Rice pudding speaks comfort food to your taste buds. This version shouts out Indian spices—cardamom and saffron—and flavors—rosewater and pistachios—as enchanting as the country of India itself. It is well worth a special trip to an ethnic food market, if needed, for the seasonings.
Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour plus chill time
For Rice Pudding:
1/2 cup basmati rice
1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons rosewater
4 cups fresh California strawberries, stemmed and quartered
1/3 cup chopped toasted pistachio nuts
1. To make Indian Rice Pudding: Place rice in a sieve; rinse under cold water until water runs clear. In a small saucepan, combine rice with enough water to cover; let sit 15 minutes. Drain rice; add 3/4 cup water. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 15 minutes, or until rice is tender and water is absorbed.
2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine milk, the 1/2 cup sugar, cardamom, saffron, and rice. Over medium heat, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 45 minutes or until milk is absorbed and rice is creamy. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Cool to room temperature.
3. To make Rosewater Strawberries: In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer the 3/4 cup sugar and water just until sugar dissolves. Cool; stir in rosewater. Combine syrup with strawberries in a bowl; cover and chill.
4. To serve, divide rice pudding among 6 dessert bowls. Spoon 2/3 cup Rosewater Strawberries around pudding in each bowl, making sure to include some of the syrup; sprinkle with pistachio nuts. Makes 6 servings.
Source: California Strawberry Commission