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Saffron yogurt phirni


Makes: 8 small pots
timePrep time: 15 mins
timeTotal time:
Saffron yogurt phirni
Recipe photograph by Kris Kirkham

Saffron yogurt phirni

Serve with chopped pistachios, almonds or a chopped mango

Makes: 8 small pots
timePrep time: 15 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
102Kcal
Fat
5gr
Saturates
3gr
Carbs
10gr
Sugars
6gr
Fibre
0gr
Protein
5gr
Salt
0.1gr

Anjum Anand

Anjum Anand

Anjum is a British-Indian cook with a passion for healthy food and incredible Indian flavours. She has written eight colourful cookery books showcasing authentic and vibrant Indian dishes

See more of Anjum Anand’s recipes
Anjum Anand

Anjum Anand

Anjum is a British-Indian cook with a passion for healthy food and incredible Indian flavours. She has written eight colourful cookery books showcasing authentic and vibrant Indian dishes

See more of Anjum Anand’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 40g basmati rice
  • 1 litre whole milk
  • a good pinch of saffron strands
  • 5 cardamom pods, seeds ground
  • 4 tbsp sugar, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp Greek-style natural yogurt

Step by step

Get ahead
Make these up to 2 days ahead, cover and chill. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before serving for the best flavour.
  1. Soak the basmati rice in cold water for 1 hour, then drain and dry completely on kitchen paper.
  2. Pour 900ml of the milk into a wide, thick-bottomed saucepan. Add the saffron. Place on the stove and heat up, then gently simmer the milk until it has reduced to 600ml. This will take about 15 minutes. You will need to stir the milk often, scraping the base of the pan to make sure the milk doesn't catch and burn. If the heat is too high, the milk will rise up in the pan and boil over, so keep an eye on it.
  3. Meanwhile, set aside 1 teaspoon of the soaked rice in a small bowl. Grind the rest of the rice in a spice grinder or mini food processor until it is a coarse powder. Mix this with the remaining 100ml cold milk and set aside.
  4. Once the milk has reduced, pour the ground rice mixture into the hot reduced milk, also adding the reserved soaked rice grains, whisking well so that clumps don't form. Keep cooking and stirring for 10 minutes or so over a moderate heat until the mixture is slightly thickened and has a smooth coating consistency like a custard.
  5. Add the cardamom and sugar to the pan and keep stirring until the mixture has thickened, another 5-7 minutes or so.
  6. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool to room temperature, then stir in the yogurt. Taste and adjust the sweetness if you wish, bearing in mind that, as it cools, the sugar will taste less pronounced.
  7. Pour into little individual pots (about 100ml capacity each) or a larger shallow dish (about 600ml capacity), cover with clingfilm and chill overnight in the fridge. Serve garnished with the nuts or mango or both.
Chef quote
Phirni is a typical Holi dessert, made the day before and often set in little clay pots that then continue to absorb the water and make the phirni even creamier. I have added some yogurt into these, which gives the phirni a subtle, more complex and interesting flavour, but also balances the sweetness of typical Indian desserts. Make these a day or even two in advance. I often chop up some mango and add on top – the musky sweetness really works with this dessert. Alternatively, top with slivered almonds and chopped pistachios.

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