Thursday, May 26, 2016

Strawberry Phirni, Indian rice dessert (vegan and dairy free option)

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    Today, this is a new Indian recipe I'm offering you to try.  I love Indian cuisine so when Angélique chose this theme for the new edition of a food challenge I take part to from time to time, I jumped on the occasion. 

   For once, I hesitated long between savory and sweet recipes and then, while surfing on Pinterest - yes, again! - I stumbled upon a few sweet recipes and I finally chose to go for one that looked intriguing and propose a vegan version of the Phirni. After having discovered the Mango Kulfi recipe last year, I'm very happy of this new yummy food discovery. 

   I first thought that the Phirni was a sort of rice pudding but finally, I'd say that it's between a rice cream and a semolina cake. The rice - Basmati of course - is first soaked into water or milk then it's mixed to have a sort of paste. This paste if cooked with milk - I chose almond milk but any milk works fine - then we add sugar, spices and once cooled down, we can garnish with nuts or fruit.

   It exists different types of Phirni - sometimes written Firni. the most traditional seems to be the Badami Phirni (with almonds) but you can also prepare a version with saffron (Kesari), rose syrup (Gulab), mango (Aam) or even strawberries or chocolate! 

   We add to add some touch of pink in the settings of our pictures but I wanted to prepare a pink recipe so I chose to make a strawberry Phirni  and added orange blossom water and cardamom. I also made a version without strawberries and it's very good too! Just try it with the garnish you like most. 

   I found different methods of making the recipe, soaked in water or milk, etc. so I chose the easiest one and added some personal touches here and there, it's a very good original dessert and I hope you'll like it too and that it'll make you travel to India.   

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Strawberry Phirni (vegan & dairy free option)

Prep time : 10 minutes
Rest time : 45 minutes + 30 minutes
Cook time : 5 minutes + 15 minutes + 10 minutes
Serving : 3 to 4 little jars

- 4 tbsp basmati Indian rice
- 15 to 20 strawberries
- 60 cl (2 cups + 3/8 cup) almond milk (or other milk)
- 80 g (2,82 oz or 1/2 cup) unrefined sugar
- 2 tbsp orange blossom water (optional)
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- blanched pistachios, blanched or flaked almonds (optional)

  • Soak the rice into a big bowl or cold water for about 45 minutes.

  • Drain it and keep a little soaked water. Mix the rice with 1 tbsp of this water until the consistancy of homogeneous - add some soaked water if needed - then set the preparation aside

  • Heat the milk in a heavy bottom saucepan so that it won't stick. When it begins to boil, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.

  • Keep aside 1 or 2 strawberries per jar for the decoration. Wash the other ones and cut the hulls, mash the strawberries with a fork into a purée and keep aside.

  • Add the rice preparation into the hot milk while mixing with a whisk to avoid lumps and cook for 15 minutes stirring regularly.

  • At the end of cooking time, you should already have a creamy thick texture. Add the sugar, the ground cardamom and the orange blossom water (optional) and keep cooking and stirring regularly for 10 minutes.

  • Take the saucepan off the heat, add the strawberry purée and mix well. Pour into little jars, cover and keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

  • Before serving, add chopped nuts (optional) and decorate with the remaining strawberries.

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  1. Your photos look fantastic. What a beautiful and delicious dessert! This is perfect for summer entertaining.

  2. I'm not all that familiar w/ Indian cuisine but my gosh does this look like a pretty treat. Sounds great for a summer party!

    1. Thanks a lot, Indian cuisine is really full of flavors and tasty discoveries! :)

  3. Is this the Indian equivalent of rice pudding...but with strawberries instead of raisins or cinnamon like we have here. I love your version more.

    1. Thanks Michelle. This is different from rice pudding, the rice is mixed so it's more of a cream but still interesting to try with strawberries or other fruit, even chocolate or just spices :)

  4. I really like this version of rice pudding. So flavorful, so fresh. What a lovely color too. And peonies are one of my favorite flowers!

  5. I love rice pudding. What an elegant and delicious dessert to try! xo, Catherine


Please, feel free to leave a comment whether you tried the recipe or not :)