Phirni/Kheer/Payasam - A type of pudding from the Indian Subcontinent prepared by boiling milk with rice, wheat, dried fruits and nuts. It was a part of ancient Indian diet as mentioned in the Ayurveda.
The practice of offering - Payas/kheer/phirni to Gods as bhog and distributing it amongst the devotees as prasad has been followed for thousands of years. Kheer is considered one of the purest offering to God and hence made for the any Hindu puja.
Let's begin making this creamy Phirni.
For this delicious treats, all we need is a bunch of ingredients, and some patience. The patience while making this is duly rewarded when you this creamy phirni just melts in the mouth.
2 Cup - Pumpkin Grated
4 Cup - Milk
1/4 Cup - Sugar
1 tbsp - Ghee(clarified butter)
7-8 Saffron strands
1 tsp - Elaichi Powder (cardamom powder)
2 tbsp - Chopped Almonds or nuts of your choice (optional)
In a heavy bottomed pan or kadhai heat the ghee, coat the walls of the pan/kadhai with the ghee(this will prevent the milk sticking to the sides). Now, add in the grated pumpkin and saute till it turns translucent.
Once the pumpkin is cooked and aromatic add 4 cups of milk and stir well. Now boil the milk on high flame, stirring continuously to avoid it from sticking to the pan. Ocassionaly scraping the sides of the pan.
Boil while stirring for 15-120 minutes on high flame till the milk reduces to half. In a bowl take 3-4 saffron strands and a tbsp of milk and dissolve the strands. Add this milk to the boiling milk in the pan.
Once the mix is thick and creamy add, the sugar and nuts of your choice, boil again for another 5 minutes or till the sugar gets cooked.
Take it out in a serving bowl and let it come to room temperature. Once cooled refrigerate for 1-2 hours.Serve chilled, garnish with nuts and saffron strands.
A close-up look of the Pumpkin Phirni.
Pro - Tip : While boiling the milk reduce the flame to low when you are tired of stirring, increase back to high when you can. Keep scraping the sides for for thick consistency.
Have been eating this phirni at home since childhood but, finally learnt making this delicious treat when a fellow blogger tagged me for a contest. this one's my mum's favorite. Do give it a try and I'm sure it'll become your favorite too.
Try your hands on this creamy Phirni and you will know how magical our humble Pumpkin is. You can make another version of this phirni by replacing pumpkin with Doodhi/lauki (bottle gourd) for making Lauki ki Kheer.