I’ve been seeing so many Horchata recipes popping up in my feeds and its fundamental flavours reminded me so much of some of the Indian desserts I grew up with. I was particularly taken back to Phirni, a milk-based pudding lightly set with either rice flour or semolina. I found a recipe in an early edition of the South African Indian kitchen’s holy tome, the Indian Delights by the Women’s Cultural Group of Durban. Here it is, with just a few adjustments for taste and texture.
Cinnamon Phirni Drink
(adapted from Indian Delights, 3rd Impression, Circa 1975)
- 4 cups milk
- 4 TBSP rice flour + 3 TBSP milk
- 3-4 TBSP coconut sugar/sweetener to taste
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pour the milk into a pot over medium heat.
Mix the rice flour into the additional milk to create a slurry.
Add the rice flour liquid to the pot just before the milk reaches a boil.
Add the sweetener, cardamom and cinnamon to the pot.
Simmer until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a thin porridge.
Remove from heat and pour into shallow bowls or cups.
Either drink as is, or chill before serving. Garnish with additional cinnamon.
If you require a bit more sweetness, top with maple syrup.
This mixture may also be frozen and served as a light ice cream.
Pictured with Nutella Monsterbuns (ready-made supermarket bread dough kneaded with Nutella to create a marbled effect before baking as rolls.)