Turkish-Pakistani Rice Pudding
Rice pudding is the best 'welcome home' dish. You can always go for instant rice pudding which involves stirring packet rice into b...
Rice pudding is the best 'welcome home' dish. You can always go for instant rice pudding which involves stirring packet rice into boiling milk until it thickens. But that's cheating! I'm all for 5-minute cooking and there are many ways of making rice pudding, but I've found my Pakistani-Indian recipe with a Turkish flavour creates one of the best.
Recipe serves 6 • Cooking/Prep time 1.5hrs • Vegetarian/Halal
• 30g unsalted butter
• 2.5cm (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick or 1tsp ground cinnamon
• 175g (6 oz) short grain white rice such as basmati (or pudding rice)
• 1.2l (2 pts) semi-skimmed milk (whole milk/cream is too icky for my liking, otherwise, go with whole fat milk)
• 400ml evaporated milk (canned is fine)
• 175g granulated sugar
• 20ml rose water (optional)
• 50g (2 oz) raisins (optional)
• 50g chopped blanched almonds (soak them in hot water to easily squeeze the skins off)
• 50g chopped pistachio nuts
• Crushed seeds of 2-4 cardamoms (less is more!)
Wash and drain the rice. The starch levels and consistency of short grain rice makes it ideal for puddings so go with that.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the cinnamon over low heat. Add the rice and stir. Add the semi-skimmed milk and bring to the boil. Once boiled, reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes as the rice needs to swell up. Stir occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan base and sides.
Now add the sugar and evaporated milk and keep it on a simmer for another 20-30 minutes, keep stirring. A lot! Thin layers of the rice begin to form on the base of the pan which actually help the pudding develop flavour - just don't let it burn.
Buy ready de-shelled pistachios and chop
Add the rose water now, raisins and half of whatever chopped nuts you like. I'm not mad on raisins, so it's rose-tinted pistachio for me. Note: if you wanted a different flavoured rice such as vanilla just add that ingredient during the boiling milk stage (scrape the vanilla seeds).
Mix really well and let the mixture simmer for another 5-6 minutes or until the pudding is really thick. Then mix in the crushed cardamom seeds, give it a final stir and serve.
Decorate with the remaining chopped nuts. Eat hot or cold.
(Thank you, jazakallah eco-mum!)
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