Butterscotch rice pudding or phirni is a treat for your senses and of course your sweet tooth. The richness of butterscotch melted into the creamy rice pudding is simply what you need to wow anyone. I take this up a notch by adding saffron and garnishing it quite simply with more butterscotch sauce and a smattering of fragrant rose petals.
Simplicity often speaks louder. Heck, it even speaks the loudest. For the longest time I had a friend, my best friend from school who was the very epitome of simplicity. I dont mean in looks. I mean it that elusive something we find really difficult to put a finger on and hence just call it as attitude. She is the very essence of all that is simple in the world. Honest, trusting, caring, non-judgmental, malleable, intelligent and so much more. We were the quintessential case of opposites attract. I don’t really consider myself simple. May be mainly coz I am too stubborn and too opinionated to be called simple. Not to mention I have a temper. But we were the best of friends. Somehow she made me calm and I was her strong voice. We complemented each other brilliantly.
Just like this butterscotch rice pudding or phirni complement each other. While your basic rice pudding, aka kheer or in this case phirni is a master case of simple is the best, butterscotch is kind of like me. Stubborn little chips that take forever to melt but when they do, they make everything richer, sweeter and oh so much better than plain old vanilla and the too obvious chocolate. This butterscotch rice pudding or phirni happened quite on a whim.
I was looking for something homely to make to commemorate the last day of the Navratra or Durga Puja. Tomorrow we celebrate Dussehra and we will finally be breaking our fast and feasting!! I wanted to make something that people can enjoy of veggie festive days without being too tough to make or needing too many ingredients. Not to mention my inlaws are visiting and they are really old school. Which translates into a love for all things classical. Hence this rice pudding seemed the obvious answer. Of course I could have served my rose water and cardamom vermicelli kheer or even chocolate and caramel kheer which is a favorite at our home but I wanted something new. If you want something traditional, there is nothing better than this slow cooked Grandma’s kheer. Told you, I am not simple. I cant go for the tried and tested everytime because that’s what simple people do. Besides wheres the fun in that!!
So after rummaging around the fridge in search of inspiration, I spied (ok, found) a pouch of butterscotch chips!! Where did these come from!!?? Then I remembered buying these some 1 month back to try and make some ice cream! For some reason the ice cream didn’t happen but the butterscotch did ring a bell in my head somewhere and before I knew it I was walking into the kitchen with the chips in my hand.
The butterscotch rice pudding or phirni simply makes the phirni way more exotic and frankly something that you would happily devour in a restaurant. Happily. Gleefully. Spoonful after spoonful till you were scraping the bottom of the kulhad, aka, the baked clay pots.
The butterscotch lends itself beautifully to the ground rice pudding that is simply called a phirni in India.
The addition of saffron takes the whole dish to a more exotic and definitely more aromatic level. Butterscotch on the other hand makes it rich and velvety and I don’t know..whats the word .. so so yummilicious. I toyed what to garnish this with for quite some time. I thought of fruits, dry fruits, a pistachio praline, whipped cream, so many things! But nothing seemed perfect..Ultimately I just went with butterscotch sauce as a topping, followed by a few random snipping of rose. You know what? That butterscotch sauce topped on the rice pudding or phirni simply MADE the dish! So so delicious you guys..butterscotch sauce is the stuff of my dreams. I could slather some on toasts, drizzle on ice cream, top over pies and oh so much more. You know what it tastes pretty amazing all on its own too. I might have licked a spoon ( or may be two) clean. Don’t judge please!
Just go and make this. Without a seconds thought or doubt. Lets just bring simple back to desserts and revel in this gorgeously easy and delicious dessert fit for any festive occasion, special nights, entertaining guests or for just about any night this season! You wont stop till you are scraping the bowls like me. Promise. 😛