Rich, thick, silky, smooth pudding prepared with milk, rice, and sugar, infused with saffron and enriched with almonds and pistachios is kesar phirni. Phirni sounds like kheer but it differs from kheer in its texture and consistency, and way of serving. Kesar phirni is served cold, and for best results, it is set in earthen molds. As a result, all the extra moisture gets absorbed and we are left with a luscious kesar phirni. It makes for a great party sweet dish recipe because it is very simple to make and can be prepared in advance. It has a unique presentation and is, therefore, an absolute charmer.
If you know how to make kheer, you know half of the recipe and whole of the ingredients for phirni.
Rice: Basmati rice works the best for kheer and phirni recipes. Because basmati rice has a taste and sweetness of its own. It adds so much flavor to these recipes. For the phirni recipe, rice needs to be ground. Now, this is an important part of the recipe. Do not make it too pasty, do not keep it too thick either. After grinding, rub it between your fingers, it should feel like semolina/sooji. That is the perfect texture.
Milk: Full cream milk is best for any sweet recipes using milk.
Sugar: This can be adjusted as per taste. You can add lesser or more quantity.
Flavors: Saffron has been added to flavor the phirni. Apart from that slivered almonds and pistachios have been used. To maximize the flavor of saffron dry roast it for a few seconds. Let it cool down. Grind in a mortar pestle and add lukewarm milk. Mix well. Kesar will get dissolved and give the most of its flavor.
Make it a part of your Rakhi lunch this year.
1.This recipe serves 4-6 persons.
2.In a grinding jar add 1 and ½ tbsp of soaked basmati rice. Add in little water required for grinding the rice.
3.Grind to semolina/rava like texture.
4.Let 2 cups of milk simmer.
5.Add the ground rice to the simmering milk.
6.Stir continuously. Make sure to stir continuously otherwise the rice will lump up.
7.Also add in 3-4 strands of saffron (kesar) dissolved in 2 tbsp of warm milk.
8.Cook on low flame, stirring occasionally, till phirni thickens.
9.We will not be thickening the phirni after this step. So by now you should have achieved the desired consistency, which is thicker than kheer, somewhat like cake batter. Phirni will thicken further on cooling down and refrigeration. Once the phirni is thick enough, add in ¼ cup sugar.
10.Cook for 2 minutes. Also add in silvered Badaam and pistachios. Save a few for the garnish too. Cook for a couple of minutes. Switch off the flame and let it come to the room temperature.
11.Pour phirni in earthen moulds or simple bowls if you do not have such moulds. Although the results would differ. Garnish with almonds and pistachios.
12.Pack with aluminium foil and refrigerate till cold.
13.Serve cold. Bon appétit!
PREP TIME 10 minutes + 30 minutes soaking + 2 hours refrigeration time
COOK TIME 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME 40 minutes + 2 hours 30 minutes passive time
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