Fereni is a Persian pudding made with milk, rosewater and pistachios. Pashmak - which means "little wool" in Persian - is candy floss made from sesame and sugar. Put the two of them together and you get a pretty, dainty, quirky dessert that will surely win the hearts of both young and old.
In fact, did you know that Fereni is commonly prepared for infants and little children? Well, welcome to Persion Cuisine 101! :)
But wait, how on earth did I know all that, when I actually know zilch about Persian-anything? Well, it all started with a packet of pistachio-flavoured Pashmak the postman delivered. It was a gift from the lovely Ellie to my children. :)
Needless to say, I was eager to make something nice. This was, after all, my first encounter with Persian candy floss, although I had seen it before at Ellie's blog. Ah, a rose-flavoured dessert would complement the pistachio Pashmak, I thought. And one of those Middle Eastern milk puddings I have been wanting to make would be perfect!
After a few clicks, I was brought to this recipe - one of Persian origin, no less - and I just knew, this was the one. That, my friends, was how I got to know all about Fereni. :) Bless the Internet.
This is freshly cooked Fereni, pure and white. If you're wondering how that little gunny sack has my name on it, my fairy godmother made it for me. :)
Before serving, sprinkle chopped pistachios for topping. You can enjoy this either warm or chilled, although I so much prefer the warm version. Especially on a gloomy day (which explains the poor lighting) ... just standing by the window, watching the raindrops beating down ... enjoying scoops of warm, rose-scented, custardy milk pudding. So comforting, so uplifting.
Fereni with pistachio Pashmak. From white to whimsical ... like something out of a fairytale.
- 4 heaped tbsp rice flour
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- 200 ml cold water
- 250 ml whole milk
- 2 tsp rose water or a pinch of ground cardamom
- a handful of toasted pistachios or almonds, coarsely chopped
- a pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
1. Place the rice flour and sugar in a small pot and stir in the water, milk and rosewater or cardamom.
2. Place the pot on medium heat and cook it stirring constantly to avoid it scorching for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture is thickened. Add a splash of boiling water to thin it slightly if it is too thick. Set aside and allow to cool slightly. Taste and add a little more rosewater or cardamom to taste.
3. If the Fereni is to be eaten warm, ladle it into serving bowls and decorate it with the chopped nuts and cinnamon if using and serve. Alternatively, ladle it into the serving bowls and cover them tightly with cling film and place them in the fridge to chill. Decorate with the nuts and cinnamon just before serving. OR, if you have access to Pashmak, use it! :)