Phirni is one of those concepts well known to us since a long time which talks about sweet made with a base of milk with rice in various forms usually crushed or an in a coarse paste form which gets cooked, sweetened and thickens up the milk like a custard texture and can be enriched with nuts, saffron, fruits etc and be a perfect delight to be enjoyed by foodies and connoisseurs of sweet treats!

 

A phirni is not only an interesting sweet to experiment with but also to indulge into and work out concoctions with creative ideas, angles and ways to impress our guests, friends and families. Phirni flavors and tastes, colors and textures are easy to fuse with international cuisines as well. I loved working with the popular Mexican orange and chocolate phirni layered with Gulkhand flavoured Gulab jamuns topped with coconut almond praline! Similarly, the global phirni parade is fun to work with and include as a part of our day to day cooking.

Here are three ways of working with Phirni this festive season!

Phaldari Phirni

Phaldari Phirni

Ingredients 

For The Basic Phirni Mixture

  • Milk- 750 ml
  • Rice paste- 2-3 tbsp.
  • Sugar- as per taste
  • Green cardamom powder- ¼ tsp
  • Cashew powder- 2 tsp
  • Mava- 2-3 tsp grated
  • Rose water- 2-3 tsp

For The Phaldaari Mix

  • Fresh pomegranate seeds- ½ cup
  • Glazed cherries- 6- 8 no sliced
  • Raisins- 2-3 tbsp.
  • Pineapple cubes-1/2 cup

Method

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the phirni recipe and keep it ready.
  2. Start by boiling the milk and simmer it for 10-12 mins, add green cardamom powder, and sugar to taste.
  3. Add in the rice paste, mava and cook it on a low flame, stirring occasionally until the rice paste has been ground coarsely with water.
  4. The phirni starts thickening up as the rice paste cooks, hence it is important to maintain the flame on a lower side and stir it to prevent sticking at the base.
  5. Once it is coating the back side of the spoon and resembles a custard texture, turn off the flame, cool down the phirni completely and then add in the rose water, fruits in layers in dessert cups, glasses or using a pudding bowl.
  6. Garnish with assorted nuts, and chill the phirni well and then serve.

Thandai Wali Phirni

Thandai Wali Phirni

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Ingredients 

For The Basic Phirni Mixture

  • Milk- 750 ml
  • Rice paste- 2-3 tbsp.
  • Sugar- as per taste
  • Green cardamom powder- ¼ tsp
  • Saffron- 4-5 strands
  • Cashew powder- 2 tsp
  • Mava- 2-3 tsp grated
  • Rose water- 2-3 tsp

For The Thandai Mix Flavor

  • Thandai syrup- 3-4 tbsp.
  • Cashews-2-3 tsp chopped
  • Raisins-2-3 tsp chopped
  • Almonds- 2-3 tsp chopped
  • Berries- 2-3 tsp sliced
  • Apricots/ dates- 2-3 tsp chopped

Method

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the phirni and start with the milk.
  2. Simmer the milk for 10-12 mins and then add in the green cardamom, rice paste and sugar to taste and a little mava.
  3. Keep stirring constantly and allow the rice paste to cook up and thicken the milk gradually, keep stirring the mixture.
  4. Once the phirni is ready, cool it down completely and then add little rose water/ kewra essence as desired. Also add in the thandai syrup and mix well.
  5. Chill the phirni for a couple of hours, then add in the nuts, layer if desired in glass bowls, clay pots, garnish with assorted nuts of use chocolate chips/ sauce etc.
  6. The phirni can also be made by using fresh fruit puree/ cut pieces of kiwi/ blueberries etc. served cold/chilled.

Chawal Aur Badam Wali Phirni

Chawal Aur Badam Wali Phirni

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Ingredients

For The Basic Phirni Mixture

  • Milk- 750 ml
  • Rice paste- 2-3 tbsp.
  • Sugar- as per taste
  • Green cardamom powder- ¼ tsp
  • Saffron- 4-5 strands
  • Cashew powder- 2 tsp
  • Mava- 2-3 tsp grated
  • Rose water- 2-3 tsp

For The Additional Ingredients

  • Almond flakes- 2-3 tbsp.
  • Almond powder-2 tsp
  • Apples- 1 small diced
  • Assorted berries- 3-4 tbsp.
  • Assorted seasonal fruits- ½ cup
  • Indian sweets/mithai/ barfi/ jalebi/ pedha – can also be used.

Method

  1. Start up with the basic phirni mixture which includes the cooking of the rice paste in the milk along with cardamom and sugar to give it that perfect taste, flavor and texture.
  2. The milk and rice mixture cooks for around 25- 30 mins on a low flame with constant stirring and it gets thickened up gradually and resembles custard, add in the almond powder and mix well.
  3. Cool down the rice and milk mixture completely and then start with the layering of the sweet in clay pots/ individual serving bowls/ pudding bowls etc.
  4. Start the first layer with the phirni then continue with the fresh fruits, chocolate sauce etc, dry fruits/ any choice of mithai can also be used here and top it up with assorted garnishes like crumbled up motichoor ladoo or a sev burfi.
  5. Allow to chill for a couple of hours and then serve the delectable sweet and enjoy the festive season.

 

Celebrity Chef Kaviraj Khialani has a varied experience with hotels and airlines. He is also a consultant, food designer and food stylist. For more recipes by Chef Kaviraj; stay tuned to HerZindagi.