Just back from vacation a week and I am pining for warm weather already! It’s been freezing cold in Copenhagen, though the days are getting longer and we’ve had brilliant sunshine
It has been a good week to come back to work though. Most of my colleagues are on vacation due to the school winter holidays, which means I’ve been able to ease my jet-lagged brain into work, instead of running from one meeting to another.
And I am missing the food! The curries made by my mom-in-law and my cousins, the spices, the luscious desserts from the local sweet shops, the evenings spent at the chaat-stalls…sigh!
I know vacations are vacations for a reason and one can’t live in that kind of bubble (or eat like that!) all the time, but…sigh! Anyway, to get myself out of this wallowing, I made a dessert 😀
But now that vacation is over and it is time to start eating sensibly, I made the dessert a healthy one. A Brown Rice and Jaggery Phirni (pronounced ‘Firni’).
Phirni is a North-Indian rose, cardamom and saffron scented rice pudding, made with ground rice. Though the ingredients used are quite similar to those in kheer or payasam, the texture and the taste is quite different.
Phirni is velvety, the ground rice makes sure of that, and it is simply more refined and delicate. It is generally made with white basmati rice and sugar and the color is usually a pristine white with perhaps a delicate hue from the saffron.
Since I used brown rice and jaggery, this version is a beautiful shade of caramel. Isn’t it lovely?
Phirni is traditionally set and served in these pretty earthenware bowls or katoris. The katoris soak up all the liquid from the phirni and makes it really thick and custard-like. Creaminess without adding any cream! Isn’t that the dream 😀
Do give this exotic, beautifully flavored and healthy dessert a try. It is wonderful and will transport you to the sweet shops in northern India. Slow down and rest a while, won’t you
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- 50 grams Brown Rice (I used organic Sona Masoori)
- 300 ml Milk
- 4-5 tablespoons grated or powdered Jaggery (adjust as per taste)
- 4 Green Cardamom pods, seeds powdered
- A generous pinch of Saffron, soaked in a tablespoon of warm milk
- 1 teaspoon Rosewater (optional)
- Slivered Nuts, to garnish
- Dried Rose Petals, to garnish
- Rinse the rice and soak it in about a liter of water for about 3-4 hours.
- Then drain the water from the rice and grind the rice into a coarse paste in a blender or food processor, adding a couple of teaspoons of water, if needed. Keep aside.
- Heat the milk in a saucepan.
- When it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and add the ground rice.
- Cook with constant stirring till the mixture thickens and the rice is cooked. The consistency should be of a thick pouring custard.
- Add the jaggery and mix well till it dissolves.
- Add the cardamom and saffron (and rosewater, if using). Mix well.
- Pour the phirni into earthenware bowls or other serving bowls Garnish with nuts and rose petals and chill for at least a couple of hours.
- Serve cold.
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