Chocolate Phirni with Nuts

Whoa! It's finally that time of the year when two Bongs on meeting after a long time don't ask each other Ki khobor? (How are you doing?) Instead they just sigh and say, Ki gorom porechhe, na? (Isn't it extremely hot?) Such is the sad tale of the Grand Bengal Summer of which I'm a current victim. Needless to say my sojourns near the gas have gone down by leaps and bounds. Instead of cooking thrice a day I now cook once in 3 days. But I'll soon muster some more strength and get back with a bang. Till then, you can expect a splatter of smoothies and cool drinks or salads coming your way. Not to mention the sweet treats of course. Come rain come sun, how can my a dessert a week challenge get affected? No sir!
This week, my pishai (paternal aunt) had come over for a few days. Now she is a vegetarian but an avid lover of sweets. Unfortunately, I have very few eggless desserts up my alley. So what I chose to give her was some old wine in a new bottle. I gave my traditional Kaju Phirni a chocolaty twist and added the goodness of nuts. Was the result better that before, you ask? Hell yes! Didn't you know that life is so much better with chocolates? :)
Serves: 8

Rice, soaked in water: 5 tbsp
Cashew nuts, soaked in water: a handful + for garnish
Almonds, soaked in water: a handful + for garnish
Milk, full fat: 1 litre
Dark chocolate: 200 gm
Sugar: 100 gm
Green cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp
Chocolate chips: for garnish


1. Drain and grind the rice, almonds and cashews to a coarse paste and thin the paste in some cold milk so that no lump remains.

2. Bring the chocolate to melt in a double boiler till it is smooth and luscious.

2. In another heavy-bottomed pan bring milk to a boil. Now take the pan off the heat and add the rice and cashew paste dissolved in the cold milk, whisking continuously.

3. Cook till rice is completely cooked, stirring constantly so that no lumps are formed.

4. Add the melted chocolate and keep whisking till the whole mixture turns into a rich brown colour. Don't skimp on the chocolate please, and use good quality dark chocolate because remember it's getting mixed with a lot of milk.

5. In the mean while, blitz sugar and cardamom powder together and add to the mixture till sugar is dissolved completely.

6. Pour into earthenware or glass bowls and chill in the freezer for 2 hours and then in the fridge overnight. Garnish with chopped nuts and chocolate chips and serve.


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