Oriental Rice Pudding with Rhubarb
Words & Photography by Maja Moliere
My mother has grown rhubarb in her garden ever since I can remember. In spring and early summer we would eat rhubarb compote for dessert all the time. Sometimes I even drank it, straight up, when I was thirsty, instead of water or juice. Taken from the fridge, this refreshing fruit compote is an excellent companion for ice cream, yoghurt or rice pudding.
This recipe for rice pudding has enough added interest from exotic spices to satisfy taste buds suffering from a serious case of wanderlust. Ingredients like saffron and cardamom add a new level to the otherwise uber simple rice pudding, which pairs really nicely with the subtle tartness of the rhubarb compote.
1 vanilla bean
185g short-grain rice, such as Arborio
ca. 750ml milk
1 cardamom seed
1 dash of saffron
1 dash of salt
20g of turbinado sugar
1/2 tbsp lemon zest
40g turbinado sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
pistachios and mint leaves to garnish
Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds. In a pot, add the milk, vanilla bean and seeds, cardamom, salt and saffron and bring to the boil. Add the rice and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes or so and, if needed, add some more milk.
Meanwhile, wash the rhubarb and cut into 4cm long pieces. Bring a pot with 250ml water, the sugar and cinnamon stick to the boil and add the rhubarb pieces. Cook for 5 minutes until soft and then leave to simmer on low for another 10 minutes or so.
Remove the cardamom seed and vanilla bean from the done rice, and stir in the sugar and lemon zest.
Serve the rice pudding with rhubarb compote, warm or cold, and add mint leaves and pistachios for garnish.