This firni recipe comes from Dina's book Made in Bangladesh: Recipes and Stories from a Home Kitchen, (£28, Hardie).

Dina says: "If you haven’t tasted firni, you are in for a treat. This refined cousin of rice pudding makes appearances at weddings, Eids and other special celebrations. Scented with cardamom and pandan extract, firni is served chilled, scattered with rose petals and pistachios, either in individual portions or in a large sharing dish. I make various versions of this pudding, but this is my favourite when entertaining, as it can be prepared ahead of time and needs to be chilled overnight. The perfume of pandan is matched with the citrussy floral notes of cardamom, and both are delicious with the milk and rice."

This is a recipe that Dina shared as part of her guide to Bangladeshi cuisine. Check it out to learn more about the complex flavours of this South Asian country, including whole braised chicken in rich gravy (duruj kura) and fragrant rice with ghee and whole spices (shada pulao). Then discover our Asian street food recipes and recipes for Eid.

Firni recipe


  • 75g basmati rice
  • 1.2l whole milk
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pandan extract (kewra water), or rosewater
  • 2 tsp finely chopped pistachios, to garnish
  • 2 tsp dried edible rose petals, to garnish


  • STEP 1

    Soak the rice in cold water for 20 mins, then rinse until the water runs clear. Drain using a fine mesh sieve, then tip into a spice grinder with 2 tbsp of water and blend until it forms a coarse paste.

  • STEP 2

    Transfer the rice paste to a wide, heavy-bottomed pan. Add 250ml of cold water and bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring regularly until the rice has absorbed most of the water and taken on a porridge-like consistency. Pour in the milk, whisking the rice all the while. Once you’ve added all the milk, switch to a wooden spoon.

  • STEP 3

    Add the cardamom and sugar, and reduce the heat to low-medium. Cook for 30-35 mins, stirring continuously until the milk has reduced by around a quarter. The rice grains will plump up and you should end up with a smooth, silky mixture that falls easily from a spoon, the consistency of custard. It will thicken further as it sets.

  • STEP 4

    Turn off the heat and stir through the kewra water (or rosewater), then pour into a large heatproof dish, or six to eight small terracotta dishes. Leave to cool to room temperature for 1-2 hrs, then cover and chill overnight. Serve garnished with pistachios and dried rose petals.

Discover more ways with pistachio.

Rhubarb, pistachio and sour cream loaf cake on a wooden chopping board with some slices taken out and sour cream on the side


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