Mamta's Kitchen

Phirni, Ground Rice and Milk Pudding

Phirni Kheer

Yashoda Gupta

DessertIndianQuickSweetVegetarian

Note from Mamta: This delicious ground rice Indian kheer/pudding recipe comes from my late mother, who made it often. It is quick to make and has quite a delicate flavour, so a good dish to serve at parties. You can increase the amount of almonds and pistachios if you want to make it richer. When more (1/4 cup) almonds are used, it is sometimes referred to as Almond or Badam Phirni. Without nuts and raisins and with less sugar, it is suitable as a baby food too.

It can be made in a pressure cooker or in a slow cooker, all equally good. It freezes well too. Freeze in portions in small jars.

Also see Phirni with Peanuts, a Kheer and Phirni with Mangoes, a Kheer. Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 litre milk

  • 5 tbs. ground rice*

  • 5 tbs. sugar (to taste). I use less when making just for us.

  • 5-6 almonds.

  • 1 tbs. pistachio.

Instructions

  1. Measure milk.

  2. To blanch almonds & pistachio, soak in hot water for 1-2 hours. This makes the skin loose and easy to peel off. Peel skins off. Shred into thin slices/slithers using a sharp knife. I often do it on the chopping board, using a cleaver. Make sure to keep your fingers out of the way. Thin slithers look better than roughly chopped almonds. Keep aside.

  3. Dissolve ground rice in a little cold milk and keep aside.

  4. Boil rest of the milk in a heavy bottomed pan. Stir frequently to avoid 'catching' at the bottom of the pan. Burnt milk tastes dreadful and has to be thrown away.

  5. Add ground rice/milk mixture to the boiling milk and cook, stirring constantly. If you do not stir at this stage, it will ?catch? and burn very quickly. Phirni with a burnt smell is not edible*.

  6. Cook until a thick texture is achieved, like a batter or a thick custard. If the milk was boiling when you added the ground rice, this only takes about 5 minutes,. Sometimes, you need a little more ground rice than given in the recipe for getting the right consistency. Do not be afraid to add more, a little at a time, until correct consistency is reached.

  7. Turn heat off and add sugar and saffron, stir these in well.

  8. Add 1/2 of the nuts and mix.

  9. Place in a serving bowl, garnish with the rest of the nuts.

  10. Chill and serve.

Notes

  • *You can buy it in packets from most UK grocery stores. If you can't, soak 6-7 heaped tbs. of basmati rice for a couple of hours and then grind it to a paste with water. It is better to make a little extra paste, just in case your phirni needs more than specified amount to get it to correct consistency.

  • Quantity of nuts, as well as sugar, can be adjusted according to taste.

  • Instead of saffron, this pudding can be flavoured with ground green cardamoms seeds or rose water or kewda water, according to individual taste.

  • For a sugar free version, add artificial sweetener, at step 8, when the pudding has cooled down.


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