Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients: 1 cup water ¾ cup uncooked rice 4 cups warm milk pinch of salt ½ cup granulated sugar 1 Tbsp. rose water, optional ground cinnamon, optional
1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a 4-quart pot. Stir in rice; reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until water is absorbed – about 15 minutes. Make sure rice doesn’t burn or stick to bottom of pot. Rice will be a bit ‘al dente’. Remove rice from pot and set aside. Wash and dry the pot before going on step #2.
2. Add milk to the same 4-quart pot used in step #1. Heat milk until it is warm, but not boiling. Add the al dente rice to the warm milk and cook on low to medium heat for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture should be thickening at this point, as the milk begins to evaporate. Stir in the salt and sugar; cook for 15 minutes more and continue to stir. The mixture should begin to resemble thickened rice pudding. Remove from heat and stir in the rose water, if using.
3. Pour pudding into individual dessert dishes; allow cool at room temperature. Serve immediately. The pudding can also be served chilled. Sprinkle top with cinnamon just before serving, if desired
How to Make Rosewater
• Place clean, pesticide-free, fresh rose petals (or dried petals) in a pot. • Pour enough boiling water to cover the petals. Cover pot with a lid. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. • Place the cooled mixture in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid; refrigerate overnight to allow the flavor to develop. • Next day, strain and discard petals. • To store, pour rosewater into a jar with a lid; refrigerate. Leftover rosewater can be poured into ice cube trays and frozen. Once frozen, transfer cubes into a plastic bag. • When rose water is required for a recipe, simply defrost as many cubes as you’ll need.
I used skim milk and it came out great! The rose water and cinnamon added very subtle, satisfying flavors to the pudding.
For a more festive touch, sprinkle the top with ground pistachio nuts, or add lemon or orange zest to the mixture as it cooks.
Your best bet is to use a short grain rice which tends to have more starch. I would not recommend using parboiled long grain rice for this dessert.
One important point you must know: When using fresh rose petals in a recipe, NEVER use those which have been sprayed with pesticide.