Kesar Phirni – Saffron Rice Pudding


  • This dessert is slightly different from the regular rice kheer which is made from whole grains of rice. Basmati is the preferred rice for making this recipe.

To all you wonderful mommies out there, toiling to nurture n nourish your families & children day in & day out, mostly making 24/7 parenting seem effortless!

Had it not been for your simple healthy, nutritious & delicious home cooked meals, we would all be nowhere today! So take a bow, you amazing women, cause you are the first fabulous chefs that every child is introduced to, even before knowing the word, food.

Let’s all celebrate together with a simple yet delicious sweet dish cooked by many moms in their home kitchens.

A beautiful rich n creamy Indian pudding, Phirni is a fragrant dessert made with rice, sugar & saffron infused condensed milk. It offers an interesting play of textures with the sweet cool burst of creamy ground rice, the light crunch of nuts and the perfect delicate aroma of saffron!

Tastes best served chilled in small earthen pots, garnished with rose petals and slivers of almonds and green pistachios.

Recipe for Kesar Phirni

Ingredients (Serves 4 – 6 persons)

  • 3 tablespoons basmati rice, washed (or any other rice available)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 litre full cream milk
  • ¼ cup sugar or 200 gms of condensed milk
  • 7-8 strands of saffron/ kesar mixed in milk
  • 3-4 cardamoms whole or powdered
  • 3-4 almonds/ green pistachio slivers for garnish (optional)


  1. Soak the basmati rice in lukewarm water for about 25-30 minutes and then grind coarsely in the blender to make a paste resembling the consistency of rava / semolina.
  2. In a deep and heavy bottom kadai, bring the milk to a boil .
  3. Add the whole cardamoms/ powder and boil for about 10 minutes on a medium flame. Make sure to stir at regular intervals, until the milk has thickened and reduced to about ¾ of its original volume.
  4. Discard the whole cardamoms.
  5. Lower the flame, add the rice paste and boil for another 5-7 minutes until the rice has completely cooked.
  6. It is important to stir continuously to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan or forming lumps. Remember to scrape the sides of the pot to prevent burning.
  7. Add the sugar/ condensed milk as well as the saffron infused milk and mix well for another 2-3 minutes till it comes to a boil and then turn off the flame. Check for sweetness to your taste.
  8. Your rich creamy phirni is ready. You can serve it chilled in little earthen pots or matkas after an hour, garnished with delicate almond slivers.

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