Eid Mubarak to all the readers of my blog. Eid has come and gone, and we are settling down to our 8-5 routine and trust me it is very difficult after being spoiled by the easy going Ramadan timings. Lots happened during Ramadan even if it is considered to be a slow month. All in all, I am grateful for all the time I have been able to spend when my parents were here and with Mimi. I am also grateful for the wonderful bunch of special people in my life who always steer me toward the brighter side of life.
Eid is a special time in Bahrain and so it is for us. Usually, we plan get- togethers with friends but this time since most of them were travelling it was limited to just us and a friend or two. My enthusiasm for Eid didn’t ebb because of absence of friends and I chose to celebrate it with ‘Phirni’
Phirni, a sweet milk-based dessert is served chilled and is made with coarsely ground basmati rice and flavoured with rose water, saffron and ground cardamom. The dish is decorated with chopped or ground almonds or pistachio nuts. The history of Phirni goes back a very long way; it seems to have originated in ancient Persia or the Middle East; and to have been introduced to India by the Moghuls. Phirni is traditionally served in earthen pots. The recipe is a keeper and I really urge you to try this.
- 1/2 +2 tbsp cup basmati rice
- 2 litres milk
- 2 cups sugar or as required or 1 cup + 3/4th
- 18-20 almonds/badam, blanched, reserve a few for garnishing
- 6-7 cardamoms/hari elachi (crushed and powdered in a mortar-pestle)
- 12-15 strands of kesar or saffron
- rose essence - 1 tbsp
- Soak the basmati rice for 3-4 hours
- Rinse the rice a couple of times in water and wipe the grains dry with a kitchen towel.
- Take the rice grains in a dry grinder and coarsely grind it.
- Heat milk in a thick bottomed deep pan.
- When the milk becomes warm, take 1 tbsp from it in a bowl. Stir the saffron strands in this warm milk and keep aside.
- Let the milk reach to a boil. then lower the flame and add the ground rice and sugar.
- On a low flame cook the ground rice in the milk. do not cover the pan.
- Keep on stirring regularly so that the lumps are not formed.
- In a microwave safe bowl take the almonds and water and microwave it for 5 minutes
- When the almonds become warm, then peel them and slice the almonds. Keep a few almond slices aside for garnish.
- When the rice is almost cooked, add the almonds, cardamom powder and saffron dissolved milk.
- Cook the phirni until the rice cooks fully and it thickens. I usually keep the phirni on very low flame for a long time to get the desired consistency. Add rose essence once you have taken the phirni off the heat.
- Pour the phirni in serving bowls or earthen pots or glasses. garnish with the remaining chopped almond slices and/ or pistachios and saffron strands
- Cover the bowls/ glases and once cooled, refrigerate the phirni and serve chilled.