Phirni is creamy milk based sweet dish popular in North Indian cuisine and even in Pakistani cuisine. The method of preparation of phirni is quite easy and its presentation makes the dish quite palatable. Phirni recipe can be prepared with various common and exotic ingredients. The dish can easily be prepared in advance and served as and when required. In many cuisines, it is also famous as a variant of almond pudding.
The history and origin of the phirni is still unknown, but it is believed to be originated during the Mughal Empire in India. In Pakistan as well, this dish is enjoying a high status among sweet dishes. Since, the olden times, this dish is being prepared with traditional method and even served in traditional style.
Phirni is essentially prepared with milk and rice. Traditionally broken rice or coarsely grinded rice is used. For delectable flavor and palatable aroma, saffron and green cardamom is used. Dry fruits including almonds, cashews and pistachios are incorporated in either chopped or grated form. Sugar is indeed required to make the dish more appetizing.
Phirni is traditionally prepared with boiling method. The rice is soaked before grinding to a paste. The milk is boiled in a pan and simmered for few minutes. The rice paste is added to the milk and stirred continuously in order to get a smooth consistency. The milk and rice mixture should be cooked on low flame until milk thickens. Sugar is added in the end and mixed thoroughly. After removing the pan from the rare, saffron strands should be added along with nuts and raisins. Keep some of the chopped dry-fruits for garnish.
Phirni is served as a dessert after meals. The way of serving this dish is quite distinctive. Traditionally, the rice and milk mixture is poured in separate earthen bowls. While serving, each bowl is served separately. Garnishing plays an important role in serving of this popular sweet dish. It can be done with chopped dry-fruits and raisins. Silver paper also known as ‘chandi wark’ is placed on top of the rice and milk mixture. It is usually eaten with dessert spoon or traditionally with wooden spoon.
Being a milk based dish, phirni is quite healthful. Rice also adds to the nutritional value of the dish. Even nuts and raisins are full of vitamins, proteins and minerals. The only thing that let the consumers to avoid it is the use of sugar. It is a sweet dish, hence not recommended for obese and diabetic patients.