Strawberry Phirni – Indian Semolina Pudding

This recipe was featured on 100 ways to use Strawberries at Endless Simmer





Ingredients: {Serves 4-5}

Printable Recipe

For the Strawberry Sauce:

  • 3 cups chopped strawberries [fresh or frozen]
  • 3 tbsp white granulated sugar

For Phirni [Semolina Pudding]

  • 1/2 cup fine semolina flour [suji/sooji] [available in indian stores]
  • 1 tbsp ghee [substitute with clarified butter/unsalted butter]
  • 4 cups evaporated milk [ Substitute with half n half /whole milk/soy or almond or coconut milk for vegan version]
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp white granulated sugar [ adjust to taste]
  • 2 tbsp rose-water [use 1-2 drops if using rose essence]
  • 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios & almonds [Or any nuts of choice] + Extra for garnish.

For the Strawberry Sauce:-
Add the chopped strawberries and sugar to a sauce pan and let cook on low heat for about 5-8 minutes till they are soft.Once they are soft, I used my spatula to mush them in the pan itself,you can blend them to make a smooth sauce if you like.Once cooked, let cool to room temperature, if you feel that the sauce is runny after cooling, you may need to cook it little more to achieve a thicker consistency.Tip the sauce into the glasses or serving bowls and let chill.
For the Phirni :-
[While the strawberry sauce is cooking]
  • In a skillet, on very medium heat,toast the semolina flour along with ghee till its light golden in color.You will need to continuously stir the flour as it roasts and keep a watch because semolina burns easily.Takes about 5-8 minutes.
[While the semolina flour is toasting]
  • In a wide-mouthed, heavy bottomed utensil, let milk come to a boil on medium heat.Stir once or twice midway to prevent milk from sticking to the bottom of the utensil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and start adding the toasted semolina flour to the boiling milk and whisking thoroughly with the other hand.This is a very important step, if you do not whisk continuously, semolina will form lumps within seconds.
  • Within 5 minutes you will see that the milk starts to thicken as the semolina granules swell up and absorb milk.Continue whisking for about 3-4 minutes until you get a thick but runny consistency similar to ketchup.
  • Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.Add the granulated sugar, nuts, cardamom powder and rose-water to the semolina-milk mix and combine thoroughly.You will see that as the sugar dissolves the pudding will thin out.Note that it is important to add the sugar while the pudding is still warm.
  • Let the pudding cool to a room temperature and then add it on top of the already cooled strawberry sauce.Cover the bowls/glasses with cling film to avoid formation of skin on top and let set in the refrigerator till set [About 2-3 hours]
  • Garnish with chopped nuts or strawberries and serve chilled.

  1. I used canned evaporated milk because we like the taste and the caramel color that it lends to the pudding.In case you will use milk and half n half, you wont get the same color.
  2. Instead of strawberry sauce, try pureed mango , sliced bananas or any other kind of fruit.Please do not use citrus fruits because that may lead to cuddling of the milk in the pudding.You can avoid the fruit sauce completely & make the pudding on its own only.
  3. The same recipe can be used to make phirni with ground rice or cornmeal.In case of rice flour,do not toast it.
  4. The pudding keeps for 2-3 days, refrigerated.
Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hi Tanvi! Another wonderful pictures and post. I love the story behind this pudding, about our school days. :-) Its’ funny your mom add more spoons of ghee in your milk and you get better score! LOL. Maybe she was right! ;-) Well at least you became such a great cook learning from her, obviously. My mom didn’t make dessert much while I was growing up and now I’m not making dessert for my kids either. I know kids usually remember how their mom bakes some sugary stuff growing up, so I should try harder to be involved with their sweet memory. :-)

  2. It’s amazing the phirni looks like an even smaller version of sago pearls! Beautiful colours with the strawberries too :)

  3. Ooo, this looks delicious! I’m not familiar with phirni…it sounds a bit like halwa with ground nuts. Which is my favorite, I like it a lot better than kheer. :)

  4. looks good … i have not heard of phirni…but there s something similar that mom makes. The fotos are gorgeous as usual

  5. Tanvi the pictures are absolutely amazing, you really are a bunch of talent !

    Phirni is one of my favorite desserts, i remember it being given to us in small earthen plates as a kid, when we used to go for some puja in the neighbours house. Not to mention, Ma made this everytime i was down with cold and the milk and sugar and sooji would flatter my sick taste buds .

  6. Loved the colors..nice recipe.

  7. hehe Tanvi – my mother in law is like that and still is. In the morning when I have roti, she thinks the more ghee she adds, the better I will be. And I keep telling her I want roti without gheeeeee!!! My mom on the other hand was very health conscious and always looked for cutting calories in our food. I remember sending the phirni recipe to you once, but this with semolina is so different. I bet its as good! Lovely pictures. All of them!

  8. I used to prepare semolina kheer here and we all love that.This one is a delightful twist to the recipe.Nice Idea.Your clicks are amazing as always..

  9. Marvellous,absolutley inviting, eye pleasing and delicious pudding..

  10. I love strawberry! I love Indian too!! And I love pudding the most!!!

  11. I have never seen a phirni with fruit on the bottom like this, I think you’ve taken the desert to a new level, it really looks lovely :D
    *kisses* HH

  12. Absolutely divine looking dessert…

  13. Looks so delicious, Beautiful photography!

  14. Tanvi,
    I can’t believe I have to say ‘same pinch’ here too! My mom is exactly like that. She pretty much comes with a bottle of ghee along with the plate of food. For her, ghee must go on anything and everything and only then she has done her motherly duty well!

    BTW, by pairing with the strawberries, you’ve given a quaint twist to the humble phirni.. neat!

  15. Looks drool-worthy. I always make it with wet/ground rice but not semolina. Making it with Semolina makes it simpler, I will try this version.

  16. Lovely dessert… Combining it with strawberries is so lovely… amazing pics:)

  17. these pictures are making me hungry !! strawberries are always a treat to the eyes

  18. Thank you every one for stopping by.It means a lot!

  19. Deepa says:

    Just heavenly looking phirni. Great clicks as well. No wonder you recieved so many compliments.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  20. Hi Tanvi. I can’t get over this Phirni. I have never made one but would love to and your directions are very detailed so I think I can actually make it with success. I hope you write a cookbook someday because I would be the first in line to buy it. Each recipe is intriguing on this blog and beautiful.

  21. This sounds so delicious! I’ve made a few semolina puddings before, but I’ll have to give this a go next time.

  22. This one’s added to my “ASAP to-do” list because of all the fresh, sweet strawberries in season. Thanks for sharing!

  23. wow, strawberry pudding with amazing flavors. looks beautiful tanvi!

  24. lovely pictures Tanvi and simply delicious recipe. but firni with semolina is new to me. what we get as firni in Kolkata restaurants is made with rice powder and milk. would try out this one soon.

  25. Your pictures are so beautiful :)
    I love the story with the recipe. My mum used to insist on a glass of milk with a loaded tablespoon of honey on exam day mornings.
    She makes a delicious samolina pudding quite similar to yours and she tops it with sliced bananas..YUM
    Thanx for the recipe and the memories

  26. Exam time for me meant eating breakfast esp. before going to write one. Rest of the school days I used to be always late…there was no time to even tuck my shirt in or tie my school tie….let alone eat b’fast!! :-)
    I love this phirni and b’cos my husband n son is not a fan of strawberry though I love it.. I’m going to try this with mangoes !

  27. Wow so yummy and irresistable pudding..And fantastic presentaion dear.

  28. Our school was not close by.. we had to ride the school bus, but after exam and on the result a similar story used to happen even at our house :) I and Bhai wanted sweet .. my mom used to however make rice pudding ! This is a new kinda pudding to me and it looks so rich and yummy. I am gonna try this one :)

  29. Ahhh this looks SO good! I wish I hadn’t used up most of my strawberries so I can try this :D

  30. oh my! I would love to try that! It looks perfect with the strawberries!

  31. Wow .. looks so yummy. Pictures are awesome.


  32. Your Indian semolina pudding looks so spring-ish and bright! YUM :D

  33. Tanvi this looks SO delicious! The Indian pudding I’ve ever tried is gulab jamin, but this is on a whole other level and SO beautiful looking! I love the contrast of the strawberry layer and the phirni. I am definitely making this when I get back from holidays!

  34. wonderful clicks and very tempting ……. glad to follow u …

  35. I have a feeling it’s a tendency of all moms to try to fatten up their children! And I would have gleefully been fattened up if it means getting to eat this delicious dessert!

  36. That looks like the perfect way to celebrate strawberry season!

  37. Love those Strawberries and the decadent dessert!

  38. This is such a pretty dessert! It looks like a gourmet treat for very special occasions!

  39. that is an interesting twist to an Indian the addition of strawberries

  40. not a fan of rice pudding but this…this I love

  41. Thank you everyone for stopping by.

  42. Looks delicious and perfect …

  43. That looks so special! I have never had phirni before. I might try this. God Bless mums and their ghee :-)

  44. I also grew up eating semolina pudding, it’s quite popular as a dessert in France along with rice pudding. I guess those are just comfort foods no matter where you are in the world.

  45. Came here from Richa’s blog. You have made such a simple dish look so luscious with the photos. Loved the recipe.

  46. I am such a strawberry lover and I think you knew I would LOVEEEE this recipe lol. I always learn new recipes when I come here and I have to say thank you for that. Your blog is simply wonderful. I hope you and the family have a great Memorial Day Weekend :)

  47. milk and ghee oh NO mama! and semolina pudding with strawberries shall try is for my fin friends, look yum, but have to wait for couple of months to get good berries here :(

  48. Never tried phirni before, but it sounds like something I’d very much enjoy. I love when recipes have back stories–makes them that much more special and enjoyable. This looks fantastic!

  49. This looks really inviting, havn’t tried semolina pudding, so gt to give it a shot!!

  50. I haven’t had much experience with semolina, except in cake form. This pudding looks so fresh and vibrant :)

  51. this looks wonderful you should open a gourmet Indian restaurant in future

  52. Love your pictures! The pudding looks great!

  53. Prima says:


    I tried the phirni and it came out really well. And it was quite a visual treat too!

    You have a great blog. Keep it up!

  54. Perfect consistency of the Phirni. Love it!

  55. Don’t believe I’ve ever had this…but it looks gorgeous and sounds delicious Tanvi! Lovely shots too :)

  56. A very comforting dessert! Delightful and healthy. Perfect.



  57. i love semolina, and actually haven’t seen a pudding of this nature paired with strawberry. the curiosity is insatiable… i must try this! thanks for sharing another gorgeous dish.

  58. that looks delish! will bookmark this with my account until i get all the ingredients! thanks for including vegan notes. :)

  59. How delicious. I’ve never had Strawberry Phirni before but I love strawberry so I’d love to give this a try. Great pictures Tanvi.

  60. this looks delicious!

  61. This Phirni … delicious! Thank you! :)

  62. Great post! I have got to try this soon since this recipe two of my favorite things together, Phirni and strawberry. By the looks of it, it looks so delis :)

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