Firni – a rice pudding cure in Kolkata

By Emma.

While Damien drifted in and out of a fever in Kolkata, I generally just flapped about on a treasure hunt for paracetemol, cold drinks and something he could eat. I hit the jackpot when I stumbled across this chime of Normandy, a Teurgoule in Indian guise. Here is a recipe I really like from the beautiful blog, The Tiffin Box.


170 g basmati rice

710 ml whole milk

237 ml cream

56 g sugar

1 pod cardamom (I’m abit wary of cardamom so for me less is more. The original recipe asks for 2 pods), seeds removed and crushed lightly

A generous pinch of saffron

A handful of unsalted pistachios, shelled and chopped roughly


1. Put the rice in a food processor or blender, and whirl until coarsely powdered.

2. Place the powdered rice in a heavy pot, then add the milk and crushed cardamom seeds.

3. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 – 12 minutes, stirring ocasionally, until the rice is tender and cooked. For some texture, slightly undercook the rice.

4. Add the cream and the sugar, and stir. Add the saffron. Bring the heat back up to medium, and cook until the pudding is thick and creamy.

5. This dessert can be served warm or cold. If serving cold, pour into small bowls and chill in the fridge until set.

6. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped pistachios on top.



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