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Persian Rice Pudding

Most of us love the baked rice pudding we grew up with. Some hated the brown skin, others fought for it, but in the Idle Hands household, we go for the “Persian” version made without the need to cook in the oven (mainly because we’re impatient, but also to keep it creamy and less stodgy) flavoured with rose and orange, sprinkled with pistachios and rose petals and a few pomegranate seeds if you have them.

There are desserts which resemble this in Middle-Eastern recipe books, with some of the same ingredients, but we use the same flavours in many cakes so knew it would be delicious in the rice pudding too.

Ingredients:
100g Calasparra Rice
50g Golden granulated sugar (you can add more to taste)
150ml double cream
300ml whole milk (add more if needed)
Few drops Uncle Roy’s rose essence
Few Drops Uncle Roy’s orange essence
Orange
Cardamom (2 pods or 1/4 teaspoon of ground)

To decorate:
Rose Petals
Pistachio Nuts
Sue Gilmour Rose Chocolate

Place the  Calasparra Rice and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cover with milk. Cook on a low heat until the milk has almost disappeared, adding more until the rice is beginning to soften.
Add a few drops of rose essence, a few drops of orange essence, the grated rind of an orange and around a quarter teaspoon of ground cardamom.

Keep on a low heat, add double cream gradually, and stir to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. It’s ready to serve when the rice is soft and has absorbed all the liquid (should take around 40 minutes). Add more milk if it’s not yet soft enough, and add a generous splash of milk or cream as it’s taken off the heat and stir through.

Serve in small dishes, sprinkle with finely chopped pistachios, small pieces of rose petals, pomegranate seeds or grate some Sue Gilmour rose milk chocolate on top for a luxurious finish.

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