Ramadan is in its last few days. This month has been testing with the scorching summer and long daylight hours. It also meant that there was more time for contemplation, building faith stronger and prayer. Thirst and hunger makes us grateful that with the luxury of food that satisfies both our appetite and fancy cravings while living in a world where hunger and malnutrition exist. What is heartbreaking is the wastage of food not only during Ramadan but throughout the year. Earlier this year, a women from Bihar, India sold her four-month child in hopes of feeding her family. A physically challenged husband meant that there was no income for this family of five. Having deep attachment and affection for my nieces, I cannot imagine the depths of despair that would have surged this mother that would force her to sell her child to satisfy hunger. A thought that multiplied gratitude in my heart infinitely.
Mummy (my mother-in-law) and I begin mornings of Ramadan with the known unknown; what do we make for Iftar today? After 2 weeks we were running out of options from the staple fried savoury bites. My blog roll came to the rescue and I would spend time looking out and bookmarking simple recipes easy on the stomach to break our fasts. Arwa of La Mere Culinaire fame, came with a great post of Farni, three ways. It's very similar to the North-Indian Phirni except it calls for rice flour. Phirni is made grinding soaked rice coarsely and found Arwas' mothers recipe much simpler. Don't mothers always have unrivalled recipes up their sleeves?
Arwa's snow heart Farni looked so beautiful that I was tempted to make mine using moulds too. The only difference was the addition of gelatine for setting it. I made it for dessert when we had guests for Iftar and made a few extra servings to enjoy over the next few days. My husband loved the flavour of the pudding but he isn't fond of desserts with the wiggly gelatine texture and asked whether I can make it smoother? With a bit of simmer, in a matter of minutes I had the consistency of the original Farni made before the addition of gelatine. How versatile is that? Let's get cooking.
Rice Farni Snow Hearts
Recipe barely adapted from La Mere Culinaire
- 4 Cups Milk
- 3/4 Cup Rice Flour
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Rose Water
- 1 TSP Ground Cardamom (placed in an empty tea bag)
- 1/2 Cup Hot Water
- 2 Sachets Gelatin
- Ground Pistachio - 50 grams
- Slivered Almonds - 10
- Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
- Sugar - A pinch
- Place milk, rice flour and sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to thicken.
- Make sure to scrape the sides so that it doesn’t stick.
- Add the rose water, cardamom water and continue to cook until it starts to become glossy.
- Ladle some of the mixture in another bowl.
- Put 1/2 a cup of the mixture in a smaller bowl, sprinkle 2 regular sachets of gelatin and mix to dissolve.
- Return the gelatin mixture to the bigger bowl and whisk.
- Pour mixture into moulds and refrigerate until set.
- On a small pan, toast pistachio, almonds, cinnamon and sugar lightly.
- Just before serving, garnish with nut mixture.
Notes I used individual aluminium moulds to set Farni. To de-mould, place the container in a bowl of slightly warm water for a few seconds. Placing it too long will melt the Farni at the base and it won't de-mould smoothly. Omit the gelatine for a thick, custard like consistency.
I spent a while photographing these beauties.
Looks divine, doesn't it?
Have a good food day.