Strawberry phirni recipe, an easy dessert made with rice, milk, sugar and Indian strawberries
Strawberry phirni is a creamy, fruity, light dessert perfect to celebrate special occassions like birthdays, get togethers or Valentine’s day. Summer is upon us and the season for fresh strawberries is almost over. I’m trying to make the best use of these red beauties in my cooking. For Valentine’s day, I had prepared strawberry pudding using fresh strawberry puree and refrigerated the left over puree. I had to make good use of it so I decided on giving a twist to the classic traditional Indian dessert, phirni, by adding strawberry puree.
For those of you who are new to this Indian rice pudding and wondering what is phirni? Phirni is a creamy dessert prepared with full cream milk, soaked rice paste, sugar, caradamom and sliced pistachios or almonds and served in matkas or earthen pots. It has its origins in the Middle East before making its way to the Indian sub continent via the Mughals. You can make variations to basic phirni by addding rose syrup, mango puree, saffron, chocolate or strawberry. If you are looking for the basic rice phirni recipe, I have already blogged it. You can also check out mango phirni recipe.
I am always on the look out for easy indian strawberry recipes when fresh strawberries make their way into the market. We get our dose of Vitamin C by relishing sliced strawberries with chilled yogurt or oatmeal for those quick breakfast fix days. But I like to incorporate strawberries in a dessert due its natural sweet tart flavor and not to mention the luscious vibrant color it lends to the dish. I simply love the pink tone and the creamy lusciousness of strawberry phirni which makes it perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Strawberry phirni recipe is pretty straightforward and easy to make. Usually basmati rice is soaked in water for a few minutes before being ground into a smooth paste. This rice paste is gradually added to boiled milk till it cooks through and thickens. The phirni is sweetened with sugar and flavored with cardamom powder and finally finished off with the addition of fresh strawberry puree. But if you are running out of time and do not have the patience to soak the rice, rice flour comes to the rescue. You can add fresh strawberry puree or use strawberry coulis for a more intense fruity flavor.
Once you have spooned this refreshing delicious dessert into the serving bowl, you can drizzle strawberry coulis over the top and swirl it through creating a marbled effect. Top off with some sliced pistachios which add color and crunch. It is certainly a wonderful dessert to make when you want to impress your family and friends. Definitely, one of the best indian sweet dishes with strawberries would be strawberry phirni.
Learn how to make strawberry phirni
Strawberry phirni recipe
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 40 min
Basmati rice – 5 tbsps soaked for 15-20 mts in water, drained and ground to a fine paste with 1/2 cup milk
Full cream milk – 3 1/2 cups
Sugar – 1 cup (you can use 3/4 cup if strawberries are not too tart)
Strawberries – 12, washed, sliced and blend to a puree
Green cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp OR few drops of strawberry extract
Pistachios – fistful, blanched, peeled and sliced
Heat milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and bring to a boil. Simmer till it reduces to 3/4 th of its original quantity.
Drain the soaked basmati rice and grind to a fine paste with 1/2 cup of boiled milk. Remove to a vessel, mix well and set aside.
Once the milk is reduced to 3/4th of its original quantity, gradually add the ground rice mixture and keep on stirring till it blends well into the milk and it begins to thicken.
Keep on stirring so that the bottom does not burn. The stirring could take anytime between 15-18 mts. Add cardamom powder and sugar and continue to stir till the sugar dissolves and it forms a nice creamy mixture with no lumps.
Add the strawberry puree and mix into the mixture till well combined. Allow to cook on very low flame for less than a mt and turn off flame.
Remove to a bowl, bring to room temperature and chill until serving time. At the time of serving, spoon the phirni into the serving bowl, garnish with sliced pistachios.
If the strawberry phirni has turned too thick, add a few tbsps of boiled milk to loosen it.
If the strawberry phirni is too thin and runny, add 1-2 tbsps of rice flour mixed in 4 tbsps of water and add it to the simmering phirni and stir constantly till it turns thick.
At the time of serving, you can drizzle strawberry coulis on top and give it a swirl.