Friday, June 26, 2009

Firni - North Indian Recipe

Firni is a special variation of the rice pudding. It is hugely popular in North India and Pakistan. Sometimes called kheer, it is silky in texture, it is usually served chilled in individual bowls garnished with almonds.

Ingredients:
2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup sugar
5 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon almond slivers
1/2 tbsp pistachios, chopped
1/2 tsp crushed cardamom
1 tbsp ghee (butter)
1/2 tsp rose water

First, heat the ghee and fry the rice flour for about six minutes. This process reduces some of the rawness of the flour and also lends a good aroma to the dish. Mix together the half and half and whole milk. Bring to a boil slowly. After the milk has thickened (six minutes), add the rice flour and mix well. Add the rice in small quantities and watch for lumps being formed.

Cook the mixture till the rice is completely cooked and the dish reduces to a smooth paste. Add a little extra warm milk if you feel that the dish is too dry. Add the sugar and condensed milk and mix well. Continue to cook on a low flame for another 2-3 minutes till all the sugar dissolves.

Add the cardamom just before taking it off the heat and mix well. Remove from heat and add the rose water. Mix well.

Pour into small individual bowls and chill. Garnish with almonds just before serving. Dessert is served cold in India.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually Kheer is a different pudding - it has a less smooth texture than Firni. Funnily enough, not a single Indian friend I know knows about Firni, while in Pakistan Firni is a street food with its own culture. Same goes for Afghanistan.
One can also add some "Khoya" (condensed milk solids) at the end to make it creamier. The best Firni is thich enough that it does not drip even when you tilt the bowl.