient and let the rice slow cook in milk making it creamy and luscious.
  • You can store phirni in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and in the freezer for up to a week.
kesar phirni image


1. How to make a Vegan Phirni Recipe?

Yes, you can make a vegan version of this Phirni recipe. Substitute dairy milk by using plant-based milk such as almond milk or oats milk.

2. Can I make Phirni in advance?

Certainly, preparing the phirni in advance and refrigerating it for a day or two is advisable as it allows the dessert to chill properly.

More Dessert Recipes!

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Happy cooking, dessert lover!

kesar phirni recipe

Kesar Phirni Recipe

Kesar Phirni is a traditional Indian rice pudding dessert infused with the essence of saffron (kesar). A delightful treat for those with a sweet tooth!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


  • 1/4 cup short grain rice
  • 1 litre full-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (adjust according to your preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • A pinch of saffron strands
  • 2 tablespoon nuts chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rose petals (optional, for garnish)
  • 1 no edible silver leaf (optional, for garnish)



  • Wash the basmati rice thoroughly and soak it in water for 30 minutes.
    1/4 cup short grain rice
  • After soaking, drain the water and grind the rice into a coarse paste using a blender or food processor. Set aside.


  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it comes to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching.
    1 litre full-fat milk
  • Lower the heat to medium-low and slowly add the ground rice paste to the simmering milk, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
    1/4 cup short grain rice
  • Cook the mixture for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked and the mixture thickens to a creamy consistency.
  • In a small bowl, soak the saffron threads in a tablespoon of warm milk for a few minutes until they release their color and aroma.
    A pinch of saffron strands
  • Add the saffron-infused milk, sugar, and cardamom powder to the rice-milk mixture. Stir well to combine all the flavors.
    1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder, 1/2 cup sugar
  • Remove the Kesar Phirni from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, transfer it to individual serving bowls or a serving dish. Garnish with chopped nuts, rose petals, and edible silver leaf, if desired.
    2 tablespoon nuts, 1 tablespoon rose petals, 1 no edible silver leaf
  • Cover the serving bowls or dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate the Kesar Phirni for at least an hour, or until it is thoroughly chilled and set.
  • Serve the chilled Kesar Phirni as a refreshing dessert after a hearty meal. The creamy texture, fragrant saffron, and delicate sweetness make it a delightful treat for your taste buds.



  • Allow the phirni to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
  • Add sugar according to your taste preference.
  • Stir continuously to prevent lumps and ensure even cooking.
  • Maintain the right balance of milk and rice for a creamy and rich consistency.
Keyword Dessert Recipe, Indian Desserts, Kesar Phirni, Phirni Recipe, Saffron Phirni

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