Firni happens to be one of my favourite desserts. It is a specialty of aromatic rice pudding, vastly popular in Northern India and across Pakistan and middle eastern countries. Although it is nothing similar to authentic Bengali desserts, still quite popular in Bengal as well, served as a following dessert to Biryani in Mughlai restaurants. Instead of whole grain of rice as used in the known form of rice puddings like kheer or Payesh, a coarse rice paste is used in this preparation. Firni also is a bit more condensed than the usual rice pudding, almost having a custard like texture. It is also far easier to make if you are to come up with something very quick. Ideally firni is served in small earthen bowls, which look very cute. Otherwise, you can serve in glass bowls like I did.
Ingredients to serve 4 :
- Milk (full fat) – 500 ml.
- Rice – 2 tbspoon (30 gm.)
- Sugar – 5 tbspoon (75 gm.)
- Few strands of saffron soaked in 1 tbspoon of warm milk
- Rose water – 1 teaspoon
- Few drops of Kewra water
- Pistachilo & almond slices for garnishing (optional)
Wash and soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
Then drain off the water from the rice and grind it to a coarse paste, adding little water while needed.
Take the milk in a pan and bring it to boil over medium heat.
As the milk starts boiling, turn the heat on low and add the rice paste to it.
Immediately start whisking otherwise the rice paste may form lumps.
Cook on low flame with continuous stirring for 5 minutes.
Then add sugar and saffron milk and cook till it gets custard like consistency. Don’t leave the mixture without whisking.
Finally add rose & kewra water and mix well. Put the gas off.
Equally divide the prepared phirni in four small serving bowls, garnish with pistachio & almond slices and refrigerate them to set for at least 2 hours.
Serve the firni cold.