Black Rice Phirni
Updated: Jul 30
Another year is coming to an end… on a rather sweet note :)
What do you make, besides salads, when you have black rice in the kitchen pantry ? Hmmm… grind it to a coarse black rice flour or black rice paste and make Black Rice Phirni !
Only recently, much after I made this Black Rice Phirni recipe, I learnt that this recipe has been traditionally made in the North-Eastern states of India; known as Chak Hao Amubi (black rice and milk kheer / pudding)! That’s why: keep learning, keep growing!
Difference between Kheer and Phirni?
Just that Phirni is thicker in consistency as it’s made with coarse rice flour or a coarse paste made with soaked fragrant rice.
Kheer, ofcourse is made using whole fragrant rice (usually Basmati) and its consistency is slightly thinner than that of Phirni.
The rest of the method or process of making both recipes; Rice Kheer & Rice Phirni, is pretty much the same.
Because black rice has its own distinct, nutty flavour, I preferred to keep it simple and let the flavours of black rice shine through in this recipe of Black Rice Phirni. You could ofcourse add nuts, saffron or other flavours of choice.
Full fat milk is the preferred option to make Phirni, Kheer, Kulfi… as all the malai from the milk is what forms the flavours in the reduced milk.
If you don't have black rice, you can still make Phirni using basmati or any other fragrant rice and this recipe.
30 minutes for soaking black rice
30 minutes for cooking
Ingredients to make Black Rice Phirni
1.5 litres full fat milk
½ cup black rice
½ cup sugar, adjust to taste
4 green cardamoms, powdered
A pinch of salt
Sliced almonds, to garnish
Method of making Black Rice Phirni
Soak black rice for approx. 30 minutes. Drain and grind to a coarse paste.
Bring the full fat milk to a boil in a thick bottom vessel. Add black rice paste and cook on low heat, stirring frequently. Stir frequently and scrape the sides and bottom to stop the milk from sticking to the vessel and burning.
Add sugar when the black rice is half cooked, mix well and continue to cook on low heat until the black rice is cooked, the milk reduces and the phirni thickens. Adding sugar later will result in uncooked sugar and may change the texture of your black rice phirni.
Black rice lends a nutty flavour to the phirni which is why I have not added nuts to this recipe. If you’re adding nuts, do it before the black rice phirni thickens completely. The nuts will also thicken your phirni a little.
Once the black rice phirni thickens and is completely cooked, add cardamom powder and turn off heat. Let it cool to ambient temperature.
Transfer the black rice phirni to Earthen cups (shikoras) or mould of choice and chill. Garnish with toasted almonds (optional).
Black rice phirni tastes best served chilled.
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