Pineapple Kesar Phirni

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Pineapple Kesar Phirni is a delicious dessert, part of Punjabi cuisine. Phirni or firni has its origin from Middle Eastern countries and was introduced in India as a major dessert by Mughals. Phirni has regional variations called by diverse names like payesh, payasam, payasa. Phirni is basically rice pudding made of mainly three ingredients rice, milk and sugar. This is enriched with flavors of kesar/saffron, cardamom, rose essence and dry fruits. Few days back I got a chance to try tasty gobindobhog rice. It’s just perfect for this phirni. My kids and husband are hardcore fans of pineapple and this made me try this delicious treat for them. All of us at home liked it so much and it got finished in no time. The pineapple pieces give a lovely crunchy flavor to phirni. Kesar also gives a nice taste, colour and aroma to the phirni. There are many phirni recipes floating around the networks and I have prepared it in my own way. There are other recipes with gobindobhog rice do check these GuliyappaOnigiri ,  kayi vada. 


Below is the recipe of pineapple kesar flavored phirni

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Punjab/Middle Eastern

Preparation time: 2 hrs

Cooking time: 40 mins

Serves: 5 no


Gobindobhog rice- ¼ cup

Pineapple pieces- ¾ cup

Thick milk- ½ liter

Kesar or saffron – 15-20 strands

Ghee -1 tbsp

Sugar-1cup + 2 tbsp

Hot milk -2 tbsp

Dry fruits (almond, cashew and raisins)- ¼ cup

Water as required


  1. Soak saffron or kesar in hot milk for 30 minutes. Keep this aside.
  2. Roast the dry fruits in ghee until they are golden and keep this aside.
  3. Take a thick bottomed pan, add pineapple pieces, saute well on low to medium flame.
  4. Now add 2 tbsp sugar, saute again until the pieces become soft and get coated with sugar. Cool and keep aside to use it later.
  5. Soak rice in water for 2 hours. Drain water and dry for 30 minutes.
  6. Coarsely powder the rice and keep this aside.
  7. Heat a thick bottomed wok, add milk, little water and boil.
  8. Now add coarsely powdered rice little at a time, with continuous stirring.
  9. Add the entire coarse rice to milk, add saffron milk and cook on low to medium flame with continuous stirring. (It took approximately 15 minutes).
  10. Check whether the rice is cooked. Now add sugar and keep stirring.
  11. As sugar dissolves and phirni starts thickening.
  12. At the end add ghee roasted dry fruits, sweetened pineapple pieces, boil once and pineapple kesar phirni is ready to be served hot or warm. This phirni can also be refrigerated and served cold.


My Notes:

The thickness of phirni is based on individual preference. Either milk or water can be added to make it slightly thin. As the phirni cools, it thickens in consistency.

The sugar level can be adjusted depending on individual taste.

Continuous stirring is necessary step to ensure lump free phirni.

Cooking on medium flame is important to prevent burning at the bottom.

If the pineapple pieces are added directly and phirni is boiled, it will spoil the milk and phirni.

Gobindobhog rice can be substituted with sannakki (Kannada) or jeera rice.

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