Chakhao Poireiton Phirni/Black Rice Phirni
EVENT: SHHH COOKING SECRETLY
THEME: MANIPURI CUISINE
Search for Manipuri on the internet and you’re going to learn about some herbs and vegetables that are not commonly found in the market. The reason being that Manipuri cuisine depends largely on the seasonal ingredients. Have you heard about jelly ears, water spinach, roselle leaves, bitter beans to name a few? I hadn’t known that they existed till I was reading up on Manipuri Cuisine. Use of hot chillis is common as opposed to garam masala in the Manipuri cuisine.
Manipur is known as the Jewelled Land because of its natural beauty. The numerous hills and peaks means that one has to consume food that provides strength and agility. Staple diet consists of rice, vegetables and fish. leafy vegetables are usually grown in their gardens and fish are bred in little ponds. Lots of fresh herbs are added to provide flavor.
Some of the most famous dishes from Manipur are:
- Kangshoi , a vegetable stew.
- Eromba, a fish and rice dish.
- Singju a salad made using banana stems, lotus seeds, banana flower, raw papaya, single leaves along with onions, tomatoes etc.
- Paaknam, similar to pancakes, its made from the famous ngari fish, steamed in banana leaves.
- Morok Metpa, a local chutney made from dried green chillis and ngari fish.
- Alu kanntet – a potato side dish.
- Nga Tongba – a fish curry.
- Keli chana
- Ooti – vegetable curry
- sana thongba – a paneer curry
- Chahao kheer, a black rice pudding.
Finding Manipuri vegetarian dishes on the internet is a task, as there are not that many. However, I didn’t have to look too far. I visited Pushpita’s Blog Pushpita’s Chakhum and found so many traditional Manipuri vegetarian dishes. I got to know Pushpita through a foodie group that we were members of. She had to leave the group due to personal reasons. She is one tough lady, having gone through the challenge of battling cancer, having a baby and running her spreads and pickles business. Visit her blog to find out more about her products which she ships anywhere in the world.
I had some black rice in the pantry and asked my partner Shobana Vijay who blogs at Shoba’s Delight if I could use black rice. She immediately agreed and also gave me cardamom as the second ingredient. I gave her soya chunks and onion as her secret ingredients. Shobana’s blog is just the blog to visit if you want a huge collection of South Indian recipes.
I used Pushpita’s recipe on Chakhao Poireiton Phirni or Black Rice Phirni as a guideline. Black rice kheer is commonly prepared for community feasts or for ceremonial meals.
The phirni was such a delightful dessert which hubby and I enjoyed on our wedding anniversary. Such heavenly taste. I chose to add some almonds, flavored with cardamom and rose essence. You can choose to add other nuts and dried fruits to it. Chakhao is rice in Manipuri language and Poireiton is black.
CHAKHAO POIREITON PHIRNI/BLACK RICE PHIRNI
Serves 4- 6
5 tbsp black rice
3 cups full fat milk
3 tbsp almond powder
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
2-3 tbsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp cardamom powder
2-3 drops of rose essence
almond slivers for topping
- Wash and soak the rice overnight in water.
- Next day remove the water.
- Add the rice into a blender along with some milk from the measured amount.
- Process the rice till it becomes a coarse paste.
- Add the rice paste along with the remaining milk into a saucepan.
- Let the milk come to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce the heat and let it simmer. Stir the mixture frequently.
- Simmer it till the rice is cooked.
- Add condensed milk and almond powder. Mix well.
- Let it simmer till it becomes thick. Remember to stir it frequently.
- Add cardamom powder and rose essence. Mix well.
- Spoon the phirni into individual serving bowls.
- Put it in the fridge and let it set for 3-4 hours or more.
- Serve it chilled with almond slivers sprinkled on top.
- If you want the phirni more sweet then add sugar at step 9.
- Add dried fruits and other nuts of your choice.
- To make a vegan version of this dessert, use coconut milk and coconut cream instead of milk and condensed milk. Add sugar according to your taste.
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Shhh Cooking Secretly a group started by Priya of Priya’s Versatile Recipes, is where every month food bloggers are paired up and give each other 2 secret ingredients to cook with according to the theme chosen. If you’re interested in joining this exciting group then please leave a message in the comment section. Thank you.