Orange Phirni Shots
What are Orange Phirni Shots?
In brief, Orange Phirni Shots are simply orange flavored phirni served in mini chocolate and pistachio fudge cups. Orange Phirni Shots is a fusion of an Indian Rice Pudding and Middle Eastern flavors. Some years back we had a one night transit stay in Doha and that’s where I had the opportunity to taste Sholeh Zard, a Persian Rice Pudding with an orange twist. As a result, that flavour remained etched in my brains. Generally, the rice pudding whether the Middle East version or the Indian version, is served on its own. So why the twist? Read on to find out.
Participating in the International Recipe Contest
This Competition, organized by Indrani Sen, is a different kind of online competition. In fact, Indrani encouraged me to participate as the first round was posting a dessert recipe from the blog or submitting a recipe for non bloggers. As a result, I entered two of my recipes Haupia, which I absolutely love and Lemongrass and Ginger Jelly, an innovative recipe which I created to use lemongrass as the star ingredient. The Lemongrass and Ginger Jelly through votes from friends and family, and judges votes got selected in the top 10.
For the second round, we had to prepare any dish from starter to dessert, using coconut or orange. For this round no voting from friends and family but only selection by 6 who are chefs and food bloggers. I chose orange as my main ingredient. Especially since desserts are my forte, I decided to make a dessert. In addition to other criteria, the recipe had to be innovative.
Orange Phirni Shots
As I mentioned above, I made a fusion of the Persian Rice Pudding and the Indian Rice Pudding Phirni.
What is Phirni?
Phirni is a rice pudding made from soaked and crushed rice in a milk. The milk can be dairy or any nut milk. Usually cardamom is added for flavour. The soaked rice is crushed to a coarse paste. For this recipe I decided to use only fresh orange juice, orange zest and orange blossom water as the main flavor.
Persian Rice Pudding
For this rice pudding, a sticky or thick variety of rice is used. The rice is cooked to a thick consistency along with saffron and some add orange zest and orange blossom water. For my recipe I used orange juice, orange zest and orange blossom water. I omitted saffron as I wanted the orange flavour to stand out.
Pistachio Fudge/ Barfi
The whole idea of serving phirni in pistachio fudge cups came about when the whole thought that pistachio and orange pair well refused to leave my head. Initially I was planning to serve the orange phirni with tiny balls of the fudge. Then came the idea of making cups instead. Adding a bit of orange zest and the orange blossom water gave it a wow factor.
Orange and Chocolate pair very well. For ages I’d wanted to try my hand at making chocolate cups. Using mini foil cups, I brushed orange flavored melted chocolate thrice to prepare tiny cups. Orange phirni was filled into the cups.
Why Orange Phirni Shots and not normal servings?
Because of Diwali Season. Though there was no partying or mingling this year, my neighbors and I decided that we could sort of prepare food and share but have it within the safety of our homes. Thus the idea of making dainty dessert cups that one can just pick and enjoy in one bite or two. Must say, Orange Phirni Shots were a hit. Between 8 of us, the vote was equal for the pistachio fudge and chocolate cups.
Ingredients Required for Orange Phirni Shots
- Rice – I used basmati rice.
- Water – to soak the rice. Hot water to soak the pistachio and also some to make the fudge (barfi).
- Full Fat Milk – try and use full fat milk as that adds creaminess to the phirni
- Sugar – I’ve used refined sugar for both the phirni and the pistachio fudge (barfi)
- Fresh Orange Juice – for the phirni
- Orange Zest – finely grated orange peel for the phirni, pistachio fudge. Make sure when you grate the orange skin, do not grate the white part as its bitter.
- Orange Blossom Water – orange blossom water is made from orange blossoms or flowers. During distillation for the orange oil, orange water is the by product. Its a clear and very aromatic. A little goes a long a way.
- Pistachios – for the fudge or barfi. Need to soak the pistachios in hot water to remove the skin. Then the pistachio is crushed to a paste before making the fudge. Some pistachio for garnishing.. I used finely chopped pistachios.
- Melted Dark Chocolate – melt dark chocolate in the microwave oven or over hot water. I use a heatproof bowl which sits well on top of a pan. Boil some water in the pan. Place the bowl over it and add chocolate. Mix till it melts.
- Ghee or unsalted butter – required for greasing the fingers when shaping the pistachio fudge into cups.
- Gluten Free
- Best to enjoy Orange Phirni Shots in moderation as refined sugar is used
ORANGE PHIRNI SHOTS
FOR THE ORANGE PHIRNI:
- ¼ cup rice
- ½ cup water
- 3 cups full fat milk
- ⅓ -½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp orange blossom water
- 1 tsp orange zest
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
FOR THE PISTACHIO BARFI/FUDGE:
- 1 cup pistachios
- enough hot water for soaking
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp orange zest
- ½ tsp orange blossom water
- ½ cup water
- some ghee (clarified butter) or unslated butter for greasing
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CUPS:
- 100 g dark chocolate
- ¼ tsp orange blossom water
- some orange zest
- some grated dark chocolate
- some finely chopped pistachio
PREPARATION OF ORANGE PHIRNI/ ORANGE RICE PUDDING:
- Wash rice in a sieve or strainer. Put it in a small bowl.
- Add the measured water and allow the rice to soak for at least 20-30 mins.
- Drain out the water.
- Add rice to a food processor and process to a coarse consistency, must like grainy sand or semolina.
- If you don't have a small food processor then add the rice in a blender with some of the measured milk and process it to a fine grain consistency.
- Add milk and orange zest in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil.
- Add the rice paste and mix well.
- Lower the heat to medium. Keep stirring the mixture till it becomes thick much like custard consistency. Add sugar and keep stirring till the mixture is thick. This will take about 20 -25 minutes. Remember to keep stirring the mixture so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
- Add orange blossom water and mix well.
- Allow the phirni mixture to cool down.
- Add fresh orange juice and mix well. Put the phirni in the fridge to chill overnight or for at least 8 hours.
PREPARATION OF THE PISTACHIO FUDGE/ BARFI:
- Soak the pistachio in enough hot water for at least one hour.
- Drain out the water. Remove the skin from the soaked pistachio.
- Add the pistachio to a food processor and process to a paste. Don't overprocess as you don't want a nut butter.
- Heat the measured water, orange zest and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Stir so that the sugar melts.
- Allow the mixture to simmer till you get a one string consistency syrup. I usually press a bit of the cooled down syrup between my thumb and finger and open. If an unbreakable string is formed then the syrup is ready.
- Once the syrup is ready, add the orange blossom water and mix well.
- Then add the pistachio paste. The mixture will be runny.
- Keep stirring it using a spatula till the mixture comes away from the pan and forms into a dough. This process takes about 7-10 minutes.
- Take a small ball of the mixture. Allow it to cool and try it roll it into a ball. It should not stick to your hand or fingers.
- If it doesn't stick then the mixture is ready. Allow it to cool down just enough till its comfortable to handle.
- Grease small molds with some unsalted butter or ghee.
- Take about a teaspoonful of the barfi fudge, roll it into a ball.
- Put the ball in the mold, press it gently down and to the sides of the mould. Make sure the depression is enough to hold some phirni in it. I used silicon molds.
- Occasionally grease your finger tips to make the shaping process easier.
- Allow the pistachio fudge cups to set completely for at least 6-8 hours. I left mine overnight.
- Once set carefully remove the pistachio fudge cups from the molds.
PREPARATION OF CHOCOLATE CUPS:
- Melt chocolate either in the microwave oven or over hot water.
- To melt over hot water, take a saucepan and a heatproof bowl. The bowl should be able sit in the pan without touching the bottom of the pan or the water.
- Add water in the pan, quarter full. Bring it to a boil. Take the pan off the heat.
- Add chocolate to the bowl. Place the bowl over the hot water. Mix till the chocolate melts.
- Add the orange blossom water and mix well.
- Take a clean brush and foil mini cups or silicion molds. Add about 1 tsp melted chocolate to the mold.
- Using a clean brush, coat the sides of the mold with the chocolate. I used 12 foil cups.
- Put the cups in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.
- Pour about 1 tsp melted chocolate again in the cups, Coat the sides. Chill for another 10 minutes.
- Repeat the above step again. Allow the chocolate cups to chill till required.
ASSEMBLE THE ORANGE PHIRNI SHOTS:
- Remove the pistachio fudge cups from the mold. I made 18 cups.
- Remove the chocolate cups from the mold. I made 12 cups.
- Add some orange phirni into an icing bag. I used a plain round nozzle.
- Pipe the phirni into the cups.
- The remaining phirni I piped into mini jars. I got 2 of those.
- Sprinkle very little orange zest over all the filled cups and jars.
- Sprinkle some chopped pistachios over the chocolate cups.
- Sprinkle some grated chocolate over the pistachio cups.
- Sprinkle all three over the phirni in the jars.
- Served chilled.
- Please note that you cannot store the pistachio cups filled with phirni overnight as the cups will become soggy. Best to fill when required.
- The chocolate cup filled phirni stays well overnight in the fridge.
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