Sunday, July 15, 2007
You are probabaly familiar with this rice pudding - it is a popular dessert served at Indian restaurants here in the US.This creamy and delicious dessert has nuts, fruits and is perfumed with rose water and cardamom. The restaurants are usually stingy with the nuts and apricots though....
Like everything else there are different versions of this recipe. I have used evaporated milk to speed up the cooking process and have used 2% milk instead of full cream milk. Most firni recipes call for ground rice. This does not mean finely ground rice. I soaked the rice in water for an hour, drained it and crushed it with a mortar and pestle. I have used basmati rice here instead of long grain rice because it has nutty flavour and a wonderful aroma. I gently toasted the cardamom pods, cooled it completely and ground it to a fine powder in a spice grinder..well a coffee grinder that I use specifically to grind spices. You could also get ground cardamom powder at most grocery stores.
1/4 cup of crushed basmati rice
1/4 tsp of saffron soaked in 3 tb of hot water
1/4 cup almond, finely chopped
1/4 cup of sugar
2 1/2 cup of milk
1 1/3 cup of evaporated milk
1/4 tsp of ground cardamom
1/4 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg 1 tb rose water
1/4 diced dried apricots
1/4 cup unsalted shelled chopped pistachio
1 tb butter or ghee (clarified butter)
pinch of salt
Heat 2 % milk in a pot on medium heat and add butter or ghee to it (use a heavy pot if you have it). Sprinkle chopped almonds ,rice and salt. Bring it to a boil. Stir frequently or the milk will burn. Cook till the rice is cooked and mixture is thickened. Then add evaporated milk and sugar. Once the mixture has the consistency of pouring custard, add saffron, ground cardamom and nutmeg. Remove the pot from heat and pour in rose water, apricots and chopped pistachios. Chill before serving. Put a sheet of saran wrap directly on the surface of the firni to prevent a skin from forming on top ( that won't be too bad...I am sure it would be delicious as well!). This serves 4-5 people.