Diwali Special Gur Phirni | Phirni with Date Palm Jaggery


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I had this exotic dessert, Phirni, for the first time at Barbeque Nation, Kolkata. I just loved the dish and could not stop myself to devour. It has an amazing flavour equally complemented with rich and creamy texture.

I was so impressed with the recipe of Phirni that I decided to prepare it at home. Since then, I started my journey to prepare various flavours of Firni. I have already tried more than ten flavours of Phirni and Gur Phirni is one of the greatest success stories of my experiments.

My family, relatives just love this jaggery sweet and specially my ‘tiny food critic’. My daughter loves the dessert and is very fond of it too.

As a Bong, I always have nostalgia for Nolen Gur sweets. Specially Nolen Gurer Payesh, which is prepared in every Bong house during winters and is like a ritual which we are following happily, blindly and crazily to devour the stunning seasonal dessert. But suddenly, I had an idea to use this amazing flavour for a new dessert.

On this Diwali, I have decided to prepare something out of the box and come up with a fresh new idea of a fusion dessert that is Gur Phirni prepared with Nolen Gur.

Phirni with jaggery not only gives a refreshing flavour but makes the dish healthier too because not even a single spoon of refined sugar is used for the recipe.
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Difference between Phirni and Chawal Ki Kheer

Not only foreigners, but also many Indians get confused between Firni and Chawal Ki Kheer. Both the desserts are cooked with Rice, Milk, Sugar and some dry fruits and the cooking process is also quite similar. But both tastes completely different from each other.

  • Chawal Ki Kheer is prepared with whole rice whereas Firni is cooked with coarsely grind Basmati rice.
  • Chawal Ki Kheer takes more time to get cooked than Firni.
  • Chawal Ki Kheer is creamy but not smooth for the grainy texture. On the other hand, Firni is smoother, creamier and thicker in texture.
  • Chawal Ki Kheer can be served warm, in room temperature or chilled but Firni is always served chilled.
  • In restaurants and hotels, Chawal Ki Kheer is served in glass bowl or bone china bowl but Firni is always served in earthen bowls.


Types of Phirni | Firni

  • I know it can amaze people, but Firni has more than hundreds of different varieties and each preparation gives you different experience in both taste and flavour.
  • Among these different types - Kesar Firni, Kesar-Pista Firni, Mango Firni, Rose Firni, Coconut Firni and few others are most popular during festive seasons.

Gur Phirni recipe with step by step photos and instructions has been provided in the ‘Instructions’ section of the recipe. But before directly jumping into the recipe, let me share few interesting facts about the recipe.


What type of milk is used for the recipe?

To prepare Firni, always use full fat milk. It gives best result. Normally, in the traditional recipe neither Khoya, Mawa or Condensed Milk is used to make it yummier or to thicken its texture. For this recipe, I have followed the same to uphold the authenticity of the dish.


Gur Phirni - Best utensils to prepare it

Always use heavy bottom non-stick pan to prepare Firni. It helps to prevent burning of milk and even helps the milk to not stick along the sides of the pan.


How to get perfect consistency of Gur Phirni without any lumps?

  • First, allow the Milk to boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce some of its volume in low flame and stir sporadically. Otherwise, the milk may stick to the bottom of the pan. It helps you to get the perfect consistency of the Firni.
  • When you add the coarsely ground Rice into the Milk, stir vigorously with the help of a spatula for few minutes. Otherwise lumps may occur.
  • During the time of cooking the coarsely ground Rice, stir the milk repeatedly in small intervals of time.
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How to avoid the milk to curdle after addition of Jaggery?

According to many people if the Gur Phirni or Payesh is sweetened with half the quantity of sugar and half the quantity of Jaggery then the milk does not curdle. But in my personal experience it does not work. According to me

  • Firstly, it is not about the quantity of Jaggery but of course it is about the quality of Jaggery.
  • Secondly, there is a special trick which I have learnt from my mom to cook jaggery into milk and it never disappoints me.

In this Gur ki kheer, I have not used a single spoon of sugar and it does not curdle at all. In fact, if you prepare it only in jaggery then you will get stronger flavour and better taste.

Before adding the Jaggery, I have switched off the flame and then added it. After this, I have stirred it and melted it in the Firni. Then I cooked it in lowest flame for some time.

It is always better to cook jaggery in lowest temperature to avoid milk to curdle.


How to make Phirni - for the recipe?

I have used aromatic long grain Basmati rice for the dish. First, I have soaked them for some time and then drained the extra water and coarsely grind them. Few people directly grind the rice, but I prefer to rinse them and soak them for some time. According to me, it gives an even texture to the rice after grinding.

I have put the milk to boil and then reduced it to almost 80%. Then I have added the coarsely grind rice into it and cooked it in low flame.

It is a slow cooking recipe but it is completely worth to spend every second on this luscious creamy dessert. According to grannies, it tastes best if it is cooked slowly with patience and love without any shortcut. But this golden rule is surprisingly applicable to all the ranges and cuisines of Phirni recipes.

In this Phirni recipe, I have added Raisins and Cashews. You can add any of your preferable dry fruits into the dish like Almonds, Pistachio, Walnut etc.

In the Firni recipe, I have not used any flavouring agent like Bay leaves or Cardamoms. According to me, it destructs the exact and pure flavour of Date palm jaggery from the dessert.

I have already shared many Indian festive dessert recipes. You may check few of them like


..And Many more…
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Ingredients:
  • Full cream Milk, 1 Litre
  • ¼ cup of Basmati Rice
  • 2-3 tablespoons Raisins
  • 2 tablespoons Cashews, finely sliced
  • ¾ cup of Date palm jaggery (Nolen Gur), it can vary as per taste


Instructions:
  1. Rinse the Basmati rice and soak them in water for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the water and transfer into a jar of grinder.
  3. Grind them for 30-40 seconds. Grind them to a coarsely ground paste.


    Note: Do not grind Rice to flour. Your Phirni would become sticky and soggy like baby food. It will lose its texture and taste.
  4. On the other side, take the Milk in a heavy bottom pan and bring it to boil.
  5. Put the flame in medium and stir occasionally until the Milk thickens a bit.
  6. Once the Milk starts boiling, cook it in medium low flame.
  7. Stir occasionally until the Milk reduced to around 800ml.
  8. Transfer the coarsely ground Rice paste (Step 3) into the pan and mix continuously for some time.


    Note: After adding the coarsely ground Rice, it is very important to stir them continuously otherwise it can form lumps.
  9. Cook it in low flame for 10 minutes.
  10. Stir the Milk in regular intervals, otherwise the Milk can stick to the bottom of the pan and lumps may occur.
  11. The Firni will start thickening gradually while the Rice starts getting cooked.
  12. While the Rice gets cooked completely add the Raisins, Cashew nuts and give a nice mix.
  13. Cook them in medium flame for 5 more minutes. Stir frequently.
  14. Switch off the flame.
  15. Add Date palm jaggery into the pan and stir it properly.
  16. Stir it until the Date palm jaggery almost melts into the Phirni.
  17. Cook it in low flame for another couple of minutes.
  18. Switch off the flame and put the pan down.


Serving Instruction
Transfer the Gur Phirni into serving bowls. You can choose to serve it either at room temperature or chilled. But it tastes best when it is served chill. Serve this palatable dessert to your friends, relatives, family and spread happiness in this Diwali.

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