Phirni is a very rich and creamy rice pudding and is a popular traditional dessert in India.It is very simple to make when it is made bit carefully otherwise one can even mess up with this simple dessert.Phirni is more versatile and is more open to the flavors like kesar phirni,carrot phirni,Badam phirni,peach phirni,strawberry phirni,apple phirni,mango phirni etc etc.Even though kesar phirni is quite common at my place,the very first time I saw madhu's 'carrot phirni' I was really bowled with its lovely color and I wanted to make it immediately very badly.Since then carrot phirni also joined my dessert menu and now I would like to share with you.
1/4 cup fragrant basmati rice
1/2 litre full cream milk
3 big carrots,peeled and steamed/boiled
1/2 cup sugar
few strands of saffron
3 tbsp chopped cashewnuts
3 cardamoms,extract seeds and pound in mortar and pestle
a pinch of nutmeg powder
2 tsp ghee
- Soak saffron in 2 tbsp warm milk for half an hour.
- Soak basmati rice in water for half an hour.Drain the rice and grind to a slight coarse paste.Add boiled carrots and grind to a smooth paste.Do not make into a very smooth paste,a slight coarse paste works best in giving a nice texture to the dessert.
- Heat ghee in a small pan and roast the cashew nuts until they turn light golden in color.
- Heat milk in a thick bottomed pan when it starts bubbling,simmer the flame and slowly add the rice-carrot mixture and sugar and stir continuously until it forms a thick mixture.It takes approximately 8-10 mins.This step is most critical as you might end up with lumpy solution if you don't stir it continuously.If you end up having lumps,do not panic strain the mixture into another vessel and press the lumps in the strainer with the help of back of the laddle.Again keep the mixture back on the stove and continue cooking.
- Add saffron milk,cardamom powder,nutmeg powder and fried cashewnuts and mix well.Once the mixture is thick turn off the stove.
- Pour the mixture into the individual moulds/earthern pots and garnish with slivered/flaked almonds,pistachios and saffron strands.
- Kesar Phirni: Just avoid carrots in the above recipe and follow the same procedure.
- Apple Phirni: Make kesar phirni as above and let it cool and before it gets set,add grated apples and mix and then let it sit.
- Strawberry Phirni:Make kesar phirni as above and let it cool a bit,before it gets set add finely chopped fresh strawberries and mix and then let it sit.