Here is a fine dessert from Central Asia, mainly Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and parts of India where it is known as Firnee, a sweet, cardamom-scented pudding that is usually reserved for holidays and special events. And while it’s not traditional, I like to serve the pudding topped with fresh seasonal fruit such as strawberries or sliced peaches (as well as the traditional chopped pistachio).
Here is a basic recipe (source unknown):
You will need
6 tbsp. cornstarch
3 cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted pistachios
1 cup sliced seasonal fruit (optional)
Mix the cornstarch with ¼ cup of the milk to form a thin paste, stirring with a fork until smooth.
Pour the remainder of the milk and cream into a saucepan and cook over high heat until simmering but not yet boiling. Add sugar and salt and stir for about a minute or until the sugar dissolves. Next, slowly add the cornstarch, stirring all the while. Add the cardamom and continue to cook, stirring continuously for another 5 minutes at a low boil until the mixture thickens.
Pour the pudding into shallow bowls. Immediately sprinkle the pistacios over the top. If you really love the taste of cardamom, stir an extra ¼ teaspoon of it into the nuts before you top the pudding. But remember, cardamom is a strong spice, a little goes a long way.
Refrigerate till chilled.
Between this and cardamom custard, you can impress your friends with your expertise on cardamom desserts.
How about some home-made cardamom ice cream?
For more information about Afghanistan cooking
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