Don't know what phirni is? Neither did I! But it's damn delicious and a great dessert for dinner parties because it can be made in advance.
Apparently, fir-ni, phir-ni or phir-nee, is eaten among the Muslim community of North India and also in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is normally flavoured with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashews, pistachios or almonds and can also have fruit pulp added!
This is just a basic recipe I found on the internet that I veganised for an Indian-themed dinner party that I had.The ground rice turns the hot liquid into a deliciously spice, gelatinous, cold pudding. Very yummy!
(advanced prep needed)
1/2 cup basmati rice (or some other long grained rice)
1 litre/ 4 cups of soya milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
pinch of saffron
1/2 cup mix of unsalted almonds and pistachios chopped coarsely
Thoroughly wash and drain the rice. Put it into a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 2 hours.
Drain and grind the rice to a very coarse paste. I did this with my mortar and pestle but it could also be done on a hard surface with the back of a spoon. The rice needs to be broken down into small pieces but doesn't need to be completely smooth. You want to be able to see the pieces.
Put the rice paste, milk, sugar, cardamom and saffron into a deep, heavy bottomed pan and cook on medium heat till the rice is soft. Stir often to prevent the milk from scorching or burning.
Reserve some nuts for garnishing and add the remaining nuts to the phirni. Stir well.
Turn off the heat. Allow the phirni to cool, then chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. You can either put it straight into the bowls you will serve it in (like I did) or put it into a bigger container and scoop the cold dessert out later into smaller bowls. I thought it looked nice in ramekins.
Garnish with remaining nuts.
- You can use brown long grain rice for this but I would suggest doubling the soaking time and making sure that when you cook the rice it is really soft before you refrigerate it.
- You can add all sorts of different flavours. I tried almonds and cinnamon for Christmas and it was also really delicious.
- If your soya milk has a lot of added sugar then consider cutting back on some of the sugar you add.