Black Rice Phirni: Manipuri Dessert


Manipur, a north-eastern Indian state, has a culinary tradition that is diverse, healthy and colourful. Manipuri Cuisine is marked by the abundant use of rice, fish and leafy green vegetables Recently, its ‘Chakhao’  or ‘Black Rice’ bagged Geographical Indication (GI) tag.  Black rice of Manipur is the principal dietary food of the locals in the state, highly nutritious and healthy.  It was first originated in China, due to its rare availability and high prices, it became ‘forbidden’ to the common man.  

Black Rice: ‘Superfood’: 

  1. It is high in the antioxidant quotient. Antioxidants boost immunity levels and help your body stave off various ailments and infections better.  
  2. Anthocyanins are said to be helpful for reducing heart attack prospects. It reportedly plays a role in preventing plaque buildup in artery walls. They are also helpful in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. 
  3. Studies have revealed eating black rice can also help keep some dreaded ailments at bay. It may prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  

Black rice phirni or Chakhao Kheer is the traditional dessert of Manipur. It’s naturally sweet and creamy, with a soft texture. The rich aroma of cardamom enhances the flavour of the dish. It is served as a delicacy during community feasts.  The team of Anardana have been able to recreate this delicacy intricately.  

The Recipe: 

1.5 litres full-fat milk 

½ cup black rice 

½ cup sugar, adjust to taste 

4 green cardamoms, powdered 

A pinch of salt 

Sliced almonds, to garnish 


  1. Soak the black rice for approx. 30 minutes. Drain and grind to a coarse paste.  
  2. Bring the full-fat milk to a boil in a thick bottom vessel. Add black rice paste and cook on low heat, stirring frequently. Stir frequently and scrape the sides and bottom to stop the milk from sticking to the vessel and burning. 
  3. Add sugar when the black rice is half cooked, mix well and continue to cook on low heat until the black rice is cooked, the milk reduces and the phirni thickens. Adding sugar later will result in uncooked sugar and may change the texture of your black rice phirni. 
  4. Once the black rice phirni thickens and is completely cooked, add cardamom powder and turn off the heat. Let it cool to ambient temperature. 
  5. Transfer the black rice phirni to Earthen cups (shikoras) or mould of your choice and chill. Garnish with toasted almonds for extra nutty texture (optional). 

Tip: To make your phirni more aromatic add a little rose water kewara. Tastes best when chilled.  

Share the pictures of your phirni, tag us, dm us on @anardanakitchen or Order now from Anardana, we are available on Swiggy and Zomato! 

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