When was it last that that you cooked for your baby, just for her, all your heart out and she just turned away her face? Not few…huh??  Those low moments make your heart sink. Right?? Such moments are not few in my life too. So I am always in a hunt of fast but tasty yet healthy something for her. Once such is “PHIRNI”.


The day, I made it for the first time, I was a bit apprehensive and anticipating a wrinkled nose. But, to my sheer amazement, Mahi had it, almost a bowlful of it, without a tantrum or fuss. My effort vs. reward was a win-win situation. Effort was less, reward was her cute indulgence. Phirni is not just tasty, being a dessert, but has the goodness of milk and rice goes in which supplements the cereal need. Throw in, dry fruits of their choice and see the Firni vanishing, effortlessly.

Time: 30 mins or even less.

Serves: 5-6 medium sized dessert bowls

    Milk – 750 ml
    Sugar – 3 Tbsp.
    Rice – 50 gms, soaked for 2 hrs.
    few strands of saffron – soaked in warm milk (optional)
    Cardamom powder – 1 tsp.
    Dry fruits – chopped finely ( I used a coarse powder of kaju, badam and apricots for Mahi)
    Raisins / kishmish – 1 tbsp.

    Make a fine paste of soaked rice after draining the water. To check the texture, when you take a pinchful of rice, you should feel the granules and not a fine powder.
    Bring milk to boil and put on low flame for 2-3 mins.
    Add the rice paste and keep stirring. At this point, do not leave the milk on itself and keep stirring because rice will stick to the pan before you even notice.
    After 5 mins, add sugar and dry fruits and keep stirring.
    Add cardamom powder after 5 mins. Switch off the gas and decorate by pouring the saffron soaked milk.
    Phirni will not take a min more to be served.



Phirni tends to stick at the bottom of the pan. Don’t forget to stir every now n then.

Unlike traditional kheer, milk need not be boiled too much and reduced to half. The rice paste does the job. So milk retains much of the nutrients.

Serve hot or chilled.



Simply Veg Pulav–Papa’s treat of love


It really happens seldom to get a chance to enjoy something cooked by a complete non foodie. When I said seldom, it actually spells once in a decade. Smile. It was my 4th marriage anniversary and luck by chance, my papa was here in Pune with us. I convinced him to cook a pulav for us by bribing methi-paratha, boondi-raita and chholey ki subjee and his all time fav- suji ka sheera. Nevertheless, the bet was still simple for me as what I got is a precious gift, all worth for my efforts in the kitchen that day. What else, could have I asked for?

And it was a safer bet too, because I remember, Papa saved my life( ahem, well, actually my respect among the classmates) when I was a kiddie, in class 6th something or 5th may be or 4th(??) , my mom was out of station and suddenly came up a school picnic, which I never wanted to miss, not even at the cost of going empty handed. But papa assured me that he will not let me down and saved me with a super hit pulav. That was the day I never forget, and I always sing tunes of it to Romesh, to his utter jealousy or frustration or whatever!!



Time: 45 mins

Serves: 3 (may be 2 if you are a pulav lover like me)

You need:

    1 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked for 20 mins
    1 onion, roughly chopped
    1 tomato, roughly chopped
    3-4 french beans, cut into small pieces
    1 small potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
    1/2 cup cauliflower, cut into florets
    1/4th cup peas
    1 tbsp. oil 
    2 tsp. ghee
    2 bay leaves
    1 tsp. Jeera / cumin seeds
    a pinch black pepper
    salt as per taste
    water for cooking    
    Coriander to garnish
    2 chopped green chilies


How to:

  1. Heat oil in a wok/pan.
  2. Splutter jeera and then add onions and chilies, roast them to light brown.
  3. Add tomatoes and sauté until they are wilted.
  4. Add all the vegetables and salt and cook covered.
  5. Cook for 2-3 mins.
  6. Add some water to speed up the cooking (My dad’s way to hurry up the process Smile . You can obviously skip this.)
  7. Once the vegetables are cooked and water dries up, removed them from flame.
  8. Heat up ghee in a pressure cooker.
  9. Add the bay leaves and after a minute, add the rice.
  10. Roast the rice, add 1.5 cups water and add all the cooked vegetables.
  11. Add a pinch salt and mix well.
  12. Cook for 1 whistle at low flame.
  13. Once the steam cool downs,  sprinkle black pepper and garnish with chopped coriander.
  14. Relish with Chholey or any spicy curry.





Parting Notes:

Papa didn’t use much spices, powdered or whole, and it came out delicious to my surprise. I remember, he used to add turmeric also earlier which is skipped this time.

And of course, you can skip the addition of water to the veggies, no doubt Smile.

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