April 20, 2010

Oriental Rice Pudding....

If you are new to my blog , please read my Welcome Note first .

I woke up this morning with an incredible urge for Oriental rice pudding. I stress the word Oriental here because I remember in England you could buy those canned Ambrose rice pudding that tasted like plastic and glue.
If you have any of those tinned things do me a favor - give it to your cat...chances are that not even he will eat it.

I have an easy and sure recipe for a very tasty rice pudding, oriental style. No two people will give you the exact same recipe for the exact same dish....there will always be variations and through much experimenting, trial and error I found this one to be one of the easiest and tastiest - provided of course, that you like Rice Puddings.

For two people you will need the following

- 1/2 cup of SMALL grain rice (risotto rice is fine)
- 2 1/2 cups of full fat milk (if you don't like full fat, use skimmed but the result is not guaranteed)
- 1 tsp of ground cardamon (this is optional but a MUST for ME)
- 3 tbs of Orange Flower Water also called Orange Blossom water ( A MUST)
- 11/2 tsp of white Sugar ( I don't like it sweet, but you are free to use more sugar if you need to)

Now to work

- I have given you in the past some tips about cooking rice - in this instance you need to forget everything I told you about cooking rice. Because this time we will cook it differently.

1) Wash rice thoroughly and leave it to soak in cold water
2) bring to boil the milk
3) drain the rice and add it to the milk
4) add the cardamon, the sugar and the orange flower water
5)let the whole thing boil ONCE and
6) STIR and you will be doing much stirring
7) Keep stirring and lower HEAT TO A MINIMUM -
8) keep saucepan covered and let the liquid be absorbed
9) keep checking on it and stir and stir some more. You want to make sure that neither the rice nor the milk take on a brown hue. NO BROWN HUE . so keep stirring.
10) if you feel that the milk has been completely absorbed and the rice is still al dente -a) if you're using full fat milk, add a little water b) if you're using skimmed milk, use more milk, and KEEP STIRRING..... contrary to traditional Middle Eastern rice, this one must be stirred till sticky.
11) as the rice is fully cooked, keep stirring until you feel  it to thicken. You don't want a watery soup here so keep stirring.until you get the right texture
12) once the desired texture is reached pour your rice pudding into a bowl. (I use two separate bowls)
13) Leave it to cool completely only then can you keep it in the fridge. It is best served cold or at room temperature.

For the decoration 

Here people use crushed pistachios without the skin (obviously).
I decorate my rice pudding bowl slightly differently with the following

-  a mixture of dessicated coconut and cinnamon powder that I mix together and sprinkle over the bowl with one or two pistachios stuck in the middle (with no skin obviously)
- I sometimes also use half of an apple slice that I place on top and on top of the slice I put a tiny spoon of rose petal jam. Rose petal jam is a jam made in Heaven, And it goes very well with the rice pudding.

Try it and let me know. And if you reach Heaven, don't forget my name :-)