Phirni is a traditional Punjabi dessert that epitomizes the rich and creamy essence of Indian sweets. It's a rice pudding made from ground rice and milk, delicately flavored with saffron, cardamom, and nuts.
To prepare Phirni, rice is soaked in water for a few hours and then ground to a coarse paste. This rice paste is then cooked in milk on low heat, allowing it to thicken and absorb the milk's essence. As it cooks, sugar is added to sweeten the mixture.
Saffron threads are often infused in a small amount of warm milk and added to the Phirni, lending it a subtle golden hue and a delicate fragrance. Ground cardamom is sprinkled for its aromatic and warming notes. Chopped nuts like almonds, pistachios, and sometimes rose petals are generously sprinkled on top, adding crunch and visual appeal.
The Phirni mixture is poured into earthenware pots or bowls, which not only lend a traditional touch but also help cool and set the dessert. Once chilled, the Phirni thickens further, creating a smooth and creamy texture that's indulgent and satisfying.
Phirni is enjoyed during festivals like Eid, Diwali, and other celebratory occasions. Its luxurious combination of milk, rice, and aromatic flavors creates a delightful experience that captures the essence of Punjabi cuisine's sweet side.