UHT or Ultra-high temperature milk is ultra-pasteurised milk that comes in sterilised containers. It's real milk, just like the kind you buy chilled in the dairy aisle, but its special pasteurisation and packaging process gives it a shelf life of several months.
UHT milk is fresh milk that does not need refrigeration after the container has been processed using a method that destroys bacteria while preserving the flavour, taste, and nutritional value of milk.
Store unopened cartons of UHT milk in a cool, clean, dry place for up to 6 months.
After opening, close the lid on the container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Look at the "Best used by" or "Best by" date on the package.
Uses and tips
UHT milk can be used anywhere fresh milk is called for, such as desserts, soups, casseroles, smoothies, etc.
UHT milk can be enjoyed alone as a beverage or poured over cereal.
Try using UHT milk in place of water to prepare hot cereals such as oatmeal, or mix with fresh or frozen fruit.
Nutritionally, UHT milk is slightly poorer than fresh pasteurised milk. It contains around a third less iodine, and the quality of protein degrades during storage. UHT milk is a rich source of a number of essential nutrients including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, zinc, vitamins A and B12, magnesium, carbohydrates, and protein.
Advantages of UHT milk
The advantages of UHT milk are noticeable and can help save time and reap health related advantages upon consumption. Treating milk at UHT results in several benefits that include the following —
Less processing time
Sterilisation makes milk lighter as once you have treated milk at ambient temperature, the number of microorganisms turns almost zero. The time you take to process it further is also reduced as the impurities and non-friendly organisms are already eliminated. This is why you can brew yourself a cup of coffee or tea within a couple of minutes.
Sterilised milk lasts longer than its raw or unprocessed version. Right after the UHT processing, milk is packed into containers that can be stored easily for days in your refrigerator. The shelf-life of milk contained in air-tight packaging can extend up to nine months. However, consumers are advised to use it within one week from packaging and processing once it arrives in the market.
UHT Milk is safer than untreated milk
With UHT treatment, the heat resistant bacteria present in milk gets destroyed, which also ensures its safety for you and your children. Processed milk is also readily available for consumption that is the right choice for consumers concerned with time and energy.
Firni is a thick and creamy pudding made from ground rice. Slow cooking is the key to make a perfect firni. The ground rice granules are slow cooked in milk to a creamy and thick consistency. Firni has a lovely aroma from the aromatic rice and using fragrant ingredients like rose water, cardamom powder or saffron.
Adding nuts make it richer and flavourful.
Firni is traditionally served in small earthen bowls. These eastern bowls absorb the extra moisture and liquids and make it thicker. They also infuse the rice pudding with an earthy aroma. Though both firni and rice kheer look similar, they are actually made differently. Firni is made from ground rice, while rice kheer is made from whole rice grains.
1 litre PRAN UHT milk
¼cup aromatic rice
¾ cup sugar or to taste
¼ cup mawa
10-12 saffron strands
Pinch of cardamom powder
3 tbsp chopped nuts, almond and pistachios
Wash and soak rice for 1 hour. Drain well and let the rice grains dry on their own, on a tray. When the rice grains are thoroughly dried, grind them to a coarse consistency. Set aside.
Heat PRAN UHT milk in a pan. Whilst the milk heats, take 1 tablespoon of warm milk in a small bowl and dissolve saffron strands in it. When the milk begins to boil, add the ground rice and stir.
Now, add sugar and stir again, cooking the rice on a low flame. Keep on stirring often so that lumps do not form. Also, scrape the sides often and add it to the simmering milk. The milk thickens gradually as the rice grains get cooked. When the rice is almost cooked, add the cardamom powder, saffron infused milk, mawa and half of the chopped nuts one after another.
Cook firni for few minutes or until you get a creamy pudding-like consistency. Keep in mind that on cooling it will thicken more. Remove from heat and pour the firni in serving bowls. Sprinkle some sliced nuts on top. When they become cool at room temperature, keep them in the fridge. Enjoy the delicious sweet firni.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Food and Styling: RBR