White Chocolate Phirni (Indian Rice Pudding) with Pomegranate Coulis

Phirni is popular Indian Rice Pudding made with ground rice and milk as main ingredients. Traditionally, it is flavored with cardamom and served chilled in earthen pots. Here, I took it one notch up by adding white chocolate to enhance the flavor profile and also served it pomegranate coulis. Pomegranate is used widely in Indian recipes but it is very underrated fruit when it comes to desserts. I think, our humble Indian Anaar (pomegranate) and white chocolate works as beautifully as raspberry- white chocolate combination. I also added ground almonds along with rice to increase its nutritional profile.

I personally think, decadent white chocolate and beautiful red pomegranate sauce perfectly represents the Valentines day theme. Go ahead and make this recipe and serve chilled to your loved ones.

Ingredients:

For White Chocolate Phirni:

Milk: 500 ml, (I used 2%. Can use whole milk for richer taste)

Basmati Rice: 3 tbsp, soaked in water for 30 mins

Almonds: 10-12, soaked over-night and skin removed or simply blanched

Brown Sugar: 1/4 cup (Any sweetener)

White Chocolate: 1/4 cup

Vanilla Extract: 1/2 tsp

Green Cardamom Powder: 1/2 tsp

For Pomegranate Coulis:

Fresh Pomegranate Juice: 1.5 cups

Honey: 2 tbsp

Cornstarch: 1 tsp (Optional)

Water: 2 tbsp

Method:

For White Chocolate Phirni:

Wash the rice in plenty of water and soak it for at least 30 minutes. Make a fine paste of the rice along with skinned almonds by mixing with two tablespoons of the milk in a blender and set aside.
In a heavy bottomed wide pan, bring the milk to boil along with brown sugar.
Lower the heat to medium and add in the rice and almond paste by stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
Cook the rice paste by stirring frequently to avoid burning at the bottom of the pan. Takes 15 minutes on medium heat.
When the milk thickens add in vanilla extract, cardamom powder and white chocolate and cook for a minute.
Switch off the flame and transfer to another bowl and stir for a minute to let it cool quickly.
Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or over night. You may see a thin film form on the top of Phirni during cooling process, just mix it with whisk and it will be fine.
Serve chilled with chilled pomegranate sauce on the top and chopped almonds

For Pomegranate Sauce:

In a sauce pan, bring the juice and honey to boil and reduce to half.
Add cornstarch and water to make slurry and add to the juice to thicken. This step is optional. You can serve the Phirni with reduced sauce as is.
Chill it for at least one hour before serving.
Top the Phirni with this sauce or mix it.

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