The 26-year-old spoke of her adoration for the former Skins favourite and praised his "down-to-earth" character, but accepted that their hectic schedules had made their relationship a challenge at times.
"He is one of the cutest, cutest boys I have ever met, very down-to-earth, very humble and so unaffected by everything that has happened," she told the Sunday Mirror.
"We've missed each other quite a bit this year with filming. It's crazy how we miss each other... [so] the small things just bring so much joy and cheer to us.
"Like the time at the Oscars ceremony - we just looked at each other and said, 'This has been an amazing journey. Thank you for being a great friend through it all'. That's what matters."
Pinto, who is currently starring alongside James Franco in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, also recalled how the couple looked to each other for support after Slumdog Millionaire made them household names.
"We helped each other, which is very important," she said. "I don't think I would be able to do it by myself and I definitely know that he would say the same thing."
Pinto previously said that although she is always trying to make time for Patel, the pair will never choose to work together again.
Watch Freida Pinto in the trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes below: