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5 from 1 vote

Phirni Brûlée

Classic Indian ground rice pudding with a fusion twist of bruleed sugar layer.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4


  • A heavy pot, culinary torch


  • cup basmati rice
  • 3 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried lavender flowers (crushed between palms) , or use cardamom or saffron or rose water
  • 4 tablespoon raw sugar/demera sugar


  • Wash rice 3-4 times under running water. Drain and then spread the rice on paper towel or kicthen towel to air dry for a few hours.
  • Once the rice is dry, add to a coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Don't make a very fine or a very coarse powder.
  • Set milk to boil and reduce on low medium heat.
  • Once the milk comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and let the milk reduce for 15 minutes or so.
  • Next, while continuously whisking add the ground rice to the milk. Keep whisking for 2-3 minutes else lumps will form.
  • Let the milk simmer and rice cook in the milk. You will need to stir the phirni often while it cooks for even cooking and to make sure that no lumps are formed.
  • In about 20 minutes you, you will see the milk will thicken and become almost custard like since the rice has cooked out. At this point add the granulated sugar. Cook for another 3-5 minutes till the sugar is dissolved. Switch off the stove and mix in the lavender (or the flavor that you are using).
  • While still warm, divide the phirni into your serving bowls. Let sit undisturbed until completely cooled down and then chill in the fridge for atleast 6 hours. You can serve the phirni just like this or with some nuts.
  • To Brûlée (Just before serving):- Spread ¾ to 1 tablespoon of raw sugar over the set chilled phirni. Using a culinary torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy slightly burnt sugar top. Wait for 5 minutes for the sugar to harden before serving.


  • You can choose a fragrant rice - short grain goind bhog/kalijeera or jasmine rice work wonderfully besides basmati rice. Wash and air dry the rice for a few hours before grinding it.
  • Keep the phirni towards mildly sweeter side since the brûlée sugar will balance the sweetness. However, if you are not making the brûlée, add 6 tablespoon of sugar to sweeten the phirni.
  • Since the rice is ground, I feel phirni cooks much faster than kheer, you have to however keep on stirring it more often, so that the ground rice dosent get lumpy.
  • Always chill the phirni to bring out the right texture and taste. Ideally, I would make the phirni a day ahead and brûlée it right before serving. Please do not brûlée warm phirni.