Cardamom and rose water puddings

Serves 4-6
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Indy Lifestyle Online

We don't tend to use ground rice much for puddings these days; I've had a packet in my cupboard for a year or so. We had a similar dessert at the Lebanese restaurant Al Waha in Westbourne Grove, west London, after a rather indulgent mezze feast.

60g ground rice
600ml milk
The seeds from 5 cardamom pods
50g caster sugar
5tbsp rosewater
1tbsp crème fraîche
20 pistachios, peeled
8 or so crystallised rose petals available from specialist pastry shops, optional
1/2tbsp icing sugar and add 1tbsp rose syrup, optional

Bring the milk to the boil, add the sugar and ground rice and cardamom pods and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring every so often. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, stirring as it cools so that it doesn't form a skin - you can leave a sheet of clingfilm or greaseproof paper on the surface to prevent a skin forming. Stir in the rose water and crème fraîche, check the taste and add more rosewater if necessary. Pour into individual dishes or glasses and leave to set in the fridge.

Put the pistachios on a baking tray lined with foil and scatter over the icing sugar. Cook them under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally until they begin to caramelise. Leave the pistachios to cool, then scatter them over the puddings with the rose petals and drizzle the rose syrup if you're using it.

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