Rice kheer used to be my favorite kheer. One of my aunt makes it the best. I used to be very cream perfectly sweetened and just enough saffron and cardamom. I have tried reproducing it never comes out the way my aunt's.
Recently we friends did a Punjabi themed potluck dinner. I decided to make parathas and dessert. My initial thought was to make Gajar Ka Halwa. That would have been very typical but I did not go the 'typical' route. I asked a Punjabi friend whether Phirni counts as a Punjabi dessert and she said yes. So I decided to make Phirni. To keep it simple I decided to only use saffron and then garnish with nuts. I find making phirni is extremely easy if you do not mind constant stirring. You can make it ahead of time and can be served in individual kulhads or everyone can take as much as they want from big serving bowl.


(Recipe is adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor)

6tbsp Basmati
5 cups Fat Free Milk (0%)
2 cups Reduced Fat Milk (2%)
1/2 cup sugar
Few Strands of Saffron

Preparation - 
Soak rice for minimum 2-3 hours.
Drain rice and start grinding. Use little milk for grinding as necessary. Strain using fine sieve. Repeat until 99% of rice is ground to fine paste.
Soak saffron in one tablespoon milk.
Mix remaining milk to the ground rice and add sugar.
Now start heating on low flame. I suggest use nonstick pan instead of a normal utensil. Stir constantly - literally do not stop. If you stop stirring, rice will form lumps and it becomes very difficult to get soft creamy consistency.
Add soaked saffron when consistency thickens a little bit. Continue stirring until it thickens like pudding. Rice should be completely cooked.
Arrange individual bowls in serving platter, and pour about 3/4 cup in each bowl. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Garnish with nuts and saffron threads just before serving.

Saffron Phirni
(Photo courtesy: Evolving Tastes

Tips - 
  1. I have made phirni with only with fat free milk but that takes bit more sugar so I decided to use little bit of 2% milk. 
  2. Once I made phirni with nuts but I did not enjoy that much as I like creamy version more. 
  3. Grinding the rice to very fine paste is very important. It takes time but that makes phirni smoother.
  4. Given proportions yield about 9 portions of the size shown in picture. 


  1. Sonali Kenge BajajOct 9, 2013, 3:31:00 PM

    wah aaj kay naivedya karava yacha vicharach karat hote :) Thank you for the recepie !

  2. This phirni is the best! So light and delicious, with just the right amount of sweetness.

  3. Hi Mints, the first time I ate phirni was when I was visiting the north, in a little earthen container. I still remember the taste. Yours looks very authentic and quite perfect. A very happy Diwali to you.

    1. Thank you Vaishali. Happy Diwali to you too!

  4. Hi Mints, I am also a food blogger and Maharashtrian :-)
    Can u write a blog post on Health benefit of Maharashtrian Meal.
    My Email Id is
    My Blog is
    My website is

    1. Hi Devaki, Thank you for stopping by!

      Thank you for reaching out. I am not a nutritionist or a dietician. I don't think I have expertise to write about health benefits.


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