Have you had rice pudding lately? If not, it’s time to try it again. I remember eating rice pudding as a kid. Sometimes my mom would put raisins in it and sometimes not. I preferred it without, but never turned it down in either case. I am an equal opportunity eater — have been for most of my life.
I was having friends for dinner and decided on an Indian menu. Rogan Josh (Lamb Curry), Rice Pilau (Indian Rice Pilaf with cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves and more) and simple steamed green beans.
I had no idea what to make for dessert. The night before I whipped up a killer batch of Lime Bars to take to dinner and they were a big hit, but I wasn’t in the mood to bake again. Since my guests were part of the same group I decided I couldn’t repeat myself.
The beautiful thing was that I had pounds of rice in the pantry and an oversized bag of Cardamom pods sitting right next to it. I was in luck!
Cardamom Rice Pudding. What a perfect way to end our dinner. I’d made fresh olive oil granola that morning after breakfast and knew the crunch would be the perfect topping for the rice pudding.
I was right! Perfecto! It was just the combination of smooth and creamy with savory crunch I was looking for.
Rice pudding calls for just a few ingredients. It’s quite possible you have everything you need in your kitchen right now. If you don’t have cardamom, don’t worry, you can leave it out. A teaspoon of cinnamon is great in rice pudding. If you have mint, crush a few sprigs and make coconut-mint rice pudding. Pulse mago or pineapple in a food processor or blender and add it at the end and you’ve got a truly tropical hit. Rice pudding is a rich and creamy treat and because of this, yields a lot of servings. Using a small sized cup like this, I could have scooped out at least 18 servings. It doesn’t weigh as heavily on the calories with a small portion of the treat.
I hope you’ll try this. We thought it was just the right ending to a delicious Indian meal. It was well worth a little bit of time in the kitchen. Do you like your rice pudding with or without raisins?
Recipe: Cardamom Rice Pudding
Summary: Sublime Rice Pudding with an Exotic Flavor
- 2/3 cups Basmati (or white) Rice
- 3 cups Whole Milk
- 1 can Coconut Milk
- 1 can lite coconut milk
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 9 Cardamom pods, separated
- pinch Salt
- In a saucepan, bring the rice and milk, and coconut milk to a boil.
- In the meantime, with the back of a knife, crush 3 of the cardamom pods to release the seeds.
- Throw away the pods.
- When the milk and rice has come to a boil, add the salt, sugar, cardamom pods and vanilla.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring from time to time until the pudding has thickened considerably, about 40 minutes. Now is the time for a taste to ensure the rice is just tender. You want it just a little more than al dente; it’s pudding, after all.
- Be sure to tend to the pot to ensure the rice is not sticking/burning.
- At this point, you can choose the thickness you like – if serving warm, or just slightly cooled, you’re probably done now. If you are going to cool and refrigerate, I prefer it slightly undercooked – it will thicken up in the fridge.
- Remove from the heat.
- Remove the whole cardamom pods — they’ll be faded, but easy to spot. The seeds remain and are a nice contrast to the white rice and milk.
- Let cool on a wire rack until cool enough to eat or place in the fridge to cool thoroughly.
- Add a topping of your choice, or none at all.