After our visit to the Indian festival last weekend, we ended up at the neighboring mall, specifically at the bookstore since my son was fixated on getting a free balloon (which totally made his day!). While there, the Easy Indian Cookbook immediately caught my eye…I figured it must be fate having just enjoyed samosas and mango lassi! The ‘easy’ in the title was appealing too since the last time I tried my hand at Indian food I didn’t have much luck. But I figured I’d try again.
This rice pudding was delicious! The fragrant spices were just the same as those I’ve had while dining out at authentic Indian restaurants and wasn’t at all difficult to conjure up. It took a fair bit of attention, to keep stirring it regularly in order to avoid having the rice stick to the bottom of the pot and the milk from boiling over but it was worth it, for sure.
I put 5 shelled pistachio nuts and 5 shelled almonds in a small dish of very hot water and let them soak for 10 minutes, then drained them. In the meantime, I combined whole milk and basmati rice in a medium saucepan and cooked it over medium heat until the milk was mostly absorbed and the pudding was thick. This took about 20 minutes. I stirred the mixture regularly during this time. After the nuts had cooled a little, I finely chopped them. Once the pudding was fairly thick, I added the chopped nuts as well as the seeds from 4 green cardamom pods. Honestly I only discovered that cardamom pods have seeds that can easily be removed when reading through this cookbook but it wasn’t at all tough. I smashed the cardamom pod with the back of a spoon. Once it opened, I was easily able to remove the seeds. After a few more minutes of simmering, I added in 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and cooked until dissolved. I served the pudding at room temperature but it would be wonderful cold as well. I’m definitely excited to try more recipes from this book (they sound amazing!) and I’ll let you know how it goes when I do.
Indian Spiced Rice Pudding (adapted with minimal changes from Easy Indian Cookbook)
5 pistachio nuts, shelled
5 almonds, shelled
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup basmati rice
seeds from 4 green cardamom pods
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1. Place the pistachio nuts and almonds in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Remove from the water and once cool enough to handle, finely chop the nuts. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and rice and cook over medium heat until most of the milk is absorbed and the pudding starts thickening, about 12-20 minutes.
3. Stir in the chopped nuts and cardamom seeds and continue cooking for 3 more minutes. Then stir in the sugar and continue cooking another 5-6 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the rice is fully cooked and milk is mostly absorbed.
4. Serve at room temperature or cold.