Monday, August 17, 2009

Made For Sharing

As I've mentioned before, I'm fortunate enough to have some truly magnificent lady friends here in the mountains of North Carolina. I was again reminded of this last night, when, in the company of a group of both new and long-established lovelies, we laughed, conspired, cackled, imbibed, and chowed down. 
Liz White, costumer-extraordinaire (she makes wedding dresses, too, AND she has 14 chickens in her urban backyard!), opened her home for a girl's night-in. We all brought a little something to nosh on, while Jen whipped up exquisite cocktails (ginger brandy-need I say more?). Meg, Alisa, Nicole, Jenny, Kelly, Janell, Sara, and co. all offered up their special something or other. 
Me, I brought rosewater, cardamom & pistachio rice pudding. It's my go-to pudding of choice; it couldn't be easier to make and it combines all of my favorite flavors in one pot. Invite your favorite ladies over, whip up a pot of this pudding, and enjoy the easy laughter that comes from good times with inspiring friends. 

Rosewater, Cardamom & Pistachio Rice Pudding
*Recipe from here. Keep in mind that this is a traditional Indian rice pudding, meaning it will be both lighter (i.e. more liquid) and less sweet than western rice puddings. In my mind, those are assets, not drawbacks.

The Goods:
1/2 cup uncooked white basmati rice, rinsed 
1/2 gallon 2% or whole milk 
5 green cardamom pods 
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds 
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus more for garnish 
1 tablespoon rose water

The Deal:
-Boil rice and 2 cups water in a medium pot over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, or until rice is about one-quarter of the way cooked. Drain well and set aside. 
-In a saucepan, bring milk and cardamom pods to a boil over medium heat. Add rice and cook for 40 minutes, or until rice is soft and milk is very thick. (Stir occasionally at first and then constantly when the milk begins to thicken, after about 30 minutes, to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan.) 
-Add sugar, almonds, ground cardamom and nutmeg and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and set aside. Stir in rose water. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with grated nutmeg, if you like. Serve warm or chilled.

*Image from here.


nicole said...

that pudding is LOVELY. very delicate and delightful.

Anonymous said...

Your pudding sounds very good! Perhaps I will venture out and make some!It is such a blessing that you have so many friends to enjoy your free time with.Enjoying everyday life is so important!!!Love MOM!!!

Cyn said...

This sounds just delicious! Can't wait to try it. Is that your mom commenting above?

Ashley English said...

Yuppers, Cyn, 'tis my mom, the one and only!

Anonymous said...


What Possessed Me said...

Ahhhh...heaven. I love anything with rose water in it. It seems so romantic.

Jeremy said...

Any chance I could make that pudding as a gentleman, and serve it to gentlemen friends?

ashley english said...

Jeremy, my husband is a big fan of this pudding, and, were he to have a "guy's night in" equivalent, I've no doubt it would be received with much delight from his gentlemen friends.

Megan said...

I loooove cardamom, and I have been wanting to make this for years but never got around to it. This is the year! (Perhaps even the week.)

Thinking about using coconut milk instead...

sara kate eubanks said...

i'm curious where i would find cardamon pods? can't wait to try this out!

ashley english said...

Hi Ske! Looks like you're in the Asheville area, so you can find cardamom pods at Greenlife, Earth Fare, or the Fresh Market (possibly even Ingles, too). Otherwise, while it is possible to find them at large grocery stores chain, if unsuccessful, you could try a foreign food store.

sara kate eubanks said...

great ashley! i came across your blog from a fb post of kelly golds (about the rice pudding). so fun to have found it. will look forward to the published book. - sara kate