Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cardamom and Rose Water Rice Pudding

In the 'Travel' folder of my favorite bookmarks, I have the Rice to Riches website linked.
To me, travel consists mostly of eating, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that the folder doesn't contain many hotels, cheap flight deals, or online translation helps, but just a slew of restaurant links, bakery websites and promos for a few dream wine vacations (someday). I meant to get to the rice pudding mecca when I was in New York the last time, but it didn't happen.

Well, that's not totally true, I did get there--I walked in and then back out.

I love rice pudding, hot or cold, and I had heard enough buzz from friends about Rice to Riches, that I knew I was going to have to get down to Little Italy and taste for myself; however, when I got there I couldn't bring myself to order. Maybe I should blame the large Lombardi's pizza we had just scarfed down. Perhaps the Katz's pastrami on rye, enjoyed only an hour before the pizza, wasn't quite laid to rest, or I was still experiencing cramping from those oh-so-heavy Upper West Side bagels.

Whatever it was, at that moment , standing in the ultra-modern, one-and-only Rice to Riches, surrounded by people hunched over orange plastic bowls, I knew that it would have to be enjoyed the next time I was in town.

Still, I'm not totally convinced though. To me rice pudding should be something simple, not over the top. It should be slightly perfumed, maybe jazzed up with a handful of currants or toasted coconut.
You know, satisfying and straightforward.

Does Cookies and Cream Rice Pudding with Toasted Buttery Pound Cake sound like this to you? See for yourself; check out the Rice to Riches menu for more wild flavors such as Rum 'n Raisin, Rocky Road and Pecan Pie. It's like they swapped menus with Baskin Robbins or something.
Even now, while battling a serious case of the late-night munchies, these choices don't sound particularly appealing.

I'll tell you what does do it for me in the rice pudding department. A little recipe for traditional Persian rice pudding, delicately flavored with the aromatic rose water and cardamom, adapted from the superb Seductions of Rice by the talented Jeffery Alford & Naomi Duguid. I enjoyed this dessert so much I am wondering if I need ever head south for the Big Apple's famed rice pudding hot spot.

Oh well, I hear they ship. (How appetizing does that sound?) But trust me, simmer a pot of this rose water and cardamom rice pudding on your stove for a few hours and you will never need to leave home.

Satisfying and straightforward, simple and seductive.

Cardamom and Rose Water Rice Pudding

1 cup short-grain rice
4 cups whole milk
2 cups water
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons rose water
Seeds from 2 cardamom pods, ground
Pale honey (optional)

Wash the rice thoroughly. Combine in a large heavy saucepan with the milk and water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to very low and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 2 hours, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed; the texture should be slightly soupy.

Stir in the sugar, the rose water and cardamom and cook, stirring, for another five minutes. Taste and stir in more sugar if you want. Transfer to a serving dish and let cool to room temperature.

If you wish, just before serving drizzle a little honey over the pudding and garnish with chopped pistachios.

Serves 6


April said...

Yum, rose water has definately become a part of my life...I actually put a few drops into my spray bottle for ironing or in my bottle of water to drink! This recipie looks quite lovely

Peter M said...

I've never been a fan of rosewater but your pudding makes me want to give it another chance...bravo!

Mandy said...

My partner would love that recipe with it's middle-eastern flavour influences. I'll have to give it a try!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I love rice pudding, hot or cold. I've never had it with cardamon and rose water, but I like those flavours.

winedeb said...

Never have tried rose water, but I can almost smell it! Aimee those photos are wonderful! That dark background really highlights your pudding! Makes me want to grab a spoon!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Good food can make or break a vacation..of course the location has something to do with it as well...but the food!!!!My dad loves rice pudding of all kinds so we grew up on it. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Sounds fabulous! I agree that sometimes more is just more. Taking a simple, comfort food and trying turn it into something swanky just isn't right.

Anonymous said... dont have me convinced. chocolate chip cookie dough was divine, however much like an ice cream flavour it was ;)

David Hall said...

Cardamon is perfect with a rice pudding eh? Beautiful. I sometimes stir in a few pounded black seeds before a slow cook without telling people. When they ask what it is that is making it so different, I don;t tell them, hee hee!


Aimée said...

Hi April- Gotta get some rose colored glasses now, eh? :) Orange blossom water is lovely, too.

Hi Peter- Oh that's good! You may surprise yourself and enjoy it!

Hi Mandy- I am happy to have inspired you, let me know how it goes!

Hi Amanda- Did you grow up with rice pudding, too? I love the British version as well.

Hi Deb- Thank you! I hope you can get your hands on some rose water sometime, it's lovely splashed on a fruit salad.

Hi Valli- How true! Did you make rice pudding for your kids,too?

Hi Lynn- It's certainly a fine line but of course people are entitled to their own opinions.

Hi Miranda- Hmm, interesting. You have to try mine, though!

Hi David- I am happy you agree! I like your cardamom cooking ideas!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds sensational. Cardamom is such a fantastic flavour.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Aimée, you have taken rice pudding to a whole new level, my dear friend - this is luscious and so fancy! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow. I've been noticing a lot of rice pudding recipes lately all over the food blogs, but this one seems the most elegant and delicious!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Funnily enough I didn't like it as a child. Many years later I arrived at my best friend's house for a dinner party. She announced we'd be having rice pudding to which I quietly said I didn't like it. She told me to say that again after I'd tried it. She was right - it is seriously the best rice pudding I've ever had. I got the recipe and I make it, but only sometimes as it's loaded with sugar and cream.

Lance said...

cardamom and rosewater? what an interesting combination. And rice pudding... what more could you want?

This looks great.

Anh said...

Aimee, what a wonderful dessert! I love cardamom a lot! And adding rose water must be a bonus!

Aimée said...

Hi Cedar- Welcome to UtHC! Thanks for stopping by. I hope those fires are put out soon for you down there in San Diego.

Hi Patricia- Somethings deserve a lift every now and then, right?!

Hi Hillary- Welcome. I am so happy you like the look of my rice pudding. You are too kind!

Hi Amanda- Too cute. I can remember squirming in my seat a few times at friends houses because of the menu, too.

Hi Lance- Thank you for visiting UtHC! Good luck with your new blog.

Hi Anh- These must be flavors that you are very familiar with. Yes, I was happy with the combination.

Anonymous said...

So... did anyone actually *try* the recipe? If so how was it? Anything one should watch for? - "a rice pudding recipe seeker"

Anonymous said...

Hi anonymous! I'm taking the liberty of answering your question since I've made this SEVERAL times now (thanks, UtHC!). I had to cut the rose water way back - due to the brand I used, not the recipe, of course, and I also used about twice the cardamom. I love it, and the pods I had were pretty old, so be careful!
All in all a delightful and easy treat...

chispita said...

Made this last night and it was amazing!

Used the amounts on the recipe, though I added one more tablespoon of rose water and a little bit (not much) of lemon zest.

I also used coconut water instead of plain water, but you can't taste it at all.

Also, I did not need as much cooking time as the recipe calls for. I played it by eye, letting it simmer till the texture looked right and I think it took about 30-45 minutes.

Since it's pretty filling, I would say the amounts given make for 6-7 servings.

A Bowl Of Mush said...

I love anything rose flavored!
I've had cardamom rice pudding but I never thought of adding rose water to that! Sounds delicious!

Anonymous said...

This pudding is delicious. My mom has been trying for years to re-create my great grandmother's rice pudding recipe and as soon as my mom tried this recipe, she was overjoyed. My mom could have sworn that my great grandmother just combined milk and rice and let it simmer for hours, but she couldn't find a recipe with the right proportions until this one. The only difference is that my great grandmother added cinnamon and butter instead of cardamom and rose water at the end. Thank you for helping solve a family mystery!

sirenang hardinera said...

I wondered what to do with some sweet brown rice in the pantry left over from when my mother made our Filipino Biko. I googled and stumbled upon your website when I was looking for a rice pudding recipe. I got excited when I read rose water in the list of ingredients! I already have rose water which I intend to use for Baklava. But it looks like I will be making your recipe first!

Anonymous said...

This may sound crazy, but I would like to use cut-steel oats in place of white rice for a healthy twist. I would still add the cardamon and rose water. I hope it tastes good, as I cannot have white rice in my diet. :(


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