Monday night and I was craving some really creamy dessert!! No, not ice cream or even cream cake. I was looking for something smooth, milky and sweet. Phirni, the fabulously easy milk custard had been on my mind for a while! Thickened with rice paste and sweetened with sugar, this dessert harks back to hot Delhi days when cold desserts were a welcome relief. Prepared in the heat of the day, garnished with nuts fried in ghee, and chilled to perfection in the refrigerator, Phirni always marked the perfect ending to spicy meals!
Just the memories got me going and before I knew it I was pouring out milk, opening a can of condensed milk, frying nuts, and making Phirni! As I was making this dessert after such a long time, I decided to go all festive about it and flavour it three ways. I first made a traditional Phirni flavoured with cardamom. In the second round I made the same Phirni, divided it into two equal parts. I flavoured one with some Rose Syrup, and the other with Saffron!
1/4 cup rice, soaked for 4 hours
2 cups milk, 2% fat
1/2 can condensed milk
4 elaichi (green cardamom pods)
1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
For the Variations:
3 tbsp Rose Syrup
2 tbsp milk, warmed
- Place the milk in a heavy bottomed steel pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Drain all the water from the soaked rice. Grind the rice to a coarse paste.
- Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and crush them.
- Pour the ghee in a small frying pan, add the mixed nuts. Fry until fragrant. Turn off the heat and remove the nuts onto a small bowl. The nuts will garnish the pudding.
- Stir the rice paste and the crushed cardamom seeds into the milk.
- Continue stirring on medium heat until the rice cooks and the pudding begins to thicken.
- Now add the condensed milk and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until the rice has cooked fully.
- The pudding will now look heavy and thick.
- Remove from heat, pour into a serving bowl, sprinkle with mixed nuts.
- Allow the pudding to cool completely, then chill before enjoying.
- Prepare a batch of Phirni as per the above recipe.
- When the Phirni is cooked, divide into two equal portions. Allow to cool.
- Place the saffron in the warm milk and allow to soak.
- Once the Phirni has reached room temperature, pour the rose syrup in the one portion and the soaked saffron milk in the other. Mix will.
- Pour into serving bowls and chill completely in the refrigerator.
- Sprinkle with fried nuts and enjoy!!
- I used 2% milk. This pudding can be made with full fat or even 1% milk.
- If you do not have condensed milk, add another cup of milk, cook to reduce it to about 2 cups, the add a half cup of sugar (or to taste).
- If you would like a thicker and even more creamy Firni, grind the rice to a fine paste.
- I made two separate batches of Phirni, but you could just double the quantity of ingredients for the same results.
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