The history and origin of Phirni (sometimes spelt Firni) is not confirmed but often believed that the Mughals enjoyed rich milk based puddings. This milk pudding tradition is common in Persia so it is likely that the dish has origins there.
The main difference between phirni and kheer is that rice is ground in the former whereas kheer is rice pudding and you cook it whole.
50g Basmati rice
2 tablespoons water
1 litre milk
2 full ripe mangoes
2-3 green cardamom, roughly crushed
100g caster sugar
A few arals of pomegranate for garnish
1 heaped tablespoon ground almonds
Wash the rice and soak for half an hour. Drain and using the two tablespoons of water, blitz in a food processor to make a slurry.
In a wide saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Add the slurry, along with the almond powder and stir until the mixture becomes thick. To get a smooth texture, I recommend passing through a sieve. Use the back of a spoon to aid in the process.
Peel and blitz the flesh of mango in a food processor (it need not be a smooth puree- a few chunks here and there are okay).
Return the milk mixture to a clean saucepan. Pour the mango puree into the milk. Add the sugar. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle with crushed cardamom seeds.
Pour into 4-6 moulds and set in refrigerator for 4-5 hours. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds and serve.