Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk

Rice pudding. Sweet, creamy, fragrant, delicately simple. Coconut rice puddings are generally made in South America and Asia. You can't go wrong with almost any recipe but this one has a little more flavour complexity to it with raisins, toasted pistachios and cardamom.

Using good basmati rice makes all the difference. Try going to an Indian or Middle Eastern Food Market and look for Lal Quilla or Tilda brands. As well, use coconut milk that has a high fat content. When selecting which brand to use- shake the can next to your ear. You shouldn't hear any liquids sloshing around. That's a good sign of a thick, creamy coconut milk.

Indian Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk
For a variation on this recipe, try substituting the whole milk for soy or rice milk. Or, try palm sugar or brown sugar in place of your regular sugar.

1 cup cooked long grain or basmati rice
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (or 1-2 pods green cardamon crushed with a pestle)
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup pistachios

In a large pot, medium heat, combine the cooked rice and milk. Heat until the mixture begins to boil. Decrease the heat to low and cook at a simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium, add the heavy cream, coconut milk, sugar, and cardamom and continue to cook until the mixture just begins to thicken again, around 10 minutes. Use a whisk to help prevent the cardamom from clumping.

Roughly chop the pistachios and toast in a fry pan. Once the mixture just begins to thicken, remove from the heat and stir in the raisins and toasted pistachios.

Transfer the mixture to individual serving dishes or a glass bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding. Serve warm or chilled.

MORE DESSERT RECIPES-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream
A light dessert of fresh strawberries and ricotta cream drizzled with a sweet balsamic reduction. This is the perfect recipe for the strawberry season.

Panna Cotta
Panna cotta in Italian means "cooked cream" and comes from the Northern region of Piedmont in Italy. The version uses buttermilk in place of cream which adds a nice tangy flavour to the custard.

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