Friday, January 14, 2011

Firni,The Most Delicious Dessert You've Never Heard Of.


    Every now and then I get obsessed with a recipe. Usually it's something I've heard about, fantasized about and of course... never made before. Like the Floating Island adventure..
   I still have to return to the Floating Island of Lost Souls. Someday. Soon. I promise. Right now though, I'm hooked on firni. Firni is a creamy Indian dessert that I first discovered in one of the old Indian cookbooks that Paula Wolfert gave me a few weeks ago. It's a cross between a kheer, or rice pudding, and a type of pot de creme. It is also a dessert with a lot of variations.
   I started doing my research and found there were almost as many ways to make firni as there are families that make firni. After a few days of reading, my head was ready to explode. Which recipe? They all looked so good, light and flavorful, the perfect dessert after a spicy Indian dinner, plus... wait for it,  it can be made in about 30 minutes (always a plus in my book). In researching firni recipes I decided to go for one that I was totally prepped for. In other words, I already had all the ingredients in my larder. No shop, no sweat. I was in.


Almond Cream Pudding




   Here's how to do it.
 Mix 2/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk with
 5 Tbs of white rice flour.
 Make sure this mixes together well, otherwise (take it from me) you'll get lumps.
Set this aside.
 In a pot or saucepan mix together:
 1 and 1/3 cup of milk
 2 cups of cream
 10 Tbs of sugar
 Mix it well together. Bring the mixture to a boil, and keep stirring so nothing sticks.
As soon as it comes to a boil turn the heat down.
 Give the almond milk and rice flour mix another stir... remember the lumps! Add it into the milk mixture stirring as you go.
Keep cooking the mixture until it thickens a bit and begins to coat the spoon.
Then keep cooking the firni a bit longer, about another 5 minutes.
Now, leave the mixture to cool. As it gets cooler it will thicken up a bit more.
Once it's cooled through add in:
 2 tsps of rose water
Pour it into individual little serving dishes and pop it into the fridge to chill.
When you are ready to serve, chop a few almond and pistachios together and sprinkle them over the top. Add a few pomegranate arils to the top of the firni and serve it up.
   Now, here's the skinny on this dessert. It's creamy. It will develop a skin on the top but it has more of a soupy kheer texture. I've made this recipe several times and that's what it is. Did I mention it's delicious??? It is. There are other types of firni with other ingredients and I'll be showing you something special (I hope) coming up next. Meanwhile I've been making this dessert all week, and of course eating it. Somebody has to do it, there are times when you've just got to eat one... or two... or three, for the team.

25 comments :

  1. Seems almost to simple, but can imagine it's cool sweetness after a spicy meal!

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  2. Thanks for turning firni from a dessert I've never heard of to a dessert I absolutely must-try! Sounds utterly simple, yet delicious... plus I'm a total sucker for creamy desserts of any kind.

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  3. Such an interesting recipe! I don't think I've come across many with rice flour! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Wow! Such a gorgeous dessert...and a new one for me!

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  5. It's really interesting- pudding with rice flour :) i guess almond milk, rice flour should make a great combination for dessert :)

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  6. This sounds so easy and delicious! I love how it's naturally gluten-free. I wonder how it'd taste with full-fat coconut milk instead of cream. Hopefully tropical.

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  7. You are right I never heard of it, but it feels like a tropical panne cota. GREG

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  8. @sippity sup,
    Greg, it's actually more of a soupy kheer in texture. There are firni recipes that have the texture of a panna cotta and its what I'm going to be showing next...it's all in the rice part and how you use it.

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  9. @evan,
    yes, the coconut thing might be worth a try as you're not looking for this recipe to set up or gel. I have a great gluten free dessert that I'll be featuring soon. So many people are gluten free today.

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  10. I love this already! Wonder where I can get hold of almond milk. can I make my own?

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  11. i luv your version,even i have some versions in my blog,..waiting for ur next post,..and this i will try soon,..;-)

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  12. Thank you for your selfless tasting of this recipe...in this world of "me, me, me" it's wonderful to come across someone willing to give so much ;)

    Deliciousness awaits! Theresa

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  13. I've always loved Indian rice pudding. This one does sound like it belongs in the most delicious category. I've never tried to make it and this recipe just maybe the one that gets me into the kitchen to finally make it. Like the Almond milk also.

    Regards,
    Patricia

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  14. Firni is my fave and I always prefer it over ice creams! Check it out on Tasty Bites for many variations send by the readers;

    http://tastybites.litebite.in

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  15. I bet this would be the perfect end to a spicy meal! Sounds delicious!

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  16. Interesting! :)I've never tried this pudding but it seems that I have to because I'm so curious!

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  17. Yum.... I'm your newest follower. http://moogieland.blogspot.com/

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  18. Yum. That does look and sound so delicious.

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  19. @sanjeeta,
    thanks! I will I'm looking for a particular texture.

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  20. @Moogie,
    great to meet you,I'll be checking out your blog too.

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  21. Wow...that's such a fabulous dessert. Almond and rice.....mmmm....must be really good.

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  22. Well you really have me on this one, I am assuming this is an indian dessert? I have never heard of this one... looks light and wonderful, have never cooked with rose water myself either... very intriguing would love to know more about this one... nice job!

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  23. @claudia,
    yep, it's an Indian dessert and there are seemingly a zillion versions of it out there..I am lost in the wilds of (Phirni, firni..a couple of spellings too!)

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  24. This must be a fabulous dessert, resembles the Indian version of biancomangiare don't you think? It's been inscribed in my winter experiments list!

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  25. @madonnadelpiatto,
    yes..exactly. In fact several Indian recipes I was looking at described it that way.

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