ROSE AND CARDAMOM
Fragrant and satisfying is this middle eastern inspired rice pudding. A lot of cuisine from Spain has notes of the Arab culture since it had such an impact in the country. In Spain, and many Hispanic countries, this dish is called “arroz con leche”, meaning “rice with milk”. The variations are endless due to the fact that rice is a staple food so it is very versatile. When I think of rice pudding I think of rose water or orange blossom water, cinnamon, and cardamom. They are my go-to flavours in desserts. That, and pistachio.
When I make rice pudding I usually make a large batch and I am lucky if it lasts for more than 2 days. We eat it for breakfast, as a snack, or as a dessert. Before we know it, there is nothing left. I like to have a saucy rice pudding. If you want less liquid, add less milk. I also don’t like my rice pudding to stick . If you want it to be stickier, don’t rinse the rice beforehand.
Start off by rinsing 1 cup of jasmine rice. This will help the rice stay loose. I like jasmine rice because of the grain size and it is well-suited for this dessert. The next step is to prepare the flavour. Crush 15 pods of cardamom for a subtle flavour but more if you want something stronger. To make things easier, tie them in a cheese cloth so that when the rice is finished, you can easily remove the spice. I also add a 2-3 inch stick of cinnamon.
Start by bringing 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the rice and bring to a simmer stirring frequently so that the milk and rice do not burn. The technique is very similar to making risotto.
Continue for about 5-10 minutes until it starts to thicken. Add 1 C of milk and repeat. Do this until a total of 6 cups of liquid has been used (including the one at the start that was mixed with the water).
Once the arroz con leche is complete, remove the pot from the heat and take out the cardamom and cinnamon. The final step is to stir in a bit more flavour. Add 1 Tbsp of rose water and 300mL of sweetened condensed milk.
I prefer to eat rice pudding cold so I will make this in advance for the next day. The rice will also plump up some more overnight and absorb the flavours better. You can sprinkle with nuts for a bit of added bite. Almonds or pistachios work nicely.
Arroz Con Leche
1 C jasmine rice
15 crushed cardamom pods
1-2 inch stick cinnamon
6 C milk
1 C water
1 Tbsp rose water
1-300mL can sweetened condensed milk
1. Bring 1 C milk and water to a boil.
2. Add cardamom and cinnamon.
3. Add rice and lower heat to a simmer.
4. Stir frequently until rice absorbs some liquid and starts to thicken. (5-10 minutes)
5. Add 1 C of milk.
6. Repeat steps 4 + 5 until all the milk is used.
7. Remove pot from heat.
8. Stir is sweetened condensed milk and rose water.
9. Let cool completely before serving.
Protein 16 g