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Dawn to Dusk: A Voyage of Discovery

Passport & Plate - Rice Pudding: the place of my comfort

Worldwide | Sunday, 23 February 2014 | 5 photos


Ingredients
- 3/4 cup uncooked white rice (short or medium grain rice is best)
- 2 cups of milk
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2/3 cup raisins
- ½ to a 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (adjust according to preference)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

How to prepare this recipe
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil.
2. Add rice and stir.
3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. In another saucepan, combine the cooked rice, with 1½cups milk, sugar and salt.
5. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, for 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Stir in remaining ½ cup milk, beaten egg and raisins.
7. Cook for 2 minutes more, stirring constantly.
8. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and vanilla.
9.Set aside until warm. Serve into bowls. If you can’t get enough of your cinnamon, you can always sprinkle some on top once the rice pudding has been served into the bowls.
This rice pudding may be served cold as well. To serve cold, set aside to cool to room temperature then refrigerate until chilled. Serve as above.

PS: I prefer to eat it cold. Always tastes better that way to me.

 

The story behind this recipe
My God! The cravings I get when I think of this food. It’s the perfect comfort food; the one that I reach for when it’s raining outside and I want to cuddle up. It’s the food that sets my mind adrift on a journey to a faraway land. A land that I hope to someday visit.

It all started one rainy Sunday afternoon in Nairobi as I was lying around at home watching movies and waiting on my sister and her daughter to visit me. I remember it just as if it was yesterday, because this day set me up for a whole new set of cravings. Cravings which I still carry with me even today.

That day my sister’s neighbour, who is Indian, had just cooked up a storm for some visitors she was entertaining. My sister on her way to my house, got invited and since she couldn’t stay, her neighbour offered her this amazing dessert. My sister and her daughter didn’t really like it much and so she thought to bring it over to me since I am the adventurous one when it comes to food, and would normally eat anything.

Suffice to say, I loved it! I had actually never eaten anything like it before and later came to know this dessert as kheer; the Indian rice pudding. In Kenya, this is not a dessert that features in our foods and I was glad to have stumbled on it because ever since… my taste buds have been very thankful.

I never stopped at the kheer my sister’s neighbour shared with us. I went on to try out American rice pudding, arroz con leche(Latin American), risalamande(Nordic) and Mahalabiya(Arabic). With each recipe I tried, a new craving was always born, as well as a new opportunity to travel through my kitchen. What more could I ask for?


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