Pistachio Phirni - Pistachio Rice Pudding Recipe

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.
Pistachio Phirni - Pistachio Rice Pudding  picture


Preparation Time5 MinCooking Time15 Min
Ready In20 MinDifficulty LevelEasy
Health IndexHealthyServings4

Recipe Story

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.


 Whole milk3 Cup (48 tbs)
 Heavy cream1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
 Sugar1 Cup (16 tbs)
 Salt1 Pinch
 Rice flour/You can use cornstarch - 6 tablespoons, dissolved in 1/4 cup of the cold milk1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
 Cardamom3⁄4 Teaspoon
 Unsalted pistachios1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), finely chopped
 Pistachio2 Tablespoon

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 mg

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


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.


colorfulcandies profile page

colorfulcandies says :

very informative article
Posted on: 11 October 2011 - 10:35am
Gossip _Goddess profile page

Gossip _Goddess says :

looks damn enticing
Posted on: 11 October 2011 - 8:25am

Anonymous says :

My mom loves pistas...she is going to love this!!
Posted on: 11 October 2011 - 7:22am
thot4food profile page

thot4food says :

I love rice puddings and pistachios in it makes it a double delight indeed!
Posted on: 11 October 2011 - 2:07am

Anonymous says :

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.
Posted on: 11 October 2011 - 12:56am
aparna.priya profile page

aparna.priya says :

Pistachios are my favorite nuts...I will make the phirni this Diwali !!
Posted on: 11 October 2011 - 12:39am
barbecue profile page

barbecue says :

i just love pista phirni
Posted on: 11 October 2011 - 12:27am

sumer raheja says :

i love pistachios! and having them on rice pudding is a great idea!
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 11:31pm
epicure profile page

epicure says :

Delllllicious!!! Pista phirni tastes like ice cream when you it frozen! try it! :)
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 11:08pm

Anonymous says :

Weddings in Idia are incomplete without phirni :)
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 11:02pm
delicious bites profile page

delicious bites says :

Rich creamy and delicious....
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 11:01pm

Meghna Mathur says :

yummy :)
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 2:18pm

Anonymous says :

Phirni......taste awesome when set in small individual clay pot..........it gets thick and rich....also the clay gives it a marvelous flavor...
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 2:11pm

indianfoodlover says :

Oh I love Phirni. I think I will make it for Diwali. Everyone in my family loves it! Thanks for the awesome variations!
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 1:38pm

dessertlover says :

I love this dessert. I have had it at an Asian friends home and its better than rice pudding! You must try this dessert.
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 1:03pm
yamini profile page

yamini says :

Pistachio is not one of my favorites but this phirni sounds too good. Must make it for my Diwali bash.
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 12:57pm

sweet lover says :

A beautiful Asian dessert...it compliments the festivals like no other.
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 12:55pm
oatmeal profile page

oatmeal says :

I will definitely prepare Phrini this Deepavali!
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 12:24pm

sudipa_foodlover says :

Simple...and so very delicious.
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 12:12pm

Anonymous says :

i tried the pista phirni sometime back and it didn;t quite turn out right, taste wise.. hoping this recipe works
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 11:52am

Rashmi Ambadkar says :

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.....
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 11:41am

Nita.Nair says :

I am a great lover of puddings.
Posted on: 10 October 2011 - 11:39am

Anonymous says :

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.
Posted on: 20 September 2011 - 11:57pm