Saturday, 20 October 2018

Kashmiri Phirni Recipe ~ Diwali Sweet / Happy Diwali


In her finery she bent down while placing the oil filled earthen curved palm shaped lamps with a cotton wick running right through their center. As she moved from one place to another with a tray filled with Diyas or earthen lamps, her anklets made the sweetest tinkling sound. I simply could not take my eyes off her as she struck a match stick & started to light the Diyas. In the flame of the lit Diyas her face was covered with a golden hue, her gold ornaments dazzled & she looked just like a divine creature who had transcended on earth to grace the special day. It was Diwali eve & the lady in question was Netra Pandita Aunty, who lived in the garden encircled bungalow down the road. I was a starry eyed teenager those days who was completely blown away by her grace, poise & beauty. As I followed her with my eyes she glided across the room like a princess who wore shoes made of flowers. She returned a few minutes later with garlands of orange & yellow marigold flowers & started tying them up in different places of the room. By the time she finished her decorations that room looked sun kissed with the abundance of Diyas & marigolds.



She now seemed to notice me & with her rose tinted smile said what are you doing inside. It’s Diwali eve & why are you indoors? You should be outside on the porch bursting crackers with the gang. I wanted to see how she bedecked her entire house for the Diwali festivities that’s why I was still indoors I told her. She came close, cupped her fingers on my chin gently shaking it & very fondly looking into my eyes said, you are so unlike the others of your age. She ushered me into the kitchen & as I followed her there she said, help me to take the sweets out to everyone on the porch. Low & behold on the kitchen platform lay the prettiest earthenware filled with sunshine. They glittered just like the Diwali Diyas which were lighting the whole house.

This is Kashmiri Phirni & I had made it the for the first Diwali after my marriage said Netra Aunty coyly. My mother-in-law had taught me to make it perfectly & it was an instant hit with everyone present at the Diwali Party. She handed me a spoon & said, go ahead taste one. I scooped out a spoonful from the kulhad (handle-less clay cup) that was filled with this mushy, creamy saffron tinted dessert to the brim, put it in my mouth & voila a cool sweet burst of tiny particles lapped up in deliciousness exploded on my tongue. There was light crunch in between from the nuts & there was a strong aroma of saffron. This unlike the other Phirnis is made out of Semolina & not ground rice, she explained. Oh ! I thought, so those tiny milk bloated globules were Semolina. The memories of that evening has remained with me forever. So when I was thinking about what post to do for Diwali the picture of the earthen goblet filled with this gold painted dessert came flashing back in front of my eyes. Netra Aunty is a part of my memory too as I have lost touch with her in the years that we moved house. But even today, her Kashmiri Phirni remains fresh in my mind.

I want to share with you the recipe of Kashmiri Phirni right below. It's a very simple dish, uses ingredients right off your kitchen shelf and can be made well in advance.

Do scroll right to the end of this post to find the links to 10 Diwali Special Sweet & Savoury dishes from co-bloggers. This will not only help you to plan your Diwali celebrations perfectly but also give you a repertoire of wonderful recipes.


Kashmiri Phirni Recipe ~


Serves ~ 8~10
Cuisine ~ Indian / Kashmiri
Type ~ Dessert / Sweetdish
Time ~ 1 hour to soak the semolina + 10 minutes preparation + 30 minutes cooking + overnight refrigeration

Ingredients ~

2 Ltrs Milk, full cream
8 Tbsp Semolina / Suji / Rawa , fine & roasted
1/2 Cup Sugar
400 Ml Condensed Milk
1 Tsp Green Cardamom Powder, ground
2 ~3 Tbsp Almonds, chopped
2~3 Tbsp Cashewnuts, broken into small pieces
A large pinch of Saffron


Let's make Kashmiri Phirni in easy steps ~

1) Soak the Semolina in 1 Cup of Milk for one hour.
NOTE ~ Milk used can be straight from the refrigerator. Do not however refrigerate the bowl of semolina soaked in milk, but keep it outside on your kitchen platform, covered. 

2) In a large pan bring the remaining Milk to a boil.
NOTE ~ Start this process only after the Semolina has soaked for an hour. Once the milk comes to a boil, you can reduce the flame if you feel that the milk is sticking to the bottom. Please be careful that the milk doesn't firstly stick to the bottom of the pan, even if it does scrape it off with your spatula and do not allow it to burn.

3) Add Green Cardamom Powder. Stir.

4) Add chopped Almonds & Cashewnut pieces. Stir.

5) Add Sugar. Stir.
NOTE ~ You can taste your Kashmiri Firni & add more Sugar later if you wish. For me this quantity worked perfect as Condensed Milk also added some sweetness to The Kashmiri Phirni.

6) Add the Saffron strands. Stir.
NOTE ~ To get that gorgeous golden colour, take 1/2 a cup of water in a small pan, bring it to boil, crush a few strands of Saffron in the center of your palm, add to the boiling water for a couple of minutes. Remove from the flame & add this liquid to the Kashmiri Phirni.

7) Add the soaked Semolina along with the milk. Stir continuously so that the Semolina doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, neither does it form any lumps.

8) Add Condensed Milk. Stir. 

9) Simmer & leave for 5 minutes or till the Kashmiri Phirni becomes thick.
NOTE ~ The consistency of the Kashmiri Phirni should be thick yet it should flow out of your ladle when you tilt the ladle. As it cools the Kashmiri Phirni will become thicker, so please be particular of this consistency.

10) Let it cool to room temperature. Fill your earthenware with Kashmiri Phirni and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

11) Next day, garnish with Pistachio, Almond slivers & Serve chilled.


Pictorial Step By Step Recipe of Kashmiri Phirni ~

1) Soak the Semolina in 1 Cup of Milk for one hour.


2) In a large pan bring the remaining Milk to a boil.



3) Add Green Cardamom Powder. Stir.



4) Add chopped Almonds & Cashewnut pieces. Stir.




5) Add Sugar. Stir.



6) Add the Saffron strands. Stir.



7) Add the soaked Semolina along with the milk. Stir continuously so that the Semolina doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, neither does it form any lumps.



8) Add Condensed Milk. Stir. 



9) Simmer & leave for 5 minutes or till the Kashmiri Phirni becomes thick.



10) Let it cool to room temperature. Fill your earthenware with Kashmiri Phirni and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.





11) Next day, garnish with Pistachio, Almond slivers & Serve chilled.


Would Love To Hear From You. Do Leave Your Valuable Feedback In The Comments Below. If You Have Tried This Recipe Please Let Me Know How It Turned Out. If You Have Any Queries Regarding This Or Any Other Recipe In My Blog, Please Feel Free To Leave A Comment Here Or Email Me At piyalimutha@gmail.com . For The Latest Updates Of My Blog And Loads Of Food Stories Stay Tuned To My Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flipboard Accounts. Let The Food Adventure Continue In Your Kitchen...