rice pudding is one of those dishes that is common to several cultures around the world: some make elaborate versions, some just boil stuff together, some garnish with rose water, raisins or nuts, while even others add in an egg yolk (or two) to make it a cream concoction. the rice pudding i am familiar with is from South India – typically made with cooked rice that is mixed with milk, sugar with crushed cardamom, and then boiled until it becomes a thick, sweet concoction.
while this traditional version is a delectable dessert, i am notentirely fond of it for two reasons – one, it is often very sweet, which results in me feeling satiated after a couple of spoonfuls. and two, it is usually served warm/hot – and that is a no-no for me. so, i decided to modify the traditional version and come up with one that would suit my taste buds – with brown sugar for its subtle sweetness and cinnamon for flavour. the end result was delightful :) it was light and flavourful with the different tastes coming together in a nice blend – simply superb! :)
here’s a fun fact for all you rice pudding aficionados – did you know that August 9th is National Rice Pudding Day in the US? (and there’s more: the US boasts an entire list of food holidays – yes, food celebrations for every day of the year! check it out here!)
*Photo from Getty Images
1/2 cup Basmati rice
1/2 cup Low-fat milk
1/4 cup Brown/Raw sugar
1/4 cup Condensed milk
1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla essence
Lightly toasted almonds, cut into slices for garnish (optional)
(*NOTE: increase or decrease the sugar, milk and cinnamon to suit your taste buds)
Making the Cinnamon Rice Pudding:
Cook the rice as normal, drain any excess water and keep aside to cool. Mix the low-fat milk, condensed milk and sugar in a thick-bottomed saucepan and keep on medium heat. Stir until the sugar and condensed milk and well blended. Increase the heat-level slightly, and heat the mixture until it starts to simmer. Add in the rice and allow the mixture to boil for about 5 minutes – it should become a bit thick in consistency, with the rice grains getting softer and soaking up the milk mixture. Keep stirring the mixture in intervals to ensure it doesnt burn. (This is the point when you can add more sugar if you find it to be less sweet than preferred.) The ideal consistency is a personal preference – keep it on heat longer if you like your pudding very thick, or take it off after the rice has become soft for a more saucey pudding. After the mixture has become sufficiently thick, take it off the heat and cool it until it reaches room temperature. Once it’s cooled, stir in the vanilla essence and cinnamon powder, and then refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Serve chilled, and garnish with slivers of toasted almonds.