Dessert

Strawberry Phirni- Rice pudding flavored with strawberry

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Hello Everyone !!
I am very excited to write about this recipe here . This month’s local ingredient from live green Toronto are strawberries . It is that time in Ontario where the extremely sweet strawberries are grown and harvested . When they announced the star ingredient of the month , I wanted to make a kheer (sweet rice pudding) or a tangy chutney . Since those two dishes are extremely common I wanted to do a dish which I love so much and with slight twist in it , and here I present you all strawberry phirni. It is sweet , tangy and refreshing also it is a very refreshing dessert to cool off this summer heat.
Phirni is a very typical north indian dessert which is very similar to rice pudding . The differences from rice pudding and phirni is , in pudding whole rice is used some times but in phirni it is coarsely ground, phirni is flavoured with cardamom and saffron but a rice pudding is not. I had phirni for the first time in my life at my college food festival during my first year . We had a kashmiri them and the dessert served was a creamy chilled phirni in earthen pots in the traditional way . I had to modify my serving style here because I didn’t have small earthen pots available on hand ;).
I loved the slightly sweet and tart taste of this dessert which can be served on a summer day . I didn’t use saffron here because the pureed strawberries did gave it a beautiful color. I have flavoured this phirni with crushed cardamom and rose water . The preparation is time consuming but while you taste it , it’s totally worth it .

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time- 1 hour
Serves- 4
Author- Parvathy V Nair

Ingredients
Basmati Rice- 1/2 cup 

Whole milk- 2 1/2 cups and 2 to 3 tablespoons to grind the rice 
Strawberries- 10 or 12 hulled and cut into pieces
Sugar- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons to make strawberry puree
Lemon juice– 1 tablespoon 
Cardamom – 2 to 3 pods crushed 
Rose water – 1 teaspoon (optional)

Method
1. Soak basmati rice for one hour in water , then drain and keep it aside.
2. While the rice is draining we can prepare the strawberry puree . Place the cut strawberries , sugar and lemon in a pan and bring it to a boil
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3. Cook it on medium heat for atleast 10 minutes till it turns mushy . Then using a fork mash it slightly but not too smooth
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4. Now grind the rice with 3 tablespoons of milk coarsely and keep it aside
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5. Now bring the milk to boil . when it is boiled thoroughly add the ground rice mixture to it .
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6. Cook this mixture on medium heat by stirring constantly. You need to cook it atleast 20 to 30 minutes or more till it thickens like this
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7. Add crushed cardamom and rose water to it keep it in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes . Now take it out add the cooled strawberry puree to it . Please do keep one thing in mind never add strawberry puree to hot milk the tartness will curdle the milk
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