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Recipes | Orange-almond rice pudding and Lapsi, Two Festive Indian Desserts – Life is about people not things

8 November 2014 3 Comments

healthy indian festive desserts, firni and lapsi

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.” ~ Douglas Adams

Even though I am not a big fan of “Kitchen Gadgets’ per se, I have bought quite a few over the years. Some of which are an absolute essential in my daily cooking while some others live permanently on the shelf, unused and much neglected.

If only my ice-cream maker, juicer, coffee maker, electric kettle can talk…they would probably shout their heart out and tell you the misery of sitting idle for years in dark, lonely and claustrophobic loft of my kitchen 😉

Well, I like simple ways of living and do believe in the saying “The more things we accumulate, the more cluttered our lives become, and the more stressed we feel as we are compelled to think about them. Life is about people not about things.
But then, I also like my ‘kitchen gadgets’ and there are a few technological marvels in my kitchen to make my life easier and better. My blender, wet grinder, whisker, microwave have streamlined ways of doing much of my routine work in kitchen.

I can’t imagine myself grinding chutney or masalas on a stone grinder like my mom does for that authentic taste in her cooking. My mixie/blender does a pretty decent job for me.

And I don’t need to light charcoal or wood fire to cook a Tandoori Naan either, my electric Tandoor churns out lovely Naan in the comfort of my home.

I had a rice cooker when I was working and staying away from home in early nineties. All that I used to do in it was to throw in some vegetables and rice, a few whole spices, pour water in it before getting ready early in the morning. And the quick vegetables rice for my lunch box would be ready before I step out of the house for my office. I gave it off to my landlady before shifting my house and never thought of buying another again.

I received a beautifully wrapped parcel few days back from Maharaja Whiteline appliances the other day, it had an elegant white coloured multi-cooker in it.

I wanted to try out a few traditional dessert recipes in it which normally take lot of time and require constant attention while cooking. That is when Indian festive delicacies Lapsi and rice kheer came to my mind.

1. Orange-almond rice pudding aka Kheer

healthy indian dessert recipes, firni and lapsi

Indian Rice pudding or Kheer is a comforting dessert enjoyed by people of all ages around the world. The basic ingredients such as rice, milk, and sweetener remain same in the recipe, but the method of cooking changes depending upon the consistency one look for.

You can bake, steam or cook it in open pot for hours to get rich and creamy pudding. The freshness of citrus and the heady aromas cinnamon in this creamy rice-almond pudding makes this a deliciously rich dessert.

Here again, the multi-cooker helped cook the recipe just right. The non-stick bowl inside the multi-cooker avoided the pudding getting stuck to the base.

firni and lapsi, healthy indian dessert recipes.

Thicker and more creamy version of Kheer.


(serve 3)

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup organic jaggery
  • 1/4 cup Basmati rice
  • 2 oranges
  • 12-15 Almonds
  • 5-6 Apricots
  • 1 tsp/ orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

firni and lapsi, healthy indian dessert recipes.

Method; Wash and soak Basmati rice with Almonds in a cup of water.

Grate the orange peel and collect the zest.

Grind soaked almonds with 1 tbsp. of Basmati rice into coarse paste.

Remove pith and fiber from one orange and take out the segments.

Squeeze another orange and take out the juice in a cup.

firni and lapsi, healthy indian dessert recipes.

Pour milk in the vessel and add soaked rice in it. Cover the lid, plug in the Multi-cooker and switch it on.

Let the milk and rice cook for about 10 minutes or till the rice is done.

Switch off the multi-cooker and add rice-almond paste in it.

Mix it well with the plastic spoon, close the lid and let it sit for about 3-4 minutes.

Rice and almond paste will start getting cooked in the heat and the mixture will thicken.

firni and lapsi, healthy indian dessert recipes.

Add jaggery, chopped Apricots, orange juice, orange zest and combine well and switch on the multi-cooker.

Let the Pudding cook for 5 more minutes and switch off the cooker.

Open the lid, add orange segments in it and cover it again.

Rice pudding will thicken as it cools.

firni and lapsi, healthy indian dessert recipes.

Adjust the consistency according to your taste. The pudding can be served as thick porridge topped with nuts and fruits. Add a little warm milk and serve it as creamy Indian Kheer in bowls or glasses.

The Orange-almond rice pudding can be savored both as hot or cold dessert.

2. Healthy Wholewheat Indian Dessert aka Fada Lapsi

firni and lapsi, healthy indian dessert recipes.

The recipe is so simple but requires a lot of attention while cooking, and the multi-cooker did the job very well. But let me tell you that my granny would have never approved of this recipe. A Lapsi to her is not done until a thick layer of Ghee (clarified butter) floats over it.

The coarse wheat grits give a chewy bite to this dessert. ‘Lapsi‘ is often eaten with a spicy black-eyed curry in Rajasthan, but believe me, it does taste good.

firni and lapsi, healthy indian dessert recipes.

Lapsi is a festive dish of Gujrat and Rajasthan. Traditional recipe involve very coarse wheat or ‘fada’ (means broken in Hindi) grain to make Lapsi which is hard and takes lot of time to cook.

I added the above image to show the difference between normal broken wheat and fada wheat grits which are quite large.

firni and lapsi, healthy indian dessert recipes.


(serve 3)

  • 1/2 cup broken wheat grits
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 10-12 Almonds
  • 1 tsp. Fennel seeds

firni and lapsi, healthy indian dessert recipes.

Method; Heat ghee (clarified butter) in a pan and fry broken wheat in it till it turns goelden in colour. Add chopped almonds in the same pan and fry for another few seconds.

Plug in the multi-cooker, pour water in the vessel, cover the lid and switch it on and let the water come to boil.

Add fried broken wheat and almonds in water, cover the lid and let it cook for ten minutes or till all the water is absorbed.

firni and lapsi, healthy indian dessert recipes.

Switch off the cooker and add palm sugar (replace it with white sugar or jaggery if you wish) and crushed fennel seeds in the vessel and combine well with a plastic spoon.

On the multi-cooker again and let the Lapsi cook for about 2 more minutes.

Off the multi-cooker and let the Lapsi sit in it for 8-10 minutes in it.

Take the Lapsi out in another bowl and serve it hot or cold.

healthy indian dessert recipes, firni and lapsi

Weekend dinner at home…creamy hot Orange-almond rice pudding with quick Pasta.

Check the recipe for Quick Pasta in rice cooker here.

pasta recipe

Life is about people not things‘…but it makes sense to adopt technology if it makes life much easier, at times.

After all, I can’t depend on a pigeon to deliver my message when a cell phone can do it efficiently for me 😉


  1. Add cinnamon powder or any other dried fruits in rice-almond pudding recipe.
  2. The process of grinding a little rice along with almonds make the rice pudding creamy and rice without the addition of cream or condensed milk in the recipe.
  3. Almond paste gives a wonderful creamy texture and nutty bite to the rice pudding.
  4. Use smaller variety of wheat grits to make Lapsi if you want to make it taste like a creamy pudding.
  5. Replace palm sugar with normal jaggery or sugar if you can’t get the same.

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  • Easyfoodsmith said:

    Thanks to the small spaces in city like Mumbai, I never got the opportunity to buy many gadgets for the kitchen. I have a basic mixer-grinder and an oven.
    I am a sucker for orange in anything – sweet or savory. Also, the lapsi reminds me of a dish my mother used to make. Beautiful pics too.

  • Roopa said:

    Dear Sanjeeta…

    Good Introduction and its so true…

    Life is about people not things

    Earlier I was stuffing things [cloths, vessels, jewelry etc..]

    Now, I have reduced them and feel very comfort and contented..

    If all practice simple living we can reduce waste and save money and also importantly environment..

    I dint have electric rice cooker.. But got as a gift from my office 7 years ago… But never used it thinking again I have to maintain it…

    Is it worth and helpful if I use it??

    But space problem dear in my small rented house….

  • mjskit said:

    You are no being fair dishing up these two desserts! Indian rice pudding is one of my favorite of all desserts and I love the addition of orange! I’ve never had the Fada Lapsi, but it sure looks good just everything you make. 🙂
    mjskit recently posted..Black Bean Mole’My Profile

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