Milk Custard



Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


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By Durkhanai Ayubi

Published 2020

  • About

Firni is a traditional Afghan milk custard, smooth and delicately spiced with cardamom. Although it can be made for all kinds of gatherings, it’s always prepared as part of the bridal table dessert spread. Once the custard is set, it can be layered with all sorts of toppings, including maghoot, fruit compotes and nuts; this recipe uses slivered pistachios and rose petals.


  • 56 g (2 oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 100 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 litre (4 cups) full-cream (whole) milk
  • 35 g (¼ cup) slivered pistachios
  • Small handful dried rose petals


Add the cornflour, sugar and cardamom to a bowl and whisk to combine. Add 60 ml (¼ cup) water and whisk well to form a smooth slurry and set aside.

Bring the milk to just below boiling in a medium saucepan over high heat. Watch for the milk bubbling and just before it does, remove the pan from the heat. Add a ladleful of the hot milk to the cornflour slurry and whisk until smooth. Adding the hot milk to the slurry in this way helps to temper it and prevent lumps in the custard.

Slowly add the tempered slurry to the remaining hot milk, whisking continuously until all of it has been added and combined. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir continuously until the firni begins to bubble. Working quickly, pour it into the servingware and sprinkle with slivered pistachios and dried rose petals. Carefully place the firni in the fridge for at least 3 hours to completely chill before serving.