Back home in East Tennessee, the only type of rice we ever eat is the Uncle Ben brand and when we do it’s always for dessert. We cook white rice, then add some milk and sugar. I used to love having that, dessert growing up. I never really had rice another way until I met my husband. Funny enough these days I cook basmati rice almost daily for my son and husband who think a meal is not complete without it.
Years ago when my family and I were living in Oklahoma we would sometimes go to this Indian restaurant after Jumah and it was so amazing. I still dream of eating there, but they had the most amazing rice pudding. I tried to get the owner to give me her recipe, but she would never budge. This rice pudding here though is really good in fact I ate it all myself and enjoyed every single bite. Towards the end if you feel like it’s a little too thick you can just add a little more milk and mix it up and it will be fine.
1/2 cup basmati rice
1 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1-3/4 cups whole milk
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1. In a 4-quart saucepan on high heat, add butter, rice and water. Bring to a full boil, cover and reduce to low for 15 minutes.
2. In another small saucepan on low heat, add milk, cardamom pods and cinnamon. Allow to warm and when the rice is finished carefully pour mixture over the rice in the pan. Add the sugar and cook on medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, until the milk has thickened.
3. In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolk, evaporated milk and lemon zest. Stir in a large spoonful of the rice mixture, mix well, then add the remaining rice mixture. Cook over a low heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring all the time, until the pudding is thick.
4. Remove the pan off the heat, remove the cardamom pods. Spoon into individual dessert bowls or glasses, garnish with peeled lemon skin.
Yields: 2 servings
It has been so hot in Riyadh so Talal and I have been trying a new popsicle recipe out every night. Some we loved and others, we hated. I made a few that ended up being flops and Talals ended up tasting great, this one included. We had some chocolate milk and made some really delicious ones from that. You can make strawberry juice just by blending up some fresh berries in the blender. We have tried some without the lime and the lime makes them taste so much better since it cuts through all that natural sweetness. Lime and strawberries really pair well together.
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1 cup strawberry juice
Juice of 1 lime
4 strawberries, diced
1. In a measuring cup, add strawberry and lime juice. In the popsicle molds add the diced strawberries evenly into 4. Carefully pour the juice into the molds. Place the lids on the molds and place in the freezer for at least 5 hours.
This Indian rice dish is one of my favorite recipes to whip up for lunch. It’s a vegetarian meal that will certainly fill you up, but of course it also makes a great side to any meat dish that you may serve for dinner. When I was in the states the only basmati rice we ever had available was always the one in the large sack which was very dirty and required soaking as well. Since living in Saudi and having many brands available I have fell in love with the brand Tilda. They sell out often and I just skip buying rice until it’s back. That’s how clean and good it is.
1 cup basmati rice, soaked and washed
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 small cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1 small white onion, diced
1 teaspoon ginger pulp
1 teaspoon garlic pulp
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 cups water
1. In a 4-quart saucepan on medium heat, add onion, ginger and garlic. Add cinnamon, bay leaf, cumin seeds, cardamom pods and potatoes. Mix and allow to cook for a few minutes.
2. Add rice, mix and water. Bring to full boil, reduce to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, carefully place rice onto a serving platter.
Yields: 4 servings