Pakistani desserts are the star of every meal. They are rich in taste, texture and flavors. I love desserts of all kinds but our Desi Desserts are my favorite. From Gur walay Chawal (Jagger Rice) to Zarda (sweet rice), Ras Malai to Rass Gullah, Suji Halwa to Gajar Halwa, Firni to Rabri, Seviyan (roasted vermicelli) to Mithai (sweets) each dessert dish is unique and tastes delicious. Out of all the desi desserts my favorites are Shahi Tukda and Firni.
Firni or Phirni is a rice pudding made with ground rice. It’s infused with the flavors of cardamom and saffron. The creamy and smooth texture, speckled with slivered nuts, is what makes Firni and enticing dish. Firni however is different from Kheer (another rice dish) as kheer is made used whole Basmati rice whereas for Firni ground rice is used. In Pakistan, Firni is both an everyday and a a festive dish and is traditionally served in un-glazed terracotta bowls called “thoothi” which gives Firni a subtle earthy flavor.
I remember, whenever my mother used to ask what we’d like for dessert, my reply was either Shahi Tukda or Firni – I love it that much. So contuning with the Fun, Creative and Delicious Rice Recipes, this recipe was prepared using Reem ka Steam Basmati Rice. I have been really impressed with the quality of the rice. It’s long grain and fragrant rice, the quality everyone looks for in good quality rice. My family has already switched to Reem ka Steam Rice.
To make Firni look a bit fancy, I added Nutty Caramel Discs to top this delicacy. The caramel discs are made of nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachio) and caramelized sugar. It’s rich with nuts and adds a crunchy texture to the rich and creamy Firni. Everyone loved the addition of Nutty Caramel Discs to the traditional Firni, a great way to impress everyone with your culinary skills. It also made Firni look more festive and even more delicious.
Firni-Pkaistani Rice Pudding with Nutty Caramel Discs
by Hirra Pervaiz January-23-2018
Firni- Creamy and smooth rice pudding infused with flavors of cardamom, topped with slivered nuts and served with nutty caramel discs
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: serves 8-10
1 Cup Mixed Nuts, unsalted (Almond, Pistachio, Cashew, Peanuts)
1 tsp Poppy seeds (optional)
Soak Reem ka Steam Basmati Rice for 15 minutes. Then grind to very smooth paste
In a heavy bottom pan add milk, bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add ground rice to it stirring constantly to avoid any lumps. Reduce heat and let simmer for another 10 minutes. When it starts to thicken add cream, sugar, cardamom powder and saffron strands (if using)
The mixture will start to thicken. Taste check and adjust sweetness (sugar) according to your liking. The consistency of Firni shouldn’t be too thick or too runny. Take out Firni in serving bowls and chill refrigerator for 1-2 hours
In another pan, caramelize castor sugar (be careful not to burn it). Add chopped nuts and mix until well coated
Now pour the nutty caramel mixture on a silicon sheet and spread evenly. If you don’t have a silicon sheet, grease a baking tray with clarified butter and spread the nutty mixture on it. While the mixture is still hot, using a cookie cutter make round impressions on it so that it’s easier to shape the discs. Let it cool completely on room temperature and then take out the discs.
To Serve – Top Firni with Nutty Caramel Disc and serve
If you make this recipe, snap a picture and tag @ticklethosetastebuds on Instagram and hashtag it #TTTBRecipes – We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook!
Cravings for desserts intensifies in winter season and that too for home-made warm halwas and desserts. While Gajjar ka halwa (Carrot Halwa) is the ultimate winter treat, so is the other variety of halwas and desserts, and in that variety of desserts comes the very royal Qawami Seviyan
Seviyan is a sweet prepared by roasting seviyan or vermicelli and cooking it with sugar and milk. Normally seviyan are associated with celebrations of Eid in the Muslim community but if you have a sweet-tooth every day is a celebration 😉 and you don’t need a reason to satisfy that seviyan craving of yours 😀 (Well, that’s how I am – and not guilty)
Out of all the varieties of seviyan, Qawami Seviyan are a favorite. Qawami Seviyan has its origin from the culinary rich heritage of Lucknow – a cuisine of royalty and the name Qawami is derived from Qawam meaning Sheera in Urdu and Sugar Syrup in English. While mostly seviyan are prepared with thickened milk and are milky, Qawami Seviyan are prepared a bit dry and are laced with sweetness.
I was first introduced to this Royal Lucknowi Dessert in my childhood, when our next door neighbor aunty sent us Qawami Seviyan on Eid day. I had one spoon of it and was in love with it instantly. Her family had migrated to Pakistan from Lucknow in India,so the authenticity of flavors and richness of culinary traditions were there in the seviyan – and the flavors did their magic. Our family loved it so much that on Eid days we’d wait for her Qawami Seviyan and she knew it too how much we loved it :). She also shared her recipe with my mother and that’s how we started making it in our home too. Having good neighbors is a blessing – no doubt! Although my neighbor aunty is no longer among us, May her soul rest in peace (Amen) but to this day I am so very thankful to her for introducing me to this amazing dessert.
The procedure for making Qawami Seviyan is very simple and it has a very unique flavor, as its laced with sweetness so the sugar content is high but to balance it out, it is eaten with whipped cream or fresh cream (balai). You can always adjust the sweetness according to your taste. When decorated with silver leaf (chandi ka warq), chopped nuts and topped with dollop of cream this dessert surely is a complete Royal Treat!
I could not find the silver leaf so the pictures are without it. But just look at that, don’t you feel like grabbing a spoon and indulging your sweet tooth with Royal Treat?
Try it out and let me know by commenting below. I’m sure you’ll love it too!
by Hirra Pervaiz January-12-2015
Qawami Seviyan – vermicelli laced with sweetness and topped with chopped mixed nuts and fresh cream (balai)
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: serves 4-6
250 grams Vermicelli (Seviyan)
1/2 Cup Clarified Butter (Ghee)
3-4 pods Green Cardamom
4 1/4 Cups Milk
1 Lemon, juice
1 tsp Kewra Water (Panadanas Water)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup slivered pistachios
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 1/4 Cup Water
2 Cups Sugar
1/4 tsp Yellow food color
In a pan add all the ingredients of sugar syrup and cook until the sugar dissolves. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes and turn off the heat
In an another heavy bottom pan add clarified butter (ghee) and pods of green cardamom, split open to begin tempering. When it gets aromatic, add vermicelli to the pan and roast it until dark brown in color. keep stirring so that they don’t burn
Now add milk to the pan along with lemon juice,turn the flame to high and cook until the milk is absorbed.
Add to it the prepared sugar syrup and kewra water. When it starts to bubble, turn the flame to low and cover with a lid. Cook until the milk is absorbed and vermicelli is cooked completely
Take out in the serving dish, sprinkle with nuts, desiccated and decorate with silver leaf
Serve warm with whipped cream or fresh cream (balai)
This can be stored in freezer for a month and can also last long in the refrigerator too
Pakistani/Indian vermicelli works best for this recipe but it can be substituted with any vermicelli variety