Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mango Phirni

Phirni (known as rice pudding) is a popular north indian dessert that is made using milk and rice. It has a creamy texture and is typically flavored with cardamom and saffron but can be tweaked in several different flavors to suit your taste buds. It is traditionally served in matkas (small earthenware pots/bowls) to be consumed chilled. 

As it is scorching hot summer in India, with mangoes in abundance everywhere, what better way to combine mangoes and creamy phirni??? Sweet heaven!! All of us thoroughly enjoyed the chilled mango phirni, not overly sweet but filled with the goodness of mangoes with the creaminess of the phirni, can't beat that!! Enjoy them while the season lasts :)


5 tbsp basmati rice/long grain rice, powdered (similar to sooji/rava consistency)
3/4 cup almonds, soaked
1/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
4 1/2 cups filtered water
10-12 tbsp sugar (adjust to taste)
Few strands of saffron
1-2 tbsp sliced pistachios, for garnishing
Mango pulp from 2 large mangoes (any variety of choice)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cardamom powder (or kewra essence), optional


Soak the basmati/long grain rice in water for 30 mins. Drain the rice and place it on a kitchen towel for drying. Once the water has completely dried out from the rice, grind it to a medium coarse powder (similar to sooji consistency).

Prepare almond milk (3/4 cup almonds soaked overnight with 4 - 4 1/2 cups water) or use store-bought and bring it to a boil on medium flame.

Add powdered rice and saffron and boil until the almond milk starts to thicken.

Add sugar, cardamom powder and 2-3 tbsp slivered almonds (optional) and boil until rice gets cooked. The entire process takes about 25-30 mins on medium-high flame.

Cool the phirni.

Peel the skin of the mango and cut them into cubes. Grind the mangoes with little sugar to a fine mango pulp. If you plan to use the mango pulp for later, add 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice along with the sugar when preparing the pulp to prevent it from browning. Refrigerate and set aside.

After the phirni cools completely, just before serving, in a mixing bowl, add the phirni and mix the mango pulp (adjust to taste) as required. Garnish with nuts of choice and serve chilled.

For a variation, you can use carrots instead of mangoes. Pressure cook or boil the carrots until they are tender. Grind the boiled carrots to a fine purée. In a pan, heat the carrots and add sugar (to taste) and cook until the sugar melts and the raw smell is gone. Cool the carrot purée (can be refrigerated for later) and then mix with the prepared phirni and serve.

Makes 8-9 servings.

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