Simple, healthy, cooling, smooth and a delicious indulgence, Chawal ki Kheer or Phirni , similar to rice pudding ~ the dessert which every Hyderabadi immensely enjoys. Today I share with you my family’s recipe for it.
Chawal ki Kheer served along with Poori
Rice is first soaked for a little while in cool water, and then powdered to a semolina texture. This powdered rice is used to prepare the Kheer. Be careful when you add the rice powder to the milk. Always soak it in water and add it to the cooking milk to avoid any lumps. Do not substitute the powdered rice with the rice flour that is available in the market. Chawal ki Kheer is enjoyed cold, on its own. It is also served along with Pooris.
Chawal Ki Kheer – Rice Pudding
Makes – 4 or 5 servings
Basmati rice – 1/3 cup
Milk – 3/4 litre
Sugar – 1 cup
Finely powdered cardamom seeds – 1/4 tsp
Finely sliced Pistachios – for garnish
Finely Sliced Almonds – for garnish
Chawal ki Kheer served in individual cups
1. Wash and soak the rice in cool surplus water for about 2 hours. Later, drain the water and spread the rice overnight on a cloth so that the rice air-dries.
2. The next day, add the dry rice grains in a grinder and powder it, not too coarse, not too fine, the texture of the rice should be similar to that of semolina/rawa.
3. Pour milk into a saucepan at medium high heat and let it come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook the milk for 3 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, add the powdered rice, and about 3/4 cup of cool water. Mix well and slowly add this to the boiling milk while stirring continously but gently. Stirring the milk continously while adding the coarse rice powder soaked in water is vital, or else you will end up with lumps of rice powder in the milk. Keep stirring and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add sugar and let it cook for about 10 minutes more. During this time you will observe that the pudding has started to thicken up and the rice powder is thoroughly cooked. Do not cook for too long, as the pudding will thicken more once it is cold. Remove from heat, when the consistency is just slightly thick.
5. In the last few seconds, add the cardamom seeds powder and mix well. Remove from heat and keep side to cool. Once cool, refrigerate the pudding until cold. Serve in individual cups garnished with the sliced nuts.
Note: For best flavor, serve this dessert in small unglazed terracotta pots(called as ‘katori’ in Hyderabad). The earthern pots absorb all the moisture and impart a delicate flavor to the dessert which is out of the world.