Sending and receiving Christmas greeting cards via snail mail (postal service), listening to Christmas carols (mostly sung by Jim Reeves before my collection progressed to other singers) on an old cassette player, setting up the crib (mini scene of the Nativity of Jesus) using sand, stones, bricks, hay and other random things from the yard, putting up decorations on a real Christmas tree (usually a casurina tree that grew in the garden), going to the church for Christmas choir practice, preparing the kuswar (Christmas goodies), making last minute trips to the tailor to get my outfit stitched, buying new shoes from one of the shoe shops in Hampankatta were amongst the things I totally loved doing. We do most of this today except sending greeting cards by snail mail, tailor and Hampankatta trips (haha!) and making the crib from scratch. That reminds me – I need to take the Christmas tree down today. Sigh!
Anyway, sorry to digress but I think I got lost in the Christmas mood again. I had a good start to the New Year. How about you? Have you made any new resolutions? I haven’t made any yet but I do intend to form new habits for 2018. In the upcoming posts, I will share all about what habits I formed last year, the few resolutions I made and stuck to.
This year’s resolution is a tough one and I hope to stay focused. Reading is one of my favourite hobbies but getting myself to stick to one book is really hard. I am so dependent on gadgets today and all my reading happens on them. When will I ever go back to reading good ol’ books? Maybe the time to start is right here, right now! What say?
Anyway, in all the random discussion I have digressed again. Today’s recipe is a lovely baked rice pudding that calls for eggs that give it the texture and amazing flavour. If you love strawberries and their tart flavour I recommend you serve this pudding with the compote. If you are not such a fan of pairing sweet and creamy with something fruity or sour, then please leave the compote for some other day. As always, more than the dish, I loved the pictures. Special thanks to my special friend Caroline Martis Radhakrishnan who besides being a goddess of baking and photography also loves to chronicle her tales on food & travel in her beautiful blog Currylines.com. Caroline’s brilliant puns are always super fun and she is one of the few people who I know that We connected through Facebook and grew to be friends so fond of each other that WhatsApp is our lifeline. We met in Bangalore a couple of years ago where she very generously gifted me this beautiful and rustic, cast iron cutting chai carry case complete with Bombay style chai glasses. I have waited for an opportunity to showcase them and I hope I have done justice by using them to serve this pudding! Thank you so very much, Caroline!
Deliciously creamy rice pudding tastes yum when served warm with a small serving of strawberry compote
- 1 cup uncooked arborio rice or 3 cups cooked rice * see notes
- 2 cups water skip if using cooked rice
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup lightly packed soft light brown sugar or caster sugar
- 2 eggs separated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- pinch of cinnamon or 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut optional
- 500 grams strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Wash the rice in 3-4 changes of water or till the water runs clear. Bring the 2 cups of water to a rolling boil in a pan and add the washed rice to it and let it bubble. Turn off the heat, cover with a well fitting lid and let the rice cook for 20 minutes.
- To the same pan add the milk, sugar & salt and bring the mixture to a full boil. Reduce the heat completely and cook for about 18-20 minutes stirring occasionally till the mixture thickens and looks creamy. Beat the egg yolks together, add a little of the rice mixture to it. Mix and add back to the pot of rice and let it cook for a minute.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the cinnamon or vanilla and mix. Now add lightly beaten egg whites and fold in.
- Preheat oven at 170 degrees C. Grease a 9" square baking pan lightly with butter and pour the rice mixture into it. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut. Bake for 20 minutes or till the top is golden.
- Remove and serve hot or chilled with strawberry compote (or any other accompaniment)
If you don't have arborio rice you can use regular white rice or even boiled rice variety of rice. The cooking time may vary as arborio rice requires more water.