As the unusually hot Summer continues, my quest for cool things continues… 🙂 Today, I was yearning for something sweet and cool to eat when I suddenly realised I could make Phirni.
I have been meaning to make Phirni for ages but somehow have been side-tracked by something or the other. Surprisingly I ate Phirni for the first time quite late in my life; when I was studying Engineering. Our college was in Bandra where you would get the yummiest of desserts during Ramazan. Well, as a vegetarian, the only thing I could look forward to were the desserts; Malpua, Falooda, Phirni, Sevai, Meethe Chawal….. 🙂
Of all the desserts, I used to look forward to Phirni because it was so delicately flavoured and so light on the stomach. And I was fascinated by the earthen dish in which it was served. I got this recipe from the mother of a dear friend and it has served me faithfully over the years.
Nice to Have: 4 shallow earthen bowls (~4″ diameter)
- Full Cream Milk – 1/2 Litre
- Rice – 2 tbsp
- Sugar – 4 tbsp
- Saffron – 10 strands
- Pistachios – 8
- Elaichi or Green Cardamom – 3
- Soak the rice in 1/2 cup water for 1 hour.
- Soak the saffron in 1/4 cup warm milk for about 15 minutes.
- Grind the sugar and cardamom seeds to a fine powder.
- Drain the water and the rice to a coarse paste with about 2 tbsp water.
- Boil the milk.
- When the milk boils, turn the heat the low.
- While stirring continuously, add the ground rice paste.
- Over medium heat, cook the rice-milk mix for about 10 minutes till the rice cooks and the milk thickens.
- Turn off the heat and add the ground sugar and mix well till it dissolves.
- Add the saffron milk and mix well.
- Pour the mix into four shallow earthen bowls.
- Decorate with crushed pistachios.
- Let the Phirni cool to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Serve chilled.
- The earthen dishes is the tradition way to serve Phirni but you could also serve it metal, glass, or ceramic bowls.
- You could add about 4 tbsp of Alphonso Mango Pulp to make Mango Phirni. If you are making this variation, omit the saffron and add the mango pulp after the Phirni has cooled.
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