Mango Phirni ( Mango Rice Pudding)

Aren’t your fondest summer holiday memories in the growing up years associated with food somehow?

Mango is my favourite fruit and in India mangoes are in season from late March to June which is also their Summer season. They are usually highly priced when they hit the market and are sold by the dozen or by the Peti. The Basket is stuffed with hay to keep the mangoes fresh and maintain an optimum temperature for them to ripen. Mango Peti or Baskets are perfect gifts if one is visiting a friend or family member during the summer months.

Our Mums would usually wait till the 2nd week of April to bring home the tastiest Alphonso Mangoes. These are usually the second lot of Mangoes that hit the market and are apparently tastier. Obviously bargaining needs to be your best virtue while Mango shopping. I almost worshipped this fruit and really missed the Indian Alphonso Mango when I moved to Melbourne. Now nothing beats the Indian Alphonso but over the years I have really come to love the Australian Kensington Pride Mango followed closely by R2E2.

Mango is such a versatile fruit, it can be eaten by itself, or in a fruit salad or mixed with savoury salads, smoothies, drinks, deserts such as cakes, ice-creams and of course Indian Mithai and Aamras. Mango also freezes well or can be pureed and stored.

Australian Mango season is coming close to an end whereas Mangoes are back in season in India. It is at this time when I puree Mangoes and freeze them to be enjoyed over the next few months. Since I was relaunching the new look and feel of Mumbai 2 Melbourne it was only befitting that the first post back should be about celebrations, food, dessert and Mango of course.

Weekend was here and I wanted to treat my sweet tooth a little bit without going overboard. I had rice in the pantry and a couple of ripe mangoes in the fridge so I decided to make a traditional Indian Rice Pudding last Sunday and use the natural sugars in Mango to sweeten it. 

So What is cooking at Mumbai 2 Melbourne ! 

Phirni or Firni is an Indian Rice pudding that is cooked with milk and sugar till it retains a thick and rich creamy consistency. Phirni was introduced to India by the Persian rulers and is a North Indian delicacy that is now loved across the length and breadth of the country. My Grandma (Aai) used to make Saffron Phirni at home and set it in earthen clay pots which was my first introduction to this delicious dessert. Phirni is also a popular dessert served at weddings and traditional ceremonies. 

I have given this traditional recipe a fruity twist by adding fresh mango pulp to sweeten the Phirni. Here is Mumbai 2 Melbourne’s recipe for Mango Phirni or Mango Rice Pudding.

What are you going to need to make it?

♦ Basmati Rice – 2.5 tablespoons

♦ Milk- 750 ml 

♦ Mango Puree- 350 ml- 400 ml

♦Sugar/ Sugar-free if needed – 2 tablespoons more or less depending on sweetness of mangoes 

♦ Cardamon Powder – 1/2 teaspoon

♦ Powdered mixed nuts – 2 tablespoon 

♦ Saffron Strands- 10 in number

♦ Rice flour – 1 tablespoon 

Lets get Cooking ! 

♦Soak the rice in warm water for 2 hours. Discard most of the water and grind the rice to a granular paste. Do not grind to a fine paste or the Phirni will lack a creamy thickness and bite.

♦Take a saucepan and add the milk and let it simmer on a low flame. Keep stirring every couple of minutes to ensure it does not stick to the bottom. In about 12-15 minutes the milk should have reduced in quantity to about 500 ml.  

Take a few spoons of warm milk in a bowl and add the Saffron strands to it and keep aside. Pulse a few pistachios and almonds in a food processor to a coarse powder. Add one tablespoon of this powder to the thickened milk. 

I used 1 medium sized Kensington Mango which gave me about 400 ml of puree. I also chopped up another mango into small cubes which I added as a garnish. This is optional but I recommend it. You can also increase the quantity of Mango puree depending on your taste.

♦I added the ground rice to the thickened milk and mixed it well. Let this mixture cook for about 10 minutes. You will notice the rice granules getting soft and also thickening the mixture. Once rice granules are soft to touch add two tablespoons of sugar and mix well. If using Sugar-free just skip this step. 

♦Add the rice flour to the saffron soaked milk. Mix well ensure there are no lumps. Now add this to the thickened milk and rice mixture. This particular step is important as it helps to thicken the Phirni to a perfect consistency also making it smoother and creamier. 

♦Next switch off the flame and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Then add the mango puree. Mix well and ensure no lumps are formed. If using sugar free add two tablespoons of it at this stage. Mix well. 

♦Immediately pour into serving bowls or glass bowls and cover with cling film and refrigerate them for 3-5 hours. 

Garnish with remaining nut powder and cubed mango pieces. Your Mango Phirni or Mango Rice Pudding is ready to dig in. 

Photography, Recipe and Styling – Sharvari Paivaidya Mehan

The combination of saffron with the sweet flavours of mango and the creamy gooey texture of the ground rice make it a fantastic dessert. It is relatively easy to make with minimal ingredients needed.

Mango Phirni can be made a day in advance if you are entertaining guests. Perfect on its own or served with fresh Mango pieces. You can substitute sugar for either more mango puree or you could add Sugar free when you add the mango puree towards the end.

I hope you enjoyed today’s recipe for a fresh and delicious dessert. Mumbai 2 Melbourne is back with a new look and feel. Would love to hear your feedback about it in the comments below.

Until next time have a fabulous week ahead.



  1. When I see mangoes in market of Mumbai I always remember u because u have been very fond of mangoes .Yr Aaji ie aai always used to make firni for u kids & I am happy that u r taking forward her legacy with innovations.I am very fond of yr way of writing because u explain the recipe every well & I am sure people all over will try this.Yr photography is excellent.I am as a mother very proud of u because u r managing everything so well.God bless u.

    1. Aww you are the best. I so miss the Mango Mania in Mumbai. Aai is genius I am so glad to have grown up eating such delectable food she cooked. Thank you so much Mom. ou are my inspiration and keep me going.

      Thank you for your love and support always.



  2. Shivu very nice mouth watering recipe of mango.I have been always fan of yr writing & cooking.U make difficult things look so easy.All the best for yr new innings of mumbai2melbourne.Stay blessed alwayz

    1. Hi Pa,

      Thank you so much I always love your honest feedback. Mango being your favourite I wanted to hear how you liked my idea to mix it with a Phirni. I am glad you approve. Thank you keep me in your blessings always.



  3. Hi Shivu! How are you sweety? It’s been a while since our last visit. You see, we were “offline” for many months and only slowly started blogging on November again. We’re OK now (after a few health issues) and we wish and hope the same for you!
    What a beautiful new blog layout! LOVE your work, bravo!
    And this dessert is definitely a must-try for us. We both love mango, but it’s rare (and expensive) here, so we cherish each recipe that uses this precious yummy stuff, like this one:)
    Sending you lots of hugs,
    Mirella and Panos

    1. Hi Mirella and Panos and welcome back….I hope you are keeping fine healthwise…..Your blog is looking great.
      Thank you for the feedback. It was a needed change to improve on the blog functionality. I am back after a Maternity break aswell. So health and the baby were keeping me busy.
      Absolutely Mango is like nectar, absolutely love it. Definitely try it and let me know how it turns out.
      You could make this without Mango with just saffron and nuts….tastes just as delicious.



    1. Thank you so much Priya… Aaj the awesome Indian Mangoes …. Can’t wait to gobble em



    1. Thank you so much Sandhya.i am going to try your skinny version soon as well. Have a fab day ahead


  4. The firni looks amazing. Mangoes have started to appear in hyderabad. But as you said even we wait till mid April to buy them. Will pin this recipe for this season.

    1. Thank u Ana. absolutely the mangoes when in season will give the best results. Have a wonderful day

    1. Thank u Tithi. Absolutely delightful on the senses. Let me how it turns out when u make it.
      Hugs and love

    1. Thank you so much Rafeeda i am glad you like the new look. Absolutely Indian desserts are the best i think

  5. Placing this on my must-try list before the end of summer. If your mango kalakand with its infused saffron is anything to go by, this looks even more awesome. Welcome back!!! Love the new look too

    1. Thank u Zaf.. absolutely make this one.. you will love it and it’s super easy too.
      Thank you the Kalakand recipe will be on the blog soon. I AM GLAD YOU LIKE THE NEW LOOK.

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