Saturday, March 12, 2011

Indian Rice Pudding

There is a mediterrean restaurant here in Fort Worth that serves rice pudding on their lunch buffet. When a group of us went, we all remarked that there was a distinct flavor in it that we couldn't quite decipher... until we realized it was rose. I'm not sure if rosewater in rice pudding is a mediterrean dish, or an Indian dish, but it's unique and really, really good.

While looking up something else, I came across this recipe from Aarti and was so excited to see it had pistachios and rosewater in it, just like that restaurant. I've never made rice pudding but since I had all the ingredients on hand, and would be at the stove anyways, I thought I would try it for our dinner guests. It does call for rosewater but I didn't have time to get to the Indian market for some so I just subbed in vanilla. I also thought I had cardamom, which I didn't have afterall, so I threw in some cinnamon instead. Though I want to pick up both of those at the Indian market soon and make this dish again, it was still delicious with vanilla and cinnamon.

It's easy to make but does take attention. I was making 5 dishes at the same time and there were points when I didn't get to stir it as often but it still turned out well. My pot just needs some serious soaktime =)

Since I have the whole milk on hand, I'm going to make another pot of this soon. This says it makes 4 servings but I would double it next time, even for just 4 people. Each got a decent serving but there was nothing leftover (rats!).

Indian Rice Pudding
1/2 cup basmati rice
6 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (I subbed cinnamon)
1/2 cup sugar (I only used 1/4 cup, per reviews online, and it was PLENTY)
1 teaspoon rosewater, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons minced unsalted pistachios or almonds, plus extra for garnish

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring the rice, milk, and cardamom to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a heat-safe spoonula to help keep the milk from burning.

Reduce the heat so that the milk is gently simmering and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring often. The rice should be tender and the milk will have reduced by half, giving a porridge-like consistency.

Add the sugar, rosewater or vanilla, and pistachios. Stir and turn off the heat. Serve either warm or chilled, garnished with extra pistachios.

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