Sunday, 4 March 2007
Kitchen Wench is hosting a one-off event devoted to nostalgia.
We all have that dessert that Nanna used to make. This is mine. The one that my grandmother knew she could serve me seconds of without question. The one that made me scrape at the bowl for the last spoonful. Most importantly it is the one that helps you remember someone with warm memories rather than sorrow after they're gone.
Unlike everyone else in my family my Grandmother was a woman that avoided shortcuts. She was after all a woman that made fresh bread daily. My mother will happily make this pudding with evaporated milk while my Grandmother much preferred to stand over the pot for an hour, stirring constantly so the milk thickened to perfection. As a little trip down memory lane, I've decided to do it her way.
Dima's Payesh (Cardamom Rice Pudding)
2 litres milk
5 tbsp brown sugar or 2 tbsp fresh palm jaggery
5 cardamom pods (cracked)
3 tbsp raw rice
4 tbsp chopped pistachios
3 tbsp raisins
Wash the rice and leave to dry. Heat the milk in a large sauce pan. Pop in cardamom pods. Stir constantly as it simmers until reduced to 3/4 the original volume- between 10-20 minutes. Don't be tempted to leave this alone as the milk will form a skin and stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the rice at this stage and continue to stir until the rice is tender. Watch it carefully, it is not as forgiving as risotto and is likely to bubble over. Again this will take 10-20 minutes.
When rice is tender add the sugar and raisins. Feel free to fish out the cardamom pods if you feel your guests would be less than pleased with this spicy surprise in their pudding.
Let it boil and keep stirring until it reaches a thick creamy consistency- about 1/2-1/3 the original volume. This shouldn't take longer than 20 minutes but the final thickening happens rapidly and it will continue to thicken after taken off the heat.
Pour into a serving dish and top with a sprinkling of rose water and garnish with pistachios and almonds. Chill before serving and top with rose petals.
Note: If you can get palm jaggery stir it through after taking the pudding off the heat and skip the sugar.