Rice pudding to us Bengalis is what birthday cake is to the rest of the world! I have had rice pudding or payesh, as we call it, on every single birthday while growing up in India. It remains, to this day, one of my all time favorite, comforting desserts!
This mango pudding is quite different than the one that my mother makes, primarily because the special kind of jaggery needed to make this dish is not available in the US. So it was out of sheer frustration and my single minded devotion to have some kind of a rice pudding, that I came up with this recipe! I used mango puree and caramel sauce instead of the traditional jaggery and ended up with this delicious mango rice pudding! Try it sometime! —Madhuja
Indian bay leaf (tejpatta)
3 1/2 cups
mango puree (I use canned Alphonso puree found at Indian grocery stores)
caramel sauce (homemade or storebought)
In a big non-stick pot, on medium-low heat, add the milk, heavy cream and bay leaf and stir continuously for 10-15 minutes. You want the milk to thicken up nicely.
Add the Arborio rice and keep stirring frequently. This is not a dish you can walk away from! The rice will take about 25-30 minutes to cook.
When the rice is almost completely cooked and just barely al dente, take it off the heat. Wait for two minutes and then add the mango puree, cardamom powder, 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce and salt. (If you don’t take it off the heat when you add these ingredients, you might curdle the milk). Gently mix it all together. Taste for seasoning. Depending on how sweet your mango puree is, you might have to add another additional 1/2 cup of the caramel syrup.