Rice pudding is a bit like Marmite in that you either love it or hate it. For some (John) it conjures up awful memories of boarding school; for me, I can remember as a child having it warmed up from the can after a Sunday roast with a big dollop of jam in the middle of my portion and later, as a teenager, eating it cold from the can as a treat!!!!!! Anyway, whatever your association, this recipe will be very far removed. Its beautifully creamy texture is contrasted by the sweet, exotic, middle-eastern flavour created from the infusion of cardamom seeds and rosewater: it’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted before and quite delicious – ideal to round off a spicy dinner.
What you need…
115g pudding rice
580ml cold water
300ml double cream
300ml full fat milk
4 green cardamom pods
80g caster sugar
2 teaspoons rosewater
20g unsalted pistachio nuts, finely chopped
What to do…
Put the rice in a sieve and rinse under cold running water. Transfer the rice to a medium-sized saucepan and pour in the cold water. Pop the lid on and bring to the boil over a moderate heat.
Reduce the temperature to low, remove the lid and simmer until nearly all the water has been absorbed, stirring frequently to prevent the rice sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the cream and milk. Bring the mixture back to the boil and then reduce the heat to low again. Simmer gently for 25 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the rice pudding has thickened to the texture of sloppy porridge. (I did the ironing during this part, stirring every time each item of clothing was finished!)
Use the side of a knife blade to gently press down on the cardamom pods to crack them open. Extract the seeds and crush them – a pestle and mortar are ideal for this. Add the sugar and cardamom seeds to the rice pudding and cooking for a further 2 minutes, stirring the whole time.
Remove from the heat and stir in the rosewater. Divide between 6 bowls and sprinkle the pistachios – absolutely delightful!
It cooks itself really, whilst you get on and do other things!