Kitchen Table: Saffron Milk Rice Pudding

Serves 6 to 8

Try this easy rice pudding recipe for special guests, holiday dinners or whenever you want a sweet and creamy dessert.

• 1/2 cup long-grain rice
• Pinch saffron
• 3 cups milk, divided
• 1 cup water
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• Pinch ground cinnamon
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 drops rose water
• 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cashews
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios

1. Rinse the rice in cold water and drain thoroughly. Warm 1 tablespoon milk and soak the saffron in it. In a heavy flameproof casserole over medium heat, cook the rice with the soaked saffron, remaining milk, water and spices for 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

2. Reduce the heat to low, add the sugar and cook 15 minutes longer, or until the mixture blends and thickens. Remove the pudding from the heat and cool. Add the rose water, stir well and refrigerate until well chilled.

3. Just before serving, melt the shortening in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the cashews and raisins until the cashews are golden. Remove the pudding from the refrigerator. If it is too thick, thin it with up to 1/4 cup cold milk. Stir in the cashews and raisins. Spoon into dessert bowls. Garnish each serving with a circle of sliced almonds and a sprinkle of chopped pistachios in the center.

–Shubha B. Subbarao, Green Bay, Wisconsin

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