Diary of a Foodie

Rice Pudding

Diary of a Foodie: Season One: Just Desserts

  • Active Time:1 hr
  • Start to Finish:2 1/2 hr
January 2007
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons clarified butter (see Cooks' note, below)
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon roasted cashews, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sliced blanched almonds
  • 5 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Rinse rice well in a large sieve under cold running water, then transfer to a bowl. Add 2 cups cold water and let stand for 1 hour. Drain rice.
  • Heat clarified butter in a small skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook raisins and nuts, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes.
  • Bring milk to a simmer in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Transfer 2 tablespoons milk to a cup, then add saffron and let stand. Add rice to remaining simmering milk and cook, stirring frequently, until rice is tender, about 10 minutes. Add sugar and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened to a loose pudding consistency, about 35 minutes more. Stir in raisin-nut mixture, saffron milk, and cardamom and simmer 2 minutes more. Serve warm.
Cooks' notes: Pudding thickens as it cools. If necessary, thin with additional milk or cream.
To make 1 1/2 tablespoons clarified butter, cut 3 tablespoons unsalted butter into 1-inch pieces and melt in a very small saucepan over low heat. Remove pan from heat and let butter stand 3 minutes. Skim froth and slowly pour butter into a measuring cup, leaving milky solids in bottom of pan (discard milky solids).
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