Extreme comfort food

Committed to spending a lot of time in the kitchen today with the veal and prune casserole I opted for cardamon rice pudding with pistachios and rose water. I had made something like this a few years ago which probably explains why I still had a bottle of rose water in the cupboard. (Can rose water go off? Perhaps it just loses its perfume gradually). This is another Sephardic tradition; eaten almost everyday in one form or another, it is also common in the Arab world.




400ml full fat milk

120 ml double cream

1 vanilla pod with scraped seeds

8 cardamom pods lightly crushed

120g pudding rice

30g unsalted butter

2 tbsp condensed milk

1 tbsp honey


3 tbsp unsalted pistachios (though I used walnuts in the absence of pistachios)


Syrup: 1 tbsp honey and half tbsp rose water.


Put the milk, cream, vanilla pod with seeds and cardamom in a saucepan and place on high heat. As soon as boiling, remove from heat and allow to cool for and infuse for several hours - at least two.


Make syrup by mixing homey, rose water and 1tsp of water until honey dissolves.


Add rice to pan with infused milk, bring to the boil and simmer on low heat, stirring ALL the time for 20 minutes. You may need to add a little more water if the pudding mixture becomes too thick. Remove from heat and take out vanilla pod. (The recipe suggests removing the cardamom pods as well but I thought this was a bit fussy). Then stir in the butter, condensed milk, honey and a pinch of salt. I then put the pan in our unheated storeroom to cool and then into the fridge. Serve sprinkled with nuts and, if you have them, rose petals!