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Sweet rice desserts are popular all over the world. These are prepared in various ways using different flavours and ingredients. Cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg are commonly used as flavouring agents in sweet rice desserts.
The basic ingredients of a sweet rice dessert remain almost the same and the difference lies in its way of preparation and flavours. Like fruit is added in Banana Rice Pudding or chocolate in Chocolate Rice Pudding etc. Sweet rice dessert is made in two ways. The dessert can be boiled or baked. It can be served hot or chilled according to the climate and lifestyle of the region.
Phirni is a sweet rice dessert that is made with milk and rice flour. The origin of Phirni is said to be in Persia or the Middle East. It was introduced in Indian cuisine by the Moguls. It is traditionally prepared on the occasion of Id in Muslim community. It is also commonly made in state of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal in India. Phirni is known as Paayesh in West Bengal.
Phirni is a cold dessert and is very easy to make. Phirni tastes great when enriched with almonds, pistachio and saffron. You can also use rose water and green cardamom powder for flavouring. Phirni is popularly served as a cold dessert in weddings and parties in hot summer months. It has a cooling effect and is easy to digest.
Phirni is a low calorie dessert and it can be dieter’s delight if you use skimmed milk and sugar free as a sweetening agent to make this delicious dessert. Phirni is a suitable dessert option for the aged as it is chewable and convenient to swallow.
Ingredients For Phirni
Rice -250 grams
Milk- 2 litre
Sugar- 10 table spoon
Almonds- 1 No.
Pistachio- 20 no.
Saffron-1/2 tea spoon
Edible Silver Leaf- 4 pieces
Method To Make Phirni
1. Wash rice thoroughly and grind to make rice flour.
2. Soak almonds and pistachio for 3-4 hours. Peel and finely chop them and keep aside.
3. Dissolve saffron in warm milk.
4. Boil milk till it is reduced to half. Keep stirring in between to prevent from scalding. Remove from heat and keep aside.
5. Lightly roast the rice flour in a heavy bottom wok on medium heat. Roast till it gives a sweet aroma.
6. Add rice flour to the milk and continue stirring to avoid lumps. Add sugar when the rice flour is completely blended with the milk.
7. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes and bring it to a thick consistency. Remove from heat.
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8. Add saffron and nuts and transfer in an attractive serving dish. Garnish with silver leaf. Keep it in the fridge to chill thoroughly. You can set Phirni in individual dessert bowls and serve chilled.
9. To obtain an authentic flavour you should set Phirni in individual shallow clay bowls. These are true Indian earthenware and are disposable and hygienic.
If there is some Phirni left after a party, you can store it in the fridge and use it the next day. It will stay fresh for 2-3 days.