Rice pudding is one of those foods that every region makes differently and it’s a really important food because its soft texture means it’s used by many mothers when weaning their children.
Coming from a Bengali family, my mother always made ours sweet and spiced with cardamom pods – this vegan adaptation tastes just as good.
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
60g basmati rice
1½ litres almond milk
6 green cardamom pods, crushed into a coarse powder, plus extra to garnish (optional)
50g brown sugar
20g toasted flaked almonds
Put the rice in a bowl with enough water to just cover it and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the crushed cardamom pods and let the milk come to a boil.
Add the drained rice to the boiling milk. Reduce the heat to low, then cook the rice, uncovered, for 2 hours at a gentle simmer, stirring regularly to break up the rice and ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
The milk will gradually reduce to about a quarter of its original volume. Once the rice and milk mixture has thickened to a thin porridge consistency, add the sugar and flaked almonds.
Continue to cook on a low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring often so that no lumps form.
Serve hot or cold scattered with more crushed cardamom, if you like.
‘Zaika’ by Romy Gill, published by Seven Dials, is out now