Cardamom Rice Pudding

When I think of pudding I mostly think of pudding cups. You know the ones that come in packs of four and feature the strongest plastic lid glue ever. I swear I learned to cuss trying to open those little buggers.

But in an adult world eating those pre-packaged, and likely preservative laden, treats is a no-no. So I bring unto you a more adult dessert.

That sounds slightly pervy, but I’ll stick with it. (Calling it out made it so much more awkward.)

This cardamom infused rice pudding is slightly exotic but still provides a level of comfort not unlike slipping into your favorite pair of cozy slippers.

I first tried “rice pudding” in the form of kheer at one of my favorite Indian restaurants in college. It was the first time I had ever tried a sweet rice dish. I was hooked.

Here I’ve tried to bring that little well-traveled recipe feel with cooking the liquid and rice with a scattering of cardamom pods. I used coconut milk because I feel it adds a certain depth to the sweetness, so your palate isn’t being hit over the head with a straight on sugar jolt.

Cardamom Rice Pudding, makes about 4 cups-ish…it made a lot.

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Ingredients

2 cans (13.66 oz is what I found) lite coconut milk (You could use whatever milk you wanted, cow, goat [maybe not; too gamey?], soy, almond, etc. I just like coconut for the flavor.)

1/2 can water

1 1/3 cup jasmine rice, uncooked

15 whole green cardamom pods, cracked open under a knife

1/3 cup sugar

toasted chopped/slivered almonds for serving, optional

raisins for serving, optional

toasted chopped pistachios for serving, optional

Method

1. In a one-quart saucepan, combine the milk, water and cracked cardamom pods. (Fill one of the milk cans with water and rinse out the two cans before adding. This way you get all the product for which you paid.) Heat the milk over medium heat until warmed through and you can smell the cardamom.

2. Add the rice and sugar and cook rice to package directions, usually about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir regularly. The pudding will thicken from the starch from the rice and the sugar melting.

3. Serve topped with toasted nuts and/or chopped dried fruit. I’d also try serving with chopped dried apricots or fresh if you have them on hand. This is divine served warm, but is also very good served cold. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

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