Indian Rice Pudding

With the temperature in the 30’s there in the North Country, it wasn’t surprising that we desired comfort food. Rice pudding came to one daughter’s mind, and passed from there to mine, where the idea germinated into a Google search, and from there sprouted plans to use ingredients on hand.

Judging from the variety of methods and ingredients, I think you could have success with many different combinations. I didn’t write down what I came up with, but I think I can remember…

While the 1/2 cup of jasmine rice was soaking in warm water, I chopped 1/3 cup almonds.

One recipe called for “dried fruit” and suggested almonds, pistachios, and raisins. I found some currants to go with the almonds. The cardamom was for later on.

The yellow stuff is ghee, which I had brought along on the previous trip and forgotten to take home.

Lucky me, because I wanted it to for sautéeing the almonds and about 1/3 cup currants. If there is any better smell in the culinary world than this, I haven’t met it. I cooked the almonds and currants until the almonds were toasty brown.

In the meantime the rice had soaked for half an hour and after draining I added it to a quart of milk. (Some recipes used half coconut milk, and I have made many puddings without dairy, using primarily coconut milk, during church fasts.)

This pot needed frequent stirring over medium-low heat so that the pudding wouldn’t stick and burn. After perhaps 15 minutes it had thickened a bit and the rice was tender. That was the signal to add 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom, along with the ghee mixture.

After a few more minutes of cooking, the pudding was even thicker, and ready to eat. But we waited a while until it had cooled to warm.
It had a good flavor, but we had been looking forward to a more runny pudding. If I make this sort of thing again I think I’ll try using 50% more milk.

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