A phirni or firni is an Indian dessert similar to sweetened rice pudding.It differs from kheer/payas/payasam in that it uses coarse/broken rice paste or rice flour paste that sets into a creamy pudding.We can say it is a variant of kheer. Basmathi rice is used to make this and it is traditionally soaked in water for atleast half and hour,drained, sun dried and powdered to make a coarse rice flour which is then mixed with milk and cooked in sweetened cardamom added milk to make phirni.This is what I have read about traditional way of making phirni. But the quickest way is to use rice flour which allows us to make the dessert instantly and I follow MadhurJaffrey's recipe she has mentioned in "Climbing the MangoTrees" with the flour. Here I have made the pink version by adding strawberry puree to it. A delectable twist indeed.
Milk: 1 and1/4cup
Rice Flour: 1 heaped tbsp or 4 tsp
Sugar: 2 tbsp or as per taste
Strawberry Puree: atleast 4 tbsp
Garnish: Almonds : lightly toasted
In a small bowl,mix together 1/4 cup milk and rice flour to get a thick paste which should be lump free. Keep aside.I have used more rice flour than mentioned in the original recipe.
In a thick bottomed bowl,bring to boil the remaining milk to which sugar has been added.Remove from heat,thoroughly mix in the rice flour-milk paste and return to heat. Let it simmer till thickens stirring almost constantly.It will thicken maximum within 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let it come to room temperature.
Fold in the strawberry puree. I had pureed strawberries adding a little sugar which I added to the thickened milk. Pour it in bowls- preferably earthenware or matkas- or any serving bowls and let it chill for atleast 30 minutes or dessert time. Garnish with nuts and serve.
Simple creamy dessert.I have avoided adding cardamom as I felt that the spice overrides the strawberry when I made it the first time.Feel free to make your own version of phirni which is excellent for the summer.
The author herself suggests that you wash the basmathi rice in several changes of water, then dry in the sun and finally grind/powder in a clean coffee grinder for that traditional touch. You can find the original recipe in BombayFoodie
The strawberry phirni is off to Celebrate Sweets -Sweets with rice at Priya's.
Update: Thanks to Lubna,this delectable phirni is off to Food Palettes Series- Pink at TorviewToronto.