Phirni with touch of gold

There is no a.k.a to this sweet one! I hesitantly translate the Phirni into “ Rice Pudding “ and often reluctantly to do so. It’s like calling Rolls Royce just a car or Movado a black watch with a stone. This may sound accurate but doesn’t feel right! What makes it special is the whole process of making it and the ingredients in it .


Recipe by Smita ChutkeCourse: SweetsCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy



Phirni with touch of gold is called that way because it is made with ingredients such ghee which is also known as golden butter, the saffron which is called golden spice and further garnished with edible gold leaf to distinguish this from just a “Rice Pudding”


  • 5 cups of whole milk

  • 1/4 cup of basmati rice

  • 7 Oz. condensed milk

  • 10-12 coarsely chopped pistachios+ 8-9 for garnish

  • 1 tbsp ghee (See Notes)

  • Spices
  • 1 tsp of saffron

  • Rose Bloom Dessert Spice #333

  • Optional garnish
  • gold leaf

  • Edible dried Rose and crushed pistachios for rim of bowls . See Notes


  • Prep
  • Rinse the basmati rice and soak for 10-15 mts
  • Then use a strainer and let all the water drain out for a minute or two.
  • Heat a pan on medium low with ghee and sauté the basmati rice for a minute until it looks slightly golden. Turn off the heat.
  • Using a coffee grinder or powerful blender, grind the rice into coarse meal. Keep this aside.
  • Cooking
  • In a large saucepan heat the Milk until it comes to boil on medium high while keeping a eye on it . Then reduce the heat to medium low and let it boil until the 3/4 cup of milk is evaporated. Meaning there is still slightly more than 4 cups left.
  • Add the rice meal slowly 1 tbsp at a time and keep stirring the milk. Keep the heat on medium low.
  • Add cardamom and cook for next 5 mts until the milk thickens up slightly.
  • Add the condensed milk, saffron and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add chopped pistachios. let it cool down.
  • Transfer into bowls and refrigerate for 4-5 hrs before eating. Phirni will thicken even more once you refrigerate.
  • Garnish with gold leaf and more pistachios if you like it.


  • Enjoy this Phirni in smaller quantity as it’s rich in calories.
  • Ghee can be made with regular Butter. Just heat the butter on medium low heat until it separates from solids and turns golden yellow. strain away and use the clarified butter which is nothing but ghee.
  • Freezing this will make some delicious ice cream too.
  • Traditionally Phirni is served in “Kulhar” a clay pot and the earthen taste is remarkable.
  • Real Saffron doesn’t leave the color instantly but does it slowly. Its also very fragrant and your dessert should have the fragrance even the next day. The color will be yellow and will get deeper with prolonged refrigeration.
  • When you make Phirni, it will appear pale white and you won’t see the deep saffron color until you refrigerate or couple hours.
  • Edible Gold leaf is only for garnish and it’s ok to skip it.
  • I also dipped the rim of silver bowls in Phirni and then into a plate of edible rose leaves and ground pistachios for the crusty rim look.

Traditional Phirni served

If you like this recipe please do leave a comment or share on your social media. More such recipes on my Instagram @smitascookery

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I am Smita Chutke , and welcome to my blog. Cooking for me is an art. Once you know the techniques then you have freedom to experiment and create something new.


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