It’s been many days I haven’t posted a dessert recipe and my husband is beginning to feel kind of fidgety.

Also the midweek blues need to be chased away by something cheerful and refreshing.
The first thing that comes to my mind is Firni…sweet, milky, light and smooth rice custard. Why ? Because it requires very few ingredients, most of which are usually fridge and pantry staples in every house. Also it gets done almost in a jiffy and there are no complicated procedures involved.

It’s nutritious, easy to digest and quite soothing …something that would satisfy your sweet cravings without leaving a feeling of heaviness.

Firni is different from kheer in texture, taste and cooking method. Kheer is made with whole rice grains and is cooked for a longer time on slow heat which thickens the milk by reducing. Firni is made with rice flour or ground rice, has a smoother texture and thickens up quickly with rice flour.

Traditionally Firni is served in small earthenware saucers, as clay pots keep things cool at room temperature.

For Firni, Rice and Cardamom Custard, Gluten Free :

1 litre milk
7 tablespoons rice flour
6-7 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
1/4 cup pistachios or almonds for garnishing
A few drops rose water
A silver leaf ( optional for decorating)

This Is What You Do :

Dilute rice flour in 1 cup milk. Heat the remaining milk in a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring it to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium low, add cardamoms and sugar, let the sugar dissolve.
Add diluted rice flour and milk mixture. Now begins vigilant stirring.
As the custard begins to thicken, the chances of its catching at the bottom increase. Use a spatula to stir, also scrap the bottom and sides of pan continuously. Do not worry, it takes only minutes to thicken up so you shall not have to go through the ordeal for long.
When it reaches the consistency of thick custard that coats the back of a spoon, turn off heat. Add a few drops of rose water, stir and immediately pour into the serving dish or individual custard bowls.
Cool it at room temperature, then chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours. As it begins to cool, the custard thickens more and sets in the serving dish. Garnish with pistachios or almonds before serving.The silver leaf I’ve used is optional, only meant for making the dessert look more elegant and auspicious.

Makes 4 servings

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