I love my four year old. I really do. And rice pudding really is about the most un-objectionable dessert you can make. He takes one look at it and announces, "I'm NOT eating THAT. It looks like BOOGERS." My husband simply gives him the flat look, scoops up his bowl and says, "Fine by me, sport." and proceeds to finish his bowl as well. At which point Jameson (the aforementioned son) looks slightly consternated, as if he'd been had.
To be fair to my son, this concoction does look a little like boogers. Not that I'm going to tell him that any time soon. Using mostly coconut milk and cooked risotto style this is a very rich dessert and not for the faint of heart or small-arteried. Small bowls are best. I simmered the coconut milk during dinner with the spices and then made the pudding while my husband did the dishes and played one game of Chutes and Ladders. Plumped golden raisins and chopped pistachios play up the Indian theme begun with the cardamom and coconut, but I make no claims on authenticity, just like the flavors. Hope you like it too!
I apologize if all the amounts are somewhat vague - as with risotto all amounts sort of depend on your taste and altitude and stove - just cook it until you think its done. —Niknud
13.5 oz coconut milk (full fat friends, let's not be scared)
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, gently warm the coconut milk with the vanilla bean, cardamom pods, cinnamon and brown sugar. Let the flavors develop while you eat dinner, wash your hair, weed your garden, whatever.
When you're ready to start the pudding, put the raisins in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Keep the kettle going with some extra warm water to hand in case you need to thin out the pudding a little.
Put the rice and a little of the strained coconut milk mixture (I used a strainer right over the pot) in another medium, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add more liquid and repeat. Once all the coconut milk is used you will probably need to keep adding some liquid as the rice won't quite be done. I used warm water until it got a little thin and then switched to milk. Here it is all a matter of personal preference.
Toward the end, stir in the golden raisins. Serve in small bowls and garnish with chopped pistachios. Try not to laugh at the wrinkled frunkle-face your child makes when he looks at the results of your labors.
This makes a lot of pudding. To reheat I suggest stirring in a little bit of extra milk, covering and heating for 30 seconds in a microwave for a single serving. Or put it back on the stove and slowly bring it up to temperature with some additional milk to loosen it up if you want to heat up the whole batch.
Full-time working wife and mother of two small boys whose obsessive need to cook delicious food is threatening to take over what little free time I have. I grew up in a family of serious cookers but didn't learn to cook myself until I got married and got out of the military and discovered the joys of micro-graters, ethiopian food, immersion blenders and watching my husband roll around on the floor after four servings of pulled pork tamales (with real lard!) complaining that he's so full he can't feel his legs. Trying to graduate from novice cooker to ranked amateur. The days of 'the biscuit incident of aught five' as my husband refers to it are long past but I still haven't tried my hand at paella so I'm a work in progress!