Kesar Phirni or Firni is a traditional Kashmiri dessert which is made using milk and rice. This Mughlai sweet is a treat to eat and is very easy to make. Here is how to make it.
Looking for more Phirni Recipes, here are some – Mango Phirni, Thandai Phirni, or you can even try Kheer recipes such as – Seviyan Kheer, Carrot Kheer, Makhane Ki Kheer, Sabudana Kheer, and Badam Kheer.
About This Recipe
Firni or Phirni is a rich & creamy dessert that is prepared with a rice blend and is infused with aromatic essence.
It was traditionally made in Kashmir but is now popular all over India and even Pakistan.
Made with milk and rice, this dessert is very similar to Kheer, which will definitely satisfy your taste buds to the T.
Since this has been made from the times of kings, some people also call it Shahi Phirni.
It has Kesar, which only gives this dessert a nice color, but also makes it aromatic. Apt for festivals and special occasions, this is one easy dessert that can be made in a jiffy too.
This dessert is,
- Easy to make
- Apt for festivals
- A favorite in India
Rice – To make this Firni, rice is soaked in water for a few minutes and then ground into a coarse paste.
You can choose any flavourful rice to make this dessert.
Milk – Ground Rice is then added to milk and cooked until this mixture of milk and rice becomes thick. Add full-fat milk to make this dessert. Skim Milk or Low Fat Milk will not give you the best results.
Ghee – A little ghee is added in the beginning, which gives a nice flavor to this Kheer.
Saffron and Rose Water – To give a hint of flavor and fragrance, saffron and rose water are added to the milk which also adds beautiful color to it.
Dry Fruits – It is garnished with lots of dry fruits, as it adds a delicious crunch to the dessert.
I have used silvered Almonds and Pistachios, but you can use dry fruits of your choice.
Sugar – You can adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste and preference.
Step by Step Recipe
Wash and soak rice for an hour.
Drain the water and blend the rice in a blender to make a coarse paste. Add very little water if required.
In a heavy bottom pan, add ghee.
When the ghee is hot, add the milk.
Add the rice and saffron to the milk.
Simmer the heat and cook till the milk is reduced to 1/2 and phirni has reached the desired consistency. Keep stirring continuously. Keep in mind that it will further thicken on cooling.
Add sugar and rose water.
Transfer it into earthen bowls. ( or regular if not available ) Garnish with slivered almonds and pistachios. Chill for a few hours before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both Phirni and Kheer have the same ingredients but they differ in the process of making and even the final taste.
In kheer, short-grain rice is cooked with milk while in firni, rice is ground to a coarse paste and then cooked with milk.
The consistency of phirni is thicker than that of kheer.
To make it vegan, you can use coconut milk or almond milk instead of milk. Also, avoid adding ghee in the beginning.
If you are using condensed milk, then cook the phirni as per the instructions.
Once it is reduced to half and the rice is properly cooked, add 1/2 tin condensed milk. Do not add sugar in this case, as condensed milk is already very sweet.
Taste and see if you still want more sugar, add according to your taste. Cook until it reaches the desired consistency and serve.
You can also experiment with the flavors of this homemade Phirni, according to your taste and preference.
You can give it a twist by adding seasonal fruits and make some delectable recipes such as Mango, Apple, Strawberry or Orange Phirni, etc.
Try some of my favorite recipes such as Thandai Phirni which is perfect for Holi as well.
Add some Khova to make Shahi Kesar Khoya Phirni.
You can also substitute rice with sooji/semolina and make a delicious Sooji Firni.
It is a great option if you want to avoid rice in your meals.
Phirni will last in the refrigerator for about 2 days when stored properly in an airtight container. It is not recommended to freeze it, as it will split while you thaw it.
I prefer to serve this creamy and succulent Phirni in kullads or earthen pots, as the raw and rustic smell of these pots blends amazingly well with the dessert and these pots also look attractive to see.
The clay pot also absorbs some liquid making it even creamier.
After adding Phirni into these earthen pots, garnish it with a few saffron strands and slivered dry fruits and store them in a refrigerator for an hour.
Chilled Phirni tastes the best, but if you prefer it hot, you can serve it as soon as it is made.
So do give this recipe a try, and if you are experimenting with the flavors of this traditional dessert, do let me know.
I would love to know what more flavours can be incorporated into this delicious Fhirni.
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- 1 litre Full Fat Milk
- 3 tbsp Rice
- 1 tsp Ghee
- 15-20 strands Saffron
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Rose water
- Almond and Pistachio Slivers for Garnishing
- Wash and soak rice for an hour.
- Drain the water and blend the rice in a blender to make a coarse paste.
- Add very little water if required.
- In a heavy bottom pan, add ghee.
- When the ghee is hot, add the milk.
- Add the rice and saffron to the milk.
- Simmer the heat and cook till the milk is reduced to 1/2 and phirni has reached the desired consistency.
- Keep in mind that it will further thicken on cooling.
- Add sugar and rose water.
- Transfer the phirni into earthen bowls.( or regular if not available )
- Garnish with slivered almonds and pistachios.
- Chill for a few hours before serving.