Kaju Phirni

If you're cooking biriyani, you have to make phirni. That's a given and you don't even tamper with the norm. This milk-based Punjabi dessert is a mandatory accompaniment to your rich and delicious biriyani. Definitely not a milk-lover myself, I have never really been able to say "no" to good phirni. Alas I did not have those traditional earthen pots in which you serve phirni, but even in tiny glass bowls, they tasted pretty darn good!

Also, this is my A dessert a week: Week 3 item. Actually, let's make that Week 11, 'cause as I calculated last time, I had ACTUALLY been making a dessert a week even before I started this challenge. This way, it'll be easier for me to track till the end of the year.

Serves: 8


Rice, soaked in water: 5 tbsp
Cashew nuts, soaked in water: a handful + for garnish
Milk, full fat: 1 litre
Saffron (soaked in milk): a few strands
Sugar: 100 gm
Green cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp


1. Drain and grind the rice and cashews to a coarse paste.

2. Bring milk to a boil. Add the rice and cashew paste dissolved in some cold milk.

3. Cook till rice is completely cooked, stirring constantly so that no lumps are formed.

4. Add saffron and mix well.

5. In the mean while, blitz sugar and cardamom powder together and add till sugar is dissolved completely.

6. Pour into earthenware or glass bowls and chill in the freezer for 2 hours and then in the fridge overnight. Garnish with cashew halves and serve. You can also serve with pomegranate seeds for that additional burst of colour. After all, Holi hai!

Recipe courtesy: Sanjeev Kapoor. The kaju addition, yours truly. :)


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