Updated: Nov 25, 2021
This traditional north Indian dessert is reduced to being served at weddings now (which is a good thing!), even though Phirni is really simple and not-so-time-consuming to make.
Everyone should try making phirni at least once (won't stop at that for sure).
A rice pudding of sorts, flavour-wise rice phirni is a lot like rice kheer. The textures of the two recipes however, are different. Where the recipe of rice kheer calls for the use of rice grains, the recipe of rice phirni is made with coarsely ground rice.
Because the recipe of rice phirni uses (obviously!) rice... it is a naturally gluten free dessert.
If you're new to making Indian desserts at home, try these easy beginner recipes.
And if you like this Rice Phirni recipe, you may want to try this Black Rice Phirni recipe too from my Indian food recipe blog WhiskMixStir.
There's also an Instant Jalebi recipe linked towards the end of this post.
Connect with me on social media for (errrmmmm) not-so-regular updates! Yes, I’m not going to be on your screen all day every day!
Serves: 8 (really, it depends on the size of your sweet tooth!)
Cooking: approx. 45 minutes – 1 hour
Ingredients to make Phirni
2 litres full fat milk
½ cup rice – ground to a coarse flour
¾ cup sugar, adjust to taste
½ cup of nuts (of choice – almonds, pistachio, cashewnuts) – coarsely ground
4 – 5 green cardamoms, powdered
A few strands of saffron
A pinch of salt
Method for making Phirni
Bring the milk to a gentle boil in a thick bottom vessel. Take a couple of teaspoons of warm milk in a small bowl, add saffron strands and keep aside.
Reduce the heat to low and add the coarse rice flour to the milk. You could also soak the rice for half an hour and grind it to a coarse paste before adding it to the milk.
Continue to cook the rice and milk mix on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked.
While stirring, scrape the sides and bottom of the vessel to avoid the milk and rice from sticking to the vessel and burning.
When the rice phirni mix is reduces to half the original quantity and the rice flour / paste is cooked, add sugar and salt. Continue to cook it down further, till the phirni thickens.
Note: ideally, sugar is added to phirni (or even kheer) only after the rice is completely cooked. This is done because, adding sugar to the mix will slow down the cooking process of the rice. At times, your rice may end up slightly undercooked which completely changes the texture of phirni. So! Sugar is added to phirni only after the rice flour / paste is completely cooked.
Once the rice phirni mix thickens, add nuts, saffron milk and cardamom powder. Mix well, taste and adjust sugar. If you add sugar, cook the phirni for a couple of minutes more.
Once done, take the phirni off the heat and leave it to cool. When your phirni is at ambient temperature, pour it in to Earthen moulds (shikoras or kulhads) or shot glasses and place them in the refrigerator to chill.
While chilled phirni tastes divine on its own, it goes well with fresh / seasonal fruits, instant jalebi too…
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