Firni – a traditional rice pudding

Firni or phirni is a rice pudding recipe which one of my Bengali friends always makes for Eid celebrations. She uses a traditional recipe which was handed down from her mother, who used the recipe handed down from her mother.

It is still Eid now – it started yesterday (Tuesday), and we were invited to dinner, and how fortunate was I that my friend took the time to veganise the firni for me! 😀 I don’t recall eating firni when I was vegetarian but this vegan version is so delicious, so creamy, so full of flavour that I will definitely be making it again – and not just for Eid!

Firni with fresh fruits

I’ve never really been a rice pudding fan, although it was one of my Dads favourites. This firni though, well, that’s a different matter altogether! The spices in this give this dessert a unique flavour which is so refreshing and, well, I just can’t stop eating it! 😀

Of course, there are loads of rice pudding recipes (I have one here), and loads of firni variations, but I do believe that this is one of the great ones! Of course, any recipe handed down from generation to generation has to be a winner! Do make the time to try this out – I’m going to make some more at the weekend! 😀

5 from 1 vote
1 hr 30 mins

Bengali rice pudding recipe

Course: Dessert
Serves: 6 servings
Created by:: Laurena @LifeDietHealth
  • half cup pudding rice or short grain rice
  • cold water to cover
  • 1.5 litre coconut milk
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 whole cardamon
  • 4-5 tablespoons coconut sugar
  1. Wash the rice, then leave it to soak in cold water for half an hour. Drain.

  2. Put the rice in a large saucepan, add the milk, cinnamon, bay leaves and cardamon. Put over a medium-high heat and stir continuously until boiling.

  3. Continue cooking until the rice starts to disintegrate - you should try to keep the heat as high as possible but don't go to far away from the cooker as the milk might burn. Continue to stir frequently. This may take up to an hour! 

  4. When the rice is cooked, add the sugar, stir in and continue cooking in the same way for a further half an hour. 

  5. Remove from the heat and immediately pour into a heatproof dish. Remove the cinnamon, bay and cardamon. Once cool, refrigerate.

  6. Serve in individual bowls or glasses.

  7. Enjoy!

Tips & Storage
  • Keep refrigerated for up to five days - firni is always serve cold.
  • Try adding a grated carrot to the rice and milk mixture.
  • Add a handful of sliced almonds or chopped pistachios just before you finish cooking.
  • Serve with different fresh fruits - mango, raspberry, cherries.
  • Vary the amount of spices used to tailor it to your tastes.
  • Sprinkle with sugar, flaked almonds or chopped pistachios before serving.
  • Try layering the firni with fruits in a glass (serve immediately).
  • If you like rosewater, try adding a teaspoon when you add the sugar. You could then decorate this version with rose petals.



  • Eva 22nd August 2018 at 13:49

    I don’t understand people like you and my husband who don’t like rice pudding haha?I grew up eating it cold too (but I also like it warm as well). Happy Eid and enjoy lots of Firni in your Dad’s honour?

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 22nd August 2018 at 14:47

      Lol?This version is so tasty! Thank you. Dad used to eat it warm with jam… you should try this version on hubby!? Hope you’re all settled in now. x

  • Eva 22nd August 2018 at 15:25

    There’s no way hubbie would eat it cold though (maybe with loads of Nutella?). Bay leaves in rice pudding is a new one for me. I’m mainly used to rosewater and cinammon…or just strawberry jam lol- I think I need to broaden my horizons with this one?x

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 22nd August 2018 at 21:58

      Yes, bay leaves surprised me too but it’s so good – especially with the coconut sugar. I’ve eaten it all now! 😀 You really should give it a go, but you have to eat it cold! 😛 x

  • Arlene 9th September 2018 at 20:52

    My mother always made rice pudding. Brings back good memories. 🙂

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 9th September 2018 at 21:09

      Glad it brings back happy memories ☺ Nice to see you over here, hope you’re well.


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