Deepawali at my mum’s is all about getting ready for the pooja, fire crackers, lots of diyas. More of a family only affair.

Diwali, at my in law’s is a complete change of scene. Festivities are much louder.Visiting collegues and friends to distribute sweets and gifts, getting decked up for playing cards with family, lot of food, lot of mithais. The festivities goes on for a week where the whole family meets up every evening to play cards. A lot of food gets made everyday and specially desserts.


Phirni is one Punjabi dessert that is made without fail.  Phirni is a rich creamy rice pudding served chilled. We usually set it in individual clay bowls, so that it is easier to serve. Phirni set in clay bowls have a very earthy flavour along combined with the rich creamy flavour.  


2 ltr + 1/2 cup – Whole Milk

2 tbsps – Basmati or any local aromatic rice

1 pinch – Saffron (in case of using. I haven’t used it this time)

1 tsp – Cardamom powder

1 cup – Sugar

Almond  flakes for garnishing



. In half cup hot milk soak crushed saffron strands for half an hour. Rub the strands between your fingers to extract as much colour and flavour possible.

. Soak rice in the above saffron milk for 1/2 hour. Blend into a very coarse paste in a blender.


In a heavy bottomed pan boil the milk over medium flame till the milk boils up. Reduce the flame and boil for 1.5 hours, till the milk reduces to half. 

Add saffron rice mixture to this and on a low flame cook for an hour again. Stir occassionally to avoid the phirni from sticking to the bottom. Cook till the rice is soft and cooked completely.

Add sugar gradually tasting at intervals to avoid adding more. Cook phirni till it reaches a thick condensed milk consistency. Add cardamom powder and pour them into individual cups in which you want to serve and refrigerate it for 3 to 4 hours.


To serve garnish it with pistachio flakes and saffron strands.

* It is very important to pour the phirni in the dish you want to serve in, before it cools. Be it in one large bowl or small individual bowls. As the top layer will set.
. Phirni is best served chilled.


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