Indian Inspired Coconut Rice Pudding

I had some left-over basmati rice in the fridge the other day along with a bit of coconut cream. Did you know you can freeze rice and thaw in the refrigerator? It reheats just fine.  Or you can make rice pudding.

I wouldn’t have thought it would take about 40 minutes give or take a couple to cook this pudding, but it does. And yet, even with the extended time on the stove the rice is perfectly al dente. If you want the pudding a bit more liquid stop the cooking process at about 25 or 35 minutes. 

Regardless of the total cooking time keep an eye on while it’s simmering and stir quite often. Otherwise, it will likely burn on the bottom. After about 25 minutes pick up the pace and stir constantly to the desired consistency. Makes six – 4 oz servings

1/2 cup (1 oz/ 30 g) sweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup (1 oz / 30 g) sliced, blanched almonds
2 cups (8 oz / 225 g) cold, cooked basmati rice
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (2 oz / 55 g) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon koser salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup (2 oz / 60 g) golden raisins

Optional ingredients:
2 wide strips of orange zest
Drizzle of pure maple syrup
Drizzle of heavy cream
Replace cardamom with ¼ teaspoon cinnamon or a few grindings of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast the coconut and almonds in separate pans (as they may finish at different times) for 7 – 8 minutes or until lightly golden and fragrant. Remove each to separate bowls and set aside to cool.

In a heavy bottomed 2 1/2 – to 3-quart saucepan add rice, milk, coconut cream, heavy cream, sugar, orange zest (if adding), cardamom, and salt.

Bring just to a boil; then lower heat and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 40 minutes. (I used a flame diffuser to keep the heat under control.)

When the pudding has reached the desired consistency, remove from the heat, stir in vanilla and raisins. If serving immediately, divide into individual serving bowls, sprinkle with toasted coconut and sliced almonds and serve. If storing for even a short time, omit the toasted coconut and almonds until ready to serve. Cover with plastic wrap pressing down directly on the pudding to keep it from forming a skin. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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