Instant Pot Phirni/ Firni -Instant Pot Indian Rice Pudding

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Treat yourself to a comforting bowl of this Instant Pot Phirni / Firni and enjoy a better night’s sleep. Phirni fits all the standards of a comfort food.

What is even more appealing about this recipe is that it utilizes the most basic ingredients – milk, sugar and rice – and a few other which are a pantry staple.

It brings that nostalgic feeling on your first bite and so much warmth as you go along. The pistachios and almonds sprinkled on top offer a nutty crunch.

A perfect phirni for me should be very creamy, not sticky or watery. The rice shouldn’t be too firm nor too squishy. It needs to be particularly perfect!

instant pot phirni

What is Phirni?

Firni or phirni, is an Indian rice pudding made with ground rice, milk, saffron, ground cardamom (optional), and sugar. It is placed in a shallow earthen dish, and garnished with chopped almonds, rose extract (optional), and pistachios.

My favorite thing in phirni is Saffron! Saffron has a very subtle flavor and aroma — some say it’s earthy & grassy, some say it’s like honey, and I say it is perfect! I also love the flavor of the rose extract. Even though its optional it adds a very unique flavor.

What is the difference between Kheer and Phirni?

Phirni is a variation of Kheer. Phirni is made with rice and milk just like kheer. The key difference between these two recipes is that Phirni uses ground rice, while in Kheer whole rice is used.

They both taste different. Don’t believe me? Try my kheer recipe:

Instant Pot Indian Rice Pudding / Instant Pot Kheer

Here are some tricks to make the perfect Instant Pot Phirni/ Firni:

After four failed attempts, I subsequently figured the timing, tricks and the ingredients of making the perfect phirni in the instant pot.

Trick 1: There should be a very small quantity of rice to milk ratio since the milk reduces as it cooks. So don’t be tempted to throw in extra rice for this recipe. It all works out well in the end.

Trick 2: Add a little bit of water in the inner pot before you add the milk and rice. This step prevents the milk from getting scorched at the bottom.
How do I make Instant Pot Phirni/ Firni?

First, rinse the  basmati rice well. Soak the rice in half cup of cold water for 30 minutes. Do not discard the water. It will be used to blend the rice.

 

Soak a pinch of saffron strands in 1 tablespoon milk.

 

When ready to cook blend the rice and water mix for about 10 to 15 seconds. Do not blend the rice very fine. It needs to be slightly coarse. 

blend raw rice and water for phirni

blended rice consistancy close up

Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal. Add ½ cup water to the pot. Let the water boil.

saute mode instant pot

Once the water starts steaming add milk to the pot. (This step is key. The water needs to boil and steam before adding the milk).

boil water and add milk to instant pot

 

The milk needs to sauté for about 15 minutes. Set the timer to check. Furthermore, keep stirring every 2 to 3 minutes. Stirring will prevent the milk from getting scorched at the bottom. After the 15-minute mark, the milk will thicken and reduce considerably. MAKE SURE YOU STIR EVERY 2 to 3 MINUTES!

Next add the the blended ground rice and water mix gradually, one spoon at a time. Stir well. Then add the tablespoon of milk and saffron, and finally add the sugar. If you like the taste of ground cardamom add it now. It is totally optional. Give it a good stir. Let the phirni sauté for 5 minutes. Keep stirring every minute or so in order to prevent lumps from forming.

consistancy closeup

After sauteing for 5 minutes, press cancel. Timing is key here to achieve the desired consistency.

Make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot. Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve. Select manual and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. When cooking is complete, use natural pressure release to depressurize. It should take about 20 to 22 minutes for the pressure to release naturally. If it doesn’t you can quick release the pressure after the 20 minute mark. Open the lid.

Select sauté and adjust to normal. Let the phirni sauté for 2 to 3 minutes and it will thicken. Keep stirring. Add rose extract. Finally, transfer in a serving bowl or alternatively in small bowls and garnish with chopped nuts.

Cover the bowls. Once cool, refrigerate the phirni. Consume within 2 to 3 days.

transfer phirni to serevingn bowl

Tried this recipe yet? Give us a rating, comment below in the reply section and let us know what you think.

Do try some of the other recipes.

Instant Pot Indian Rice Pudding / Instant Pot Kheer

Instant Pot Cauliflower and Paneer Curry with Milk and Turmeric / Instant Pot Kashmiri Gobi Paneer

Instant Pot Indian Black Chickpea Curry / Instant Pot Indian Kala Chana

Instant Pot Phirni/ Firni – Instant Pot Indian Rice Pudding

Treat yourself to a comforting bowl of this creamy rice pudding and enjoy a better night’s sleep. Phirni fits all the standards of a comfort food.
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Easy Phirni, Electric Pressure Cooker Phirni, Instant Pot Firni, Instant Pot Phirni, Instant Pot Rice Pudding, Multipot Phirni, Pressure Cooker Phirni
Servings: 3
Author: Shilpa

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup long grained basmati rice (rinsed and soaked in 1/2 cup of water for 30 minutes)
  • Pinch of saffron strands (approximately 15 strands soaked in 1 tbsp milk)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
      
    (optional)

For Garnish

Instructions

Prep

  • Rinse the basmati rice well. Soak it in half cup of cold water for 30 minutes. Do not discard the water. When ready to cook blend the rice and water for about 10 to 15 seconds. Do not blend it very fine. It needs to be slightly coarse.
  • Chop the pistachios into thin slices.
  • Soak a pinch of saffron in 1 tablespoon milk.

Cook

  • Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal. Add ½ cup water to the pot. Let the water boil.
  • Once the water starts steaming, add milk to the pot. This step is key. The water needs to boil and steam before adding milk to prevent the milk from getting scorched.
  • The milk needs to sauté for about 14 to 15 minutes. Set the timer to check. Keep stirring every 2 to 3 minutes. Stirring will prevent the milk from getting scorched. After the 15-minute mark, the milk will thicken and reduce considerably.
  • Add the ground rice and water mix gradually, one spoon at a time. Keep stirring. Add the milk and saffron, sugar, and ground cardamom (optional), Let the phirni sauté for 5 minutes. Keep stirring every minute or so in order to prevent lumps from forming.
  • After 5 minutes, press cancel. Make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot. Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve. Select manual and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes.
  • When cooking is complete, use natural pressure release to depressurize. It should take about 20 minutes. If the pressure doesn't release on its own you can quick release the pressure after the 20 minute mark. Open the lid.
  • Select sauté and adjust to normal. Let the phirni sauté for 2 to 3 minutes and it will thicken. Keep stirring. Add rose extract (optional). Mix well.
  • Transfer in a serving bowl immediately to let it set. Garnish with chopped nuts.
  • Cover the bowls. Once cool, refrigerate the phirni. Enjoy cold.
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