Speaking of warm puddings, I have a list of them I want to make this winter and hope the next few weeks will give me an opportunity to share them with you here. I have always wanted to try making some rice pudding (known as kheer in India) at home. Each time I walk by the frozen dessert section at Coles, I’m tempted to pick up a pot of rice pudding. But I don’t, because surely it couldn’t be too hard to make some at home. The problem is, I just never got around to doing it. Until now.
Usually rice pudding is made using uncooked rice. I recently found myself with some leftover plain Basmati rice from lunch and I didn’t want it to go to waste. Waste not, want not, right? So I decided that I was going to try and use it to make some rice pudding instead. After a little searching, I found just the recipe I was looking for. A no-nonsense approach to a rice pudding that used leftover rice. You’ve probably ended up with some extra rice from an Indian takeout lunch / dinner on occasion. Don’t throw that stuff out. Transform it into this glorious, rich and creamy rice pudding in no time with a few pantry staples.
BTW has anyone seen the latest mini series on ABC called War on Waste. Such an eye opener. It is shocking how much food is wasted regularly in households, among other wastage. This is a great way of reducing household food wastage. I love finding ways to reduce wastage. Do you have any recipes that use leftovers and cut down on food wastage? Tag them on Instagram using #MyWarOnWaste and lets help inspire people to reduce waste.
So go ahead and try it out. You can serve it as a beautiful tea time treat or as dessert. Any leftovers can be refrigerated. You can enjoy your rice pudding both warm or cold. Personally, I prefer mine warm, which works really well on colder days. I’m really glad I tried making this pudding at home. Who knew that something this tasty and satisfying could be this simple to make.
My rice pudding has a yellowish tint because I added a few strands of saffron to the pot while cooking it. You can leave it out and it will look like regular rice pudding.
Adapted from: Fatima Cooks
1 cup cooked rice (I used leftover Basmati rice)
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
A few strands (4-6) saffron (optional)
A few raisins
A few almonds, roughly sliced / chopped
Place the rice, milk, sugar, cardamom powder and saffron strands in a pot.
Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously but gently. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the pan regularly. Cook till the milk has reduced and has become a thick, cream like consistency. It is okay if some of the rice grains break down. It helps thickening the pudding. But don’t mash the rice completely. You want a little texture in there.
How thick you want the pudding to be, is upto you. Just before it is done, add the raisins. Turn it off the heat when it has thickened to your liking. I find that heating the raisins through the pudding plumps them up a bit and makes them extra yummy, rather than just placing the raisins on top.
Serve in bowls and top with some sliced / chopped almonds.
If you want more ideas like this to help reduce food wastage and save money, follow me on Pinterest here.
What I also like about this fried rice is you can pretty much use whatever you have on hand. You can switch up the veggies. I almost always use onion, spring onion, capsicum and carrot. I also add zucchini, snow peas, cabbage and baby corn if I have any of them on hand. The same is the case with the protein. Almost always I use a little bacon for flavour and some egg. Then I either use prawns, shredded chicken and sometimes even ham depending on what I have available at the time. So like you see, this fried rice is one of those meals you can put together almost any day of the week, even when your grocery run is due the next day. Apart from cooking the rice, it comes together in one pan – I now use my wok and love it.
This is the quickest way I find to get this on the plate. Soak my rice and when the rice is soaking and cooking, I prep my protien and veggies. When everything is ready, the final dish takes about 10 minutes tops to put together. Its one of my favourite quick and easy weeknight meal options. I tend to add a lot of vegetables and I like it that way, you could drop the quantity of vegetables to suit your liking. This is just a guide to making this fried rice and the quantities are suggestions. Go with what you think you’ll enjoy and adjust to your liking.
Chicken Fried Rice
Serves 3 (as mains)
1 cup basmati rice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 birdseye chilly (optional – we enjoy hot food but you can leave it out if you dont)
3 spring onions
1 red pepper
6-8 green beans
A handful of finely sliced cabbage (about a cups worth)
3 rashers of bacon (I used streaky bacon)
A cup of shredded chicken (you could used poached, roast, or rotisserie chicken)
A couple of tablespoons of oil (vegetable, olive or sunflower or any other cooking oil of your choice)
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Approx. 1 tbsp soy sauce (I use salt reduced soy)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
Rinse the rice a couple of times and drain. Soak in fresh water at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to the boil (just like you would for pasta). Add a spoon of salt to the water and carefully add the rice. Cook the rice till almost done (al dente). Don’t cook the rice through as it will turn mushy once you add it to the wok.
Drain the cook rice and using a fork lightly loosen the grains and leave to cool.
In the meanwhile, clean and chop all your vegetables. I like to chop mine in like sized pieces. You could julienne everything or slice it on the diagonal into little chunks. (I will try and get a picture of the chopped up veggies when I make this next, I was in a hurry this time and forgot.)
Dice the bacon rashers and keep aside.
Keep all your ingredients handy. The trick to cooking a delicious fried rice is to cook it on a high heat and cook it quickly.
Heat your wok or pan. Add a little cooking oil to the pan. Crack 2 eggs in a bowl, add a little salt and lightly whisk. Now either make a plain omlette and cut into chunks or a plain scramble. Take the egg off the pan and keep aside.
Next step is to fry off the bacon. Add a little oil if needed and tip the cut bacon into the work and let it cook a little and add some flavor to the pan. Dont cook till crisp. You just want the ends to start changing to a light brown. Now add the garlic and chilly and saute till it gets fragrant.
Add the sesame oil and then tip in the diced pepper and the rest of the veggies and stir fry on high heat till they cook off a little. You still want them to have a little bite.
Add the chopped spring onions.
Add a light sprinkle of salt and some freshly cracked black pepper.
Add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and stir to let it coat the veggies. Please adjust the sauce to suit your liking.
Tip in the chicken and egg and stir well to incorporate.
At this stage add the rice to the wok and gently mix everything but mix thoroughly. I use a spatula and a pair of chopsticks to do this.
Once the rice has warmed through, serve hot and top with finely sliced spring onion greens to garnish and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, some finely sliced fresh chilly.
Enjoy piping hot.
**Leftovers warm up really well the next day too.
While I was on the hunt for some vegetarian recipes that I could add to my arsenal, I came across a recipe for Tava Pulao. I hadn’t thought about this in a while and when I saw it, I decided that this was as good a time as any to try it out. So this was our Sunday lunch a while ago. Looking at the ease of putting this together, initially, I was a little skeptical about how it would turn out. But we enjoyed this so much, that I’ve made it on two other occasions since then. It has a lovely assortment of vegetables and is beautifully spiced. You can use whatever assortment of vegetables you have at hand. As far as the spices go, the original recipe calls for Pav Bhaji Masala. I didn’t have any, so I just left it out and it turned out fine. I was questioning the practicality of having to buy an ingredient to use in just one dish and that kept me from buying it for a while. But I now want to try making my own Pav Bhaji (which is another favorite in our house), so I picked up a box of the masala yesterday. I’m eager to see how it impacts the flavor of this dish. So stay tuned to see how my Pav Bhaji making endeavor fares, but in the meanwhile, here is the recipe for the Tava Pulao.
Adapted from: Sizzling Tastebuds
1/2 cup long grained rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup mixed vegetables (I used green peas, diced carrot and chopped up french bean)
Salt, to taste
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder (dried mango powder)
1 tsp garam masala powder
Lemon juice, a few drops over the rice
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Wash and soak rice for about 10-15 minutes, then boil the rice till done. Don’t overcook it, you don’t want it to turn mushy. Using a fork, fluff up the grains of rice and let it cool down a little.
In a large pan (originally a tava is used, but I didn’t have a large enough one, so I just used a pan instead), heat some oil and tip in the cumin seeds. Let them sputter while making sure they don’t burn.
Add the onions and stir fry till slightly browned.
Add the chopped vegetables and saute for about 5 minutes. They should be cooked about 3/4 the way now.
Add the powdered spices and mix well, taking care that you don’t mash the vegetables while stirring.
Add the cooked rice to the veggies and toss well to mix.
Add a dash of lemon juice and coriander leaves to finish off.
Serve this with some raita. I served it with a plain yogurt sprinkled with some chopped coriander leaves, but you could also serve a mixed vegetable raita instead.
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green chilly, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 garlic peels, finely chopped
1 tbsp veg. oil
1 tbsp. ghee or clarified butter
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 cup rice
1/4 cup split lentils (I use whatever I have on hand usually moong or masoor dal. This time I used a combination of both)
1-2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves and tender stems, chopped
Salt, to taste
Wash the rice and the lentils together and let them soak for 10-15 minutes. You can start prepping the rest of the ingredients in the meanwhile.
Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and add the cumin seeds and let them sputter, taking care not to burn them.
Add the chilly and the onion and saute till the onions are soft and pinkish brown.
Tip in the turmeric powder and stir till well mixed.
Drain the rice and lentils that have been soaking and add them to the cooker. Stir gently to mix everything.
Add salt to taste and 4 cups of water.
Stir gently. Cover the pressure cooker and add the stopper.
Cook on high flame. After the first whistle, cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the pressure drop on its own.
Once the cooker can be opened, add the chopped coriander and stir to mix.
Prepare the tempering. In another small frying pan, place the ghee and the chopped garlic. Let it saute gently on low fire till it turns fragrant. Don’t burn the garlic as you’ll lose all the flavor. Add this ghee and the garlic to the cooked rice and stir to incorporate.
Serve pipping hot.
For now, we’ll get back to the peas pulao. The preparation is really simple and the few spices used add a fragrant warmth to the rice rather than a spicy heat. Don’t let the simplicity of this dish undermine its flavors. Try it out and see for yourself.
A lot of folks seem to have trouble with the rice ending up very soft and mushy. This happens for a number of reasons like wrong amount of cooking water, too much stirring while the rice is cooking etc. I’ve made this rice hundreds of times and have never encountered such a problem. So I think if you stick to the measures, you should be good to go.
2 bay leaves
1-2″ cinnamon sticks
2 pods green cardamom
6 black peppercorns
1/2 large or 1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 cup long grained rice
2 cups water
1/4- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A handful of green peas
Salt, to taste
If you’re using frozen peas, keep them out to thaw for a while.
Wash the rice and leave it to soak in some water for about 15-20 minutes while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Heat the oil mildly in a vessel and add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and peppercorns and let them warm up and infuse the oil with their aromas and flavors, taking care not to burn the spices.
Add the chopped onion and saute till the onions and soft and translucent and start taking on a little colour.
Add the turmeric powder and stir well.
Drain the water that the rice was soaking in and tip the rice into the vessel.
Stir gently making sure you don’t break the grains down while stirring.
Once the rice is well coated with the spices in the pan, add the water, salt to taste and the green peas.
Cover and let it cook on a low flame, till all the water has been absorbed.
Fluff up the rice using a fork and not a spoon so that you don’t mash the grains.
Serve hot with your favourite curry.
Please remember that if you’d like to change the quantity of rice used, the rice to water ratio should always be 1:2. That is 1 measure of rice to 2 measures of water to cook it in.
Tricolored Vegetable Pulao
1 cup rice
2 bay leaves
4 pepper corns
2 pods of cardamom, whole
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil (You can use ghee/clarified butter if you prefer)
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 cup green peas (You can adjust this quantity to suit your liking, I used a little more)
1/4 cup corn kernels (You can adjust this quantity to suit your liking, I used a little more)
1 onion, chopped
Wash the rice and soak it in some water while you prepare the other ingredients for the pulao, about 15 minutes.
Heat some oil in a vessel and add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and pepper corns. Let it infuse the oil with its flavors.
Once you can smell the aromas from the spices, add the onions and saute till they are soft and translucent.
Add the vegetables and stir fry them for a couple of minutes. Add salt to taste.
Drain the rice and add it to the veggies. Stir gently.
Add 2 cups of water. (I use a 1:2 rice to water ratio while making a pulao.)
Stir gently to mix everything. Cover and cook till all the liquid is absorbed.
Turn off the fire and fluff the rice up using a fork.
You don’t need anything fancy, just basic ingredients that almost anyone will have in their homes.
Serves 2-3 large portions
1 bay leaf
2 cardamom pods, whole
6 pepper corns
1/2 – 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
1/2 cup long grained rice (You can use Basmati, if you have some)
Salt, to taste
1 cup water
Wash the rice and soak it in some water while you get the other ingredients started.
Heat the ghee in a large vessel.
Tip in the bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and pepper corns and let it get fragrant.
Add the cumin seeds and let it fry for a little while till it gets fragrant. Make sure you don’t burn the cumin, it’ll ruin your dish.
Add the chopped onion and saute till the onion gets soft and transparent.
Drain the rice and add it to the vessel. Let this fry off for about a minute or so, till the rice is coated with the spices and ghee in the vessel. Do not stir too much or you’ll break up the grains of rice.
Add the water and salt to taste. Stir once, gently. Bring it to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat till all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
Fluff it up with a fork to loosen the grains. You don’t want to mash it up.
Serve hot with a gravy of your choice.
NOTE: If you need to increase the quantity of rice, use the following ratio. 1 portion rice : 2 portions water.
This recipe is linked to –
Tuesdays at the Table
Hearth and Soul
A Little Birdie Told Me