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Gluten-free Recipe: Firni Custard

“This dessert is well loved by my family and friends. The best part about it is it’s very simple to prepare; it’s also gluten-free, which means you can serve it to anyone without worrying about allergies.”
– Soumita Bhattacharya, Indian

Makes eight to 10 servings

Gluten free Firni Custard


  • 3 tablespoons rice flour powder
  • 1-litre milk (Soumita uses full-fat)
  • 1.5 to 2 cups sugar (powdered in mixer or grinder, or fine-grained)
  • 1 cup pistachios, de-shelled and roughly chopped

Optional additions:

  • cashews, broken
  • rose petals for garnish
  • nuts (pistachios or cashews) for garnish


  1. Mix 100ml of the milk with the rice flour powder to create a semi-liquid paste. Set aside.
  2. Heat remaining milk on low flame until it boils. Once boiling, add the semi-liquid rice flour-milk paste slowly and keep stirring. Tip: Keep the flame low and stir slowly and continuously to avoid lumps.
  3. Cook until the raw smell of the rice flour goes away (“rice flour has a different smell pre- and post-cooking,” says Soumita); it will take about 20 to 25 minutes of slow cooking for one litre of milk.
  4. Add the sugar and cook for five more minutes. Then add the nuts and cook approximately seven to 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer the hot custard to a muffin mould, earthen mould pots, small porcelain bowls or silver moulds and store in the refrigerator.
  6. Serve cold with a garnish of sliced pistachios, rose petals and/or cashews on top.

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