Phirni – Rice Pudding

This article is a recipe for gluten free rice pudding – Phirni from India.

Facts about Rice

While browsing the internet a few days back, I stumbled upon some interesting facts about “Rice”. Now rice is a staple food in India and in much of Asia. So a few facts didn’t surprise me like the average Asian consumer eats 150 kilos of rice annually compared to the average European consumer who eats just 5 kilos annually. And you thought that everyone is busy cooking Chinese and Indian and Thai these days. Na, that’s just a rumor. Here are a few more facts

  • Asia is home to over 250 million rice farms
  • 65 kilos of rice are milled annually for every person on Earth
  • Rice is a symbol of fertility and is associated with marriages in India
  • A farmer and his buffalo must walk 80 kilometers to plow 1 hectare of land the traditional way
  • In India rice is associated with Goddess Lakshmi and is a symbol of prosperity
  • In Japan it’s said that the first cultivator of rice was the Sun Goddess Amatereshu-Omi-Kami
  • In Thailand, the Rice Mother Mae Posop is worshiped as rice itself
  • Although rice was accidentally discovered in America, it is used in many products like baby food, breakfast cereals, snacks, frozen foods and sauces and of course BEER 😉

Who will forget Rice Krispies – a bowl of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies is a breakfast treat that’s enjoyed by kids and adults alike. These Krispies remind me of a joke.

How to freak your roommate – An Idea

Talk to your bowl of Rice Krispies instead of talking to your roommate. Suddenly act offended, throw the bowl on the floor and kick it. Refuse to clean up the Krispies and explain spitefully – “No I won’t clean them up. I just want to watch them suffer” 😀

I’ll try this on my roommates some time and see how they react 😉

Phirni – Rice Pudding

In a continent where more than 90 percent of the world’s rice produce is grown and consumed, wouldn’t it be tragic to not have a dessert made of rice? That’s when we talk about Phirni. Branded as “Made in India”, Phirni is one of the oldest and most loved desserts in this country. This rice pudding is not only simple to make but tastes heavenly and is gluten free. The subtle taste of saffron and the crunch of dry fruits blends really well with the creamy texture of this amazing dessert. A simple yet perfect way to end a meal. Enjoy a chilled Phirni.

Phirni - Rice Pudding

Serving Size – Serves Four
Estimated Preparation Time – 15 Minutes
Estimated Cooking Time – 15 minutes

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[tab name=’Ingredients’]

100gm or 1/2 cup Soaked Rice (soaked in water for atleast an hour)

Soaked rice for Phirni

2 Cups Milk (Try Skimmed Milk to reduce calorie count)

4 Tbsp Sugar (Use Sucralose to reduce calorie count)

1 Tbsp Rose water

1/2 Tsp Cardamom Powder

2 Tbsp Chopped Almonds or pistachio

A few strands of Saffron

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[tab name=’Preparation’]

Drain the water from the soaked rice and put it in a blender. Make a smooth paste out of the soaked rice.

Rice for Phirni

Mix a little cold milk into the rice paste so that no lumps are formed. Keep aside.

In a saucepan heat milk. When milk comes to a boil, lower the heat and add the prepared rice paste.

Keep stirring thoroughly so that the rice paste gets mixed into the milk. The milk will start thickening now.

Simmer for a couple of minutes, add sugar and cardamom powder. mix well. More milk can be added now if the Phirni becomes too thick in consistency.

Boiling Rice Mixture for Phirni

Bring to a boil and turn off the heat.

Add rose water, saffron strands and chopped dry fruits.

Garnish Phirni with rose petals or dry fruits and refrigerate before eating.

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[tab name=’Tips & Nutrition’]

Phirni - Rice Pudding from India

Tip: You can add fresh fruit like mango, lychee or strawberry to Phirni for a new taste

Replace Milk with Skimmed Milk and use sugar replacers to reduce the calorie count

Nutritional Value

Calories- 510 Fat 18 g, Carbohydrates- 27 g, Protein- 32 g

Nutritional Value Per Serving:

Calories – 127.5, Fat – 4.5 g, Carbohydrates – 6.75 g, Protein – 8 g

Nutritional Value Per Serving with Skimmed Milk and Sucralose:

Calories – 101.2, Fat – 2.0 g, Carbohydrates – 6.2 g, Protein – 5.7 g

For a more detailed nutritional analysis per serving using skimmed milk and sucralose, click here

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Phirni – Indian Rice Pudding
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Ashish Negi
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 4
Branded as “Made in India”, Phirni is one of the oldest and most loved desserts in this country. This rice pudding is not only simple to make but tastes heavenly and is gluten free. The subtle taste of saffron and the crunch of dry fruits blends really well with the creamy texture of this amazing dessert. A simple yet perfect way to end a meal. Enjoy a chilled Phirni.
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Milk (Try Skimmed Milk to reduce calorie count)
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar (Use Sucralose to reduce calorie count)
  • 1 Tbsp Rose water
  • 1/2 Tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Almonds or pistachio
  • A few strands of Saffron
Instructions
  1. Drain the water from the soaked rice and put it in a blender. Make a smooth paste out of the soaked rice.
  2. Mix a little cold milk into the rice paste so that no lumps are formed. Keep aside.
  3. In a saucepan heat milk. When milk comes to a boil, lower the heat and add the prepared rice paste.
  4. Keep stirring thoroughly so that the rice paste gets mixed into the milk. The milk will start thickening now.
  5. Simmer for a couple of minutes, add sugar and cardamom powder. mix well. More milk can be added now if the Phirni becomes too thick in consistency.
  6. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat.
  7. Add rose water, saffron strands and chopped dry fruits.
  8. Garnish Phirni with rose petals or dry fruits and refrigerate before eating.
Serving size: 4 Calories: 510 Fat: 18g Carbohydrates: 27g Protein: 32g
Notes

You can add fresh fruit like mango, lychee or strawberry to Phirni for a new taste

Replace Milk with Skimmed Milk and use sugar replacers to reduce the calorie count

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Chocolate Mousse – Indulgent Pleasure

A mousse is a dessert that is perfect for any occasion. Even an uneventful day can be turned into an occasion by the rich and creamy texture of a chocolate mousse, – an indulgent pleasure indeed. Serve it to your guests after dinner and compliments will just come pouring in. Though chocolate mousse is the most common forms of mousse, yet other flavors like mango, white chocolate and strawberry, etc. are also equally delectable. Try these to get a more colorful dessert palate.

There are very few people who can resist the charm of chocolate and when it comes in the form of a sinfully smooth and creamy chocolate mousse, it just gets better. Very easy and quick to make, chocolate mousse is really a no fuss dessert. You can make it hours before dinner as it keeps well in the refrigerator. Enjoy its decadence as you take a bite off its chocolaty goodness.

Easy Chocolate Mousse

Serving Size – Serves Four
Estimated Preparation Time – 10 Minutes
Estimated Cooking Time – 20 Minutes

Chocolate Mousse Recipe by QuickAsianRecipes

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Amarretti Cookies – Bake some Almond Cookies

These yummy cookies are loved by everybody. Easy to make and great on taste. They are traditionally made in Italy where they are called Amarretti cookies. Make your own almond cookies and wow your friends and family.

Almond Cookies

Serving Size – Serves Four
Estimated Preparation Time – 10 Minutes
Estimated Cooking Time – 20 Minutes

Almond Cookies
Almond Cookies – Amarretti

All purpose flour – 1 cup
Baking  powder – 1/2 Tsp
Toasted ground almonds – 1 cup
Softened butter-1/2 cup
Powdered sugar – 3/4 cup
Egg white – 1
Almond extract or amaretto (almond liqueur)- 1 Tbsp

In a bowl take powdered sugar and butter. Whisk the sugar and butter thoroughly till both the ingredients are well combined.

Butter and Sugar for cookies

Add the Egg white to the mixture. Mix well

Now add the almond extract or amaretto and the ground almonds to the cookie mix.

 

Add almond extract to the mixture

 

Lastly add the all purpose flour and baking powder. Combine all the ingredients to form a dough.

 

Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Cookie Dough

Shape the refrigerated dough into balls and place on a baking tray. Make sure there is an inch or two of gap between each cookie as they will expand on baking.

 

Bake at 180C or 356F for 15 minutes or till they turn light brown.

Let the cookies cool down completely before you eat.

 

Almond Cookies with Milk

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or cold milk.

Nutritional Value

Calories- 591 Fat 21.2 g, Carbohydrates- 18 g, Protein- 19 g

Tip: Replace Amaretto with Kahlua(coffee liqueur) for a slightly different taste. The alcohol will cook as you bake the cookies so they are perfect for kids too.

 

Moving to WordPress.org

Just today I moved my blog to a Self Hosted WordPress.org site. All thanks to my 130 followers and the three thousand plus page views that this blog received within a month of it’s launch on April 28th.

If you enjoyed my articles and recipes here, please subscribe to my new blog. The url is the same – www.quickasianrecipes.com

All the previous links to all my posts will still continue to function correctly. Just that they will now point to the new blog.

Currently, you can subscribe via email but hang on tight as I look for more options to add to the site like rss feed, feed burner, etc.

Once again, thanks to all the readers out there for motivating me to move to a Self Hosted Solution. I hope that you all will continue to visit my blog.

Cheers,

Ashish.

Memoirs of the traveling chef – My Food Journey

Ever since I can remember my most favorite room in the house has been the kitchen. My love for food started really early. According to a family story that goes around our dinner table, I was often found happily playing with pots and pans in the kitchen while the grownups turned the house upside down looking for me. Maybe that was a start for things to come. As a young boy I would enter the kitchen drawn by the amazing sounds and smells that came out of that lovely place. I definitely learnt early where to go if I was ever hungry. Who knew that place was to become an important part of my life and would take me places I never knew existed.As soon as I could reach over the kitchen counter I used to start fiddling around with spices, ingredients and every other thing that was there in the kitchen. I used to sneak into that place I called the ‘food factory’ and experiment with stuff I didn’t even know what to call, till I heard one of my sisters shouting ‘look he’s in the kitchen again and he’s playing with sugar’, and then came the ‘I told you not to play in the kitchen!’, half an hour of sulking and I was back to business again – ‘playing’ with a different ingredient now of course. That’s how I remember growing up, trying out new and colorful ingredients, learning from my mistakes(yes I got to know it really early that chilly powder hurts like crazy when you rub it all over your face) and getting a scolding or two in the middle of all the mad experiments that I carried out.Paratha IngredientsSundays were always special around the house. My father’s special chicken curry and bread pudding were always the focal point of this wonderful day. It was a carnival at home, having a huge family meant that most of the cousins would be sous chefs and my dad would be the one giving the instructions. “Browning the onions is the key”, he would say. When I and my sisters were of the right age, the chicken curry often had a secret ingredient featuring in it, whiskey of course. Every thing tastes better with whiskey!Chicken Vindaloo

Following the family tradition I was soon packed off to boarding school. My food adventures carried on at school as well. The first time I saw the school kitchen my jaw dropped. I thought to myself, now here is place where I can go crazy. To my disappointment I soon figured out that the school kitchen was strictly out of bounds and I would be in real trouble if I was ever caught there. But some friendly conversations and gifts can work wonders if you want to get things done. Soon enough I found myself inside the humongous school kitchen. The friendly kitchen staff thought I was just being in the kitchen to avoid a teacher who was looking for me to remind me of my low grades. But little did they know that I would pester them with my endless questions, ’why do you add the tomatoes now?’ ‘What happens if I add too much water?’ and so on. When the head cook couldn’t take anymore of my questions he would say just watch and learn, and learn I did.
Seeing my enthusiasm, one day I was handed over a mammoth spatula and the head cook firmly said ‘I want it to taste nice!’ To my surprise I was in charge of the mashed potato. That’s when I realized seeing things’ getting cooked was far easier. Two hours and a huge pot full of bland mashed potatoes later I was sure the kitchen I where I wanted to be, even though I barely managed to finish the potatoes in time, with a lot of help of course. To this day the school reunion is something I really look forward to, it gives me a chance to go back into the same humongous kitchen where my love for food took shape. The head cook is now of a ripe old age and is about to hang his boots, but he still remembers the mashed potatoes.
After getting out of school I was one of the few guys in my class who knew what I wanted to do in life. So I was off to culinary school where I learnt that life can be tough. Books were never my thing; the kitchen was where I was truly in my element. I could barely manage to scrape through in the exams, but the cooking tests were where I showed my true colors. Spending all those extra hours in the test kitchens paid off after all. I was picked up by a big hotel chain soon after college and in my mind the chef in me had arrived. But the reality of a professional kitchen soon hit me, the long hours of non stop work, and a boss who flips a switch at free will were just some of the perks of the job. After laboring through some hard years in a hotel kitchen I decided to move on. That’s when I was introduced to the glitz of a cruise line kitchen, same kind of work but in more exotic locations, who was I to complain. A little sea sickness later I was ready to travel and cook my way through the world. Ahoy there chef!

Paper Boat in a frying pan

Through my travels I was lucky enough to taste some of the best food from world over and make some fabulous friends in the process. All thanks to my adventures in the kitchen. So don’t let anybody tell you that cooking doesn’t do any thing for you. For all you know it might take you places too.

Basket Chaat – Chat Chata Chaat From India

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Ever since I was little, I remember my fascination with “Chaat“. Twenty years back, chaat was sold on the streets of India on small hand carts. I remember running to one of the ChaatWalas (the guys who sold Chaat) and asking for Pani Puri (Gol Gappe) and trying to stuff those huge Puris in my small mouth. The spicy-sweet tamarind, chilly and coriander chutney and boiled chickpeas that were stuffed inside these fried puris imparted the Gol Gappes a flavor to die for.

Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Dahi Puri, Aloo Tikki Chaat, Samosa Chaat; the names on the menu were countless. Years later, the menu has expanded and has more fancier names on it and Chaat is now sold in fancier shops that charge you for eating in those fanciful interiors 🙂

One such delicacy is the Basket Chaat. As the name suggests, Basket Chaat is essentially Chaat served in a fried basket. The basket is a circular netted base of fried Sev, which is nothing but vermicelli made from gram flour. The circular base is created by the cooks while frying this vermicelli.

image

What follows next is a mix of different spices and ingredients that fill this basket to the brim.

One can start by stuffing boiled Moong (Whole Green Grams). Typically, people soak Moong in water overnight before boiling them for a good 15-20 minutes.

Then follows Chopped onion, tomato, coriander, boiled and mashed potato, more Sev but this one is just fried vermicelli, no fancy shape here.

image

And of course chaat is incomplete with the spices and Chutneys. Next come red chilli powder, chaat masala, pinch of salt, curd (yogurt), tamarind chutney, chilly and mint chutney and finally it is garnished with coriander(or cilantro).

What’s more interesting is that most shops place the basket in a bowl while serving it and the bowl is made from dried leaves. That gives it the street look 🙂

Most people would asked me about the measure of the ingredients. I would say that Chaat is experimentation. It is a mix of all things above to any quantity that you like 🙂 But for the more inquisitive readers, here are a few links that you might like to go through.

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Lad Nar Kai, Rice Noodle with Chicken and Chinese Kale in Yellow Bean Sauce

REBLOGGING THIS ONE FROM THE INTERNET. VIEW THE ORIGINAL RECIPE HERE

Lad Nar is a very popular Thai dish. It always comes with sipping hot gravy and greasy soft noodle. While this dish is known to be ordered from restaurant, cooking it at home is not difficult at all.

Lad Nar Kai, Rice Noodle with Chicken and Chinese Kale in Yellow Bean Sauce

Ingredients: (4 servings)

200 gm dried rice noodle (I used rice vermicelli)

200 gm boneless chicken- sliced

200 gm Chinese kale- sliced

6 cloves garlic roughly bruised- divined

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 1/2 tbsp yellow bean paste

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp light soy sauce

2 1/2 cup chicken stock

1 tsp sugar

3 tbsp corn flour- dissolved in a little water

1 tsp ground white pepper

2 tbsp oil- divined

Serving condiment: Chili vinegar, fish sauce, salt, Thai chili flakes

Preparation:

  1. Soak rice noodle in warm water for 3 minutes, drain and keep aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium- high heat, sauté half amount of garlic until aromatic, add rice noodle and dark soy sauce and stir fry for 30 second or so. Keep the noodle aside.
  3. In another large sauce pan, heat the remaining oil over a medium-high heat and sauté garlic until aromatic.
  4. Add chicken and toss in the oil until the chicken turn partially white on the outside.
  5. Add Chinese kale, yellow bean paste, oyster sauce, light soy sauce and sugar. Give it a quick stir.
  6. Add chicken stock and bring to boil.
  7. Once the stock is boiled, check the seasoning and thicken the sauce with corn flour mixture.
  8. Sprinkle over with some white pepper and turn off the heat.
  9. To serve, place stir fried noodle in the plate and pour over with some chicken and Chinese kale gravy. You may also add more vinegar, sugar, fish sauce and chili to spice up and light up the dish even more.

FIND THE ORIGINAL RECIPE HERE

Continuing with the myriad prawns dishes that I found on the internet. Here comes another one… Kadhai Prawns 🙂

My weekend kitchen

My weekend kitchen is a place where people can share their love for food. So I realised it should not be limited to only sharing through comments on blog posts! While I write mainly about Indian food, guests can enrich this personal collection of food experience with their own cuisines and experiments!

Here Atul Gupta shares his Kadhai Prawn recipe made in his hostel kitchen!

-Ashima

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

As an experimental cook, I always look forward for an interesting dish with choice of meat. So I look up on the internet for my cravings, jot down the recipe, tweak it to suit my taste and prepare it first time to see how it goes. Then I take the observations from experimentation and further modify the recipe to perfect it the second time!  That’s when pictures get uploaded on Facebook 🙂

For quite a time I was craving for prawns (after recently…

View original post 365 more words

Radish and Sausage Quiche

Quiche makes for a great breakfast or brunch option. The best thing about this versatile dish is that you can use the ingredients of your choice and customize it according to your own liking. Make a quicheout of leftover veggies and enjoy a great Sunday brunch with the family.Quiche Final Picture

Radish and Sausage Quiche

Serves – 4
Estimated Preparation Time – 10 Minutes
Estimated Cooking Time – 20 Minutes

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Nawabi Kheema Pulao – Minced Lamb Aromatic Rice.

For a veggie version check
http://wp.me/p2opoh-2k

nitu didi

Pullaos are very common in planning a party menu or in banquets. At homes its a one meal dish which is quite fulfilling. Pullao literally means rice which is cooked together with vegetables , meat , poultry or seafood along with a stock ( or water). Its delicately flavoured or spicy depending on the state it comes from. I have been told my recipes are quite bland but thats because i cater to such a varied audience. Time again i have stated that the spice in my food can be added. Today my minced meat pullao recipe is with the proper spices.. If you want it less spicy please add less of spice.

This is best eaten with a raita(yogurt with chopped raw onion, tomatoes and fresh green coriander leaves) tho i ate it with plain natural yogurt. I am sure all pullao fans are going to simply love this…

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