Not yet rated

Phirni is an Indian dessert filled with the heady scents of rose, cardamom and almond. Rohit's version is completely vegan, making the most of oat milk and cream to cook the rice in. Deliciously comforting and absolutely full of fragrant flavour.

This recipe is taken from Tarkari: Vegetarian and Vegan Indian Dishes with Heart and Soul by Rohit Ghai (Kyle Books, £25). Photography by Maja Smend.

First published in 2022

Rohit says: 'Phirni is a pretty similar dessert to kheer, the major difference being that for phirni we use coarse or ground rice but for kheer we use whole rice. I make this dairy-free by using oat milk and cream. In India, phirni is traditionally served chilled in earthenware pots.'






Rinse the rice a couple of times in water, then drain and dry with kitchen paper. Blend the dried grains coarsely in a food processor or blender. Set aside


Heat the oat milk and cream in a heavy-based pan. When the milk starts to get warm, take 1 tablespoon and place it in a small bowl with the saffron, then set aside to infuse. Let the rest of the milk reach boiling point, then lower the heat and add the ground rice. Stir and add the sugar, then cook over a medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, uncovered. Keep stirring at regular intervals so that no lumps form and the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan


When the rice is almost cooked, add the raisins, almonds, cardamom and the saffron-infused milk. Stir and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Once the phirni is ready, add the rosewater


Serve warm or chilled, garnished with almonds and rose petals

  • rose petals, to garnish
First published in 2022

After making his name and winning Michelin stars at some of London's most high-profile Indian restaurants, Rohit Ghai's solo venture Kutir cements his reputation for cooking some of the best Indian food in the UK.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.