This creamy pudding, fragrant with cardamom, adds a nice balance to a spicy Indian meal. It is rich; therefore, small portions will be very satisfying. Although it is simple to prepare it does demand a lot of stirring; so read a book, or prepare other parts of your meal while you are tending to this task.

SERVES 6

5 cups milk

Вј cup white rice (preferably converted rice)

в…“ cup honey

Вј cup chopped almonds, toasted

в…“ cup raisins

Вј teaspoon ground cardamom

ВЅ teaspoon rosewater (optional)*

Chopped almonds for garnish

*Rosewater can be purchased at specialty food shops and some pharmacies.

  1. Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Stir frequently to prevent a skin from forming. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the milk at a lively simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the rice and continue to cook over medium heat for 30 more minutes, or until the rice is very soft. You must continue to stir frequently to prevent the mixture from overflowing or sticking to the bottom. If any skin forms, remove and discard it.
  3. Add the honey, almonds, raisins, and cardamom. Cook 5 more minutes, or until the pudding is thick enough to lightly coat a spoon. (It gets very thick when chilled.)
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the rosewater. Pour the mixture into a large bowl or shallow pan (for quick cooling), cover with foil or plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. Stir occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
  5. Serve in goblets or custard cups and garnish with some chopped almonds.

NOTE: Converted rice is considerably more nutritious than regular white rice because the rice is partially cooked (before the bran and germ are removed) in such a way that the nutrients are forced into the core of each kernel, then the bran and germ are removed so that the rice is white.