Ahh, Firni– the often ignored younger sibling of Big Sister Kheer, who gets all the attention.
Both Firni (also spelled Phirni) and Kheer are very similar and use the same ingredients, with minor differences in the way that they are cooked. The rice in kheer is supposed to have more texture, whereas the rice in firni in generally ground down to a finer consistency. Also, kheer tends to be a bit soupier, whereas firni tends to thicken and coagulate.
Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong!
- 4 cups whole milk, divided
- 6 green cardamoms
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup basmati rice, washed and soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
- Sliced pistachios or almonds, for garnish
In a heavy bottomed pot, heat 3-cups milk and cardamoms over medium heat until it comes to a low boil, stirring often to prevent the milk from burning. Once the milk has come to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes.
Drain rice and transfer to the jar of a blender or food processor. Blitz the rice until it has ground down to a fine sandy consistency. Transfer the ground rice to a small bowl, add the remaining 1-cup of milk, and whisk until smooth.
Add sugar to boiling milk, and stir to incorporate. Once the sugar has melted, drizzle in milk and rice mixture, making sure to stir as you add as to avoid lumps. Cook until the mixture has reduced and thickened, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the Firni to serving dishes, garnish with nuts, and allow it to cool.