Phirni is a classic ground rice pudding native to India and Pakistan, mostly eaten as a festive dessert during muslim celebrations.
By Shuchi Mittal
The simple taste of the pudding is quite delectable on it’s own, but I wanted to combine it with something that will add an element of fusion to this dessert. And of course, everything works with chocolate.
I made edible spoons out of simple chocolate shortbread, and served the pudding on those. The flavors worked really well together. It was like two simple recipes created one brilliant combination.
Remember to make the mango rice pudding in excess, because once you have tasted it on the spoons you will definitely need – not want – more. Delicious!
- ½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
- A pinch of salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons white rice, soaked in ½ cup water for 3 hours
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- 1 teaspoon fresh mango pulp + few pieces for garnish
- Beat the butter till its light and fluffy.
- Stir in the vanilla and mix well.
- Add all the dry ingredients and work till the dough begins to come together.
- Once done, cover with cling film and chill for approximately 30 minutes (can be more but not less).
- Preheat oven to 375°F while dough chills.
- Bring the dough to room temperature and knead for a few minutes till it soft and workable.
- Divide into 8-10 equal parts and roll out each part onto a 4 inch oval.
- If you have a spoon shape cookie cutter, cut out a spoon shape from this press into a spoon mould (use any oven-proof spoons you have at home- I used my ceramic appetizer spoons). If not, just press the dough into the mould and cut off the edges.
- Using your hands, give the dough the shape of the spoon, leaving the base slightly thicker that the stem (this will make the spoon heavier at the bottom, allowing it to balance better once baked)
- Prick the moulds with a fork and bake the shortbreads in middle of oven until centers are dry to the touch and edges are slightly darker, about 15 minutes.
- Cool completely before removing them from the moulds.
- Chill slightly by refrigerating for 20 minutes.
- Grind the rice to a paste in a blender.
- Mix with the milk and bring to boil. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring continuously till the rice is fully cooked and the pudding starts to slowly thicken.
- At this stage, add the sugar and rose water. Cook for another 5-6 minutes till the sugar is melted.
- Remove from heat and cool. Once cooled, add the mango pulp and mix well. Chill for 2 hours.
- Put a teaspoon of the phirni on the Chocolate Shortbread spoons, garnish with a piece of mango and serve cold.
Shuchi cooks with the heart of a poet. Banker turned chef, she runs the 29. Private Kitchen in NYC focusing on social tasting events, dining experiences and small-scale private events. Using simple & wholesome ingredients, she likes to re-invent homemade Indian flavors into modern tapas & small plates. Her dream? To cook, feed, write, and eventually open her own communal dining cafe - with a published recipe book on the stands.