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Pistachio Phirni - Pistachio Rice Pudding

Samis.Foodisms's picture
Pistachio Phirni it is similar to a rice pudding or custard made without eggs. It has a wonderful smooth and creamy texture. This lovely dessert Fuses Middle Eastern and Asian flavors and is very easy to make. It can be made well in advance which makes it just perfect for entertaining.
  Whole milk 3 Cup (48 tbs)
  Heavy cream 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
  Sugar 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Salt 1 Pinch
  Rice flour/You can use cornstarch - 6 tablespoons, dissolved in 1/4 cup of the cold milk 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Cardamom 3⁄4 Teaspoon
  Unsalted pistachios 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), finely chopped
  Pistachio 2 Tablespoon

1. Pour the milk and the cream into a medium-size saucepan and cook over high heat until simmering but not yet boiling.

2. Add the sugar and salt and stir until the sugar dissolves.

3. Now add the rice flour or the cornstarch paste in a steady stream, whisking with a wire whisk all the while.

4. Add the finely chopped pistachios, ground cardamom and rose or orange blossom water and continue to cook, whisking constantly, for a few minutes at very low heat until pudding becomes thick. You need to work fast and be careful that your pudding doesn't get lumpy.

5. Now take the pan off the heat and carefully pour or spoon the phirni into dessert bowls. I like to serve mine in cocktail or martini glasses or parfait glasses for fun or you could use traditional style coupes.

6. Immediately sprinkle the coarsely chopped pistachios on top while its warm, so that they stick. If you really love the taste of cardamom, sprinkle a little more of the ground cardamom as well on top of the pudding.

7. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until the pistachio puddings are thoroughly chilled.

8. Serve the Pistachio phirni cold with a dessert spoon.


You can make phirni a day ahead of time.

Serve with fresh berries or pomegranate seeds scattered on top, for a gorgeous splash of color.

There are so many delicious variations to phirni. You could use pineapple, fresh mango, guava, passion fruit or peach puree instead of pistachios. I have even made phirni using applesauce.

Try using almonds, cashews or a combination of your favorite nuts if you don't get pistachios. You could add chopped dried fruits like raisins, dried dates, figs, cherries, cranberries or apricots soaked in a little warm water for 10-15 minutes and drained.

Add grated nutmeg instead of cardamom.

For a dramatic presentation, use silver or gold foil leaf to garnish.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Preparation Time: 
5 Minutes
Cook Time: 
15 Minutes
Ready In: 
20 Minutes
A Middle eastern or Turkish twist to the Afghani/Kashmiri phirni is my all time favorite dessert pudding that is usually reserved for holidays and special occasions. My personal favorite is a phirni that is gently scented with cardamom and topped with chopped pistachios. And although it’s not traditional, I sometimes serve the rice pudding topped with fresh seasonal fruit.
Pistachio Phirnee

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Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 521 Calories from Fat 209

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 24 g36.4%

Saturated Fat 10.9 g54.6%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 58.1 mg19.4%

Sodium 143.4 mg6%

Total Carbohydrates 72 g24.1%

Dietary Fiber 2.1 g8.3%

Sugars 60 g

Protein 10 g19.8%

Vitamin A 13.6% Vitamin C 1.7%

Calcium 23.5% Iron 4.5%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet


Anonymous's picture
I just love rice puddings and I have tasted many different varieties of the same. Love you idea of using pistachios and dried fruits. I usually cook it in whole rice but rice flour seems to be a better option to get a smoother consistency. Will have to check if I can find it at a local Asian store.
Nita.Nair's picture
I am a great lover of puddings.
Rashmi Ambadkar's picture
I would surely prepare this delicious Pistachio Phirni this Diwali !! With so many unplanned friends and relatives coming over during the festivities this hearty dessert is bound to impress each one of them.....
Anonymous's picture
i tried the pista phirni sometime back and it didn;t quite turn out right, taste wise.. hoping this recipe works
sudipa_foodlover's picture
Simple...and so very delicious.
oatmeal's picture
I will definitely prepare Phrini this Deepavali!
sweet lover's picture
A beautiful Asian compliments the festivals like no other.
yamini's picture
Pistachio is not one of my favorites but this phirni sounds too good. Must make it for my Diwali bash.
dessertlover's picture
I love this dessert. I have had it at an Asian friends home and its better than rice pudding! You must try this dessert.
indianfoodlover's picture
Oh I love Phirni. I think I will make it for Diwali. Everyone in my family loves it! Thanks for the awesome variations!
Anonymous's picture
Phirni......taste awesome when set in small individual clay gets thick and rich....also the clay gives it a marvelous flavor...
Meghna Mathur's picture
yummy :)
delicious.bites's picture
Rich creamy and delicious....
Anonymous's picture
Weddings in Idia are incomplete without phirni :)
epicure's picture
Delllllicious!!! Pista phirni tastes like ice cream when you it frozen! try it! :)
sumer raheja's picture
i love pistachios! and having them on rice pudding is a great idea!
barbecue's picture
i just love pista phirni
aparna.priya's picture
Pistachios are my favorite nuts...I will make the phirni this Diwali !!
Anonymous's picture
I love this dish and have made many times. Here, I like the garnishing tips, one can serve the same dish in so many varieties.
thot4food's picture
I love rice puddings and pistachios in it makes it a double delight indeed!
Anonymous's picture
My mom loves pistas...she is going to love this!!
Gossip.Goddess's picture
looks damn enticing
colorfulcandies's picture
very informative article
Pistachio Phirni - Pistachio Rice Pudding Recipe, Pistachio Phirnee