Rice puddings infused with vanilla, cardamom and topped with mango
Its time again for the Royal Foodie Joust. I've been participating in these for the last few months and I thoroughly enjoy them. You can read all about the joust here. The winner of last month's Joust, Michelle chose her three ingredients for the challenge. She opted for cardamom, brown sugar and mangoes. A very "exotic" combination! As usual, I stewed about what I was going to cook and only decided once the activities for Greek Easter had quietened down.
In the end I opted for individual rice puddings. Rice puddings are pretty much a staple in a lot of cultures. The Greek version, a.k.a. "rizogalo" uses cinnamon as the topping and is highly addictive. The Spanish have their version, known as arroz con leche, enriched with condensed milk. I love rice pudding and I wanted to somehow combine the Joust ingredients in one. After a bit of "research" I found a recipe that had featured over 7 years ago in a local newspaper and it utilised all of the Joust items. A bit of tweaking by moi and my version of the rice pudding was born.
Leave it infuse for at least two hours...
The original recipe called for regular full fat milk. I changed that and used a combination of coconut milk and water. Instead of using cardamom powder I crushed a few pods for a milder flavour. Overall, it was delicious but a little too rich for my liking. Its quite easy overall and once you mix all your ingredients you just "set it and forget it". For a couple of hours anyway. The final touch is to top it with freshly sliced mangoes and a brown sugar caramel! Its not for the diet conscious!
VANILLA AND CARDAMOM RICE PUDDING RECIPE
* 1 cup of arborio rice
2 cups of coconut milk
2 cups of water
* 1 vanilla bean, split in half
* 1/3 cup brown rice syrup or sugar
* pinch of sea salt
* 3-4 cardamom pods, crushed
banana leaf for decoration
For the brown sugar caramel blend 2 tbsps of brown sugar with a knob of butter over a medium heat. Allow it all to melt and serve immediately.
Mix all the ingredients (except the mangoes and banana leaf) in a non reactive pot. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and then leave it on the lowest possible heat for about 2 hours. Stir it occasionally. We're looking at a gentle infusion of flavours. Most of the liquid should be absorbed and the mixture should resemble a very cooked risotto. Allow it to cool slightly and place in individual moulds. Turn out onto a plate that has been decorated with cut banana leaves. Top with sliced mango and drizzle with brown sugar caramel.