Vikram Vij says the key to this cardamom-scented rice pudding is using the best quality Indian basmati rice. The key to great rice pudding is to cook it slowly on low heat and make sure that the milk never sticks to the bottom of the pan. Rice pudding can be eaten as a warm, hot or cold dessert. If you wish to serve it chilled, wait until the pudding is at room temperature before putting it into the fridge.
10-12 green cardamom pods
3/4 cup basmati rice
12 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup chopped raw unsalted almonds
- Lightly pound the green cardamoms and peel off the pods. Empty the brownish black seeds into a medium pot. Discard the pods.
- Add rice and milk and bring to a gentle boil on medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring gently and regularly, for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Never scrape the bottom of the pot while stirring, otherwise you may get bits of slightly burned milk in your pudding. As the rice and milk cook, the consistency will become more and more like pudding. If the rice begins to clump or the milk begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, stir more often or turn down the heat slightly. (The milk burns quickly once it sticks and gives the entire pudding a burnt taste.) Remove the pot from the heat and add sugar. Stir well.
- To serve: Divide rice pudding among individual bowls. Sprinkle almonds over the pudding just before serving.
Yield: Makes 10 cups