Something You Wouldn't Expect, and Rice Pudding

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Last night I went to a terrific party in the neighborhood of Main Street and 1700 South, which, I learned, is one of the main spots in SLC where prostitutes hang out, waiting to be picked up. But they don't like to just stand on the street corner, because they're more likely to get attention they DON'T want that way, so they walk, up and down various streets, including some of the residential streets just off Main. This means that occasionally, my hosts explained, that they will glance out a window and see a john picking up or dropping off a prostitute, right outside their house.

They also said that two of the busiest times for SLC prostitutes are--that's right!--the first weekend in April and the first weekend in October, which, in case you didn't know, is when the church holds its General Conference. On those two weekends, Mormons from all over the world converge on Salt Lake's downtown in order to listen to exhortations about how to be righteous. Some of them stay with family in the suburbs, and some of them rent hotel rooms and have sex with prostitutes.

It makes a sort of sense but it just wasn't something I had thought about or ever expected to hear.

Anyway. The party had a theme: Bollywood, and guests were asked to bring Indian food. I am a dessert gal, so I volunteered to bring rice pudding.

I like regular old baked American rice pudding OK; I make it about once a decade. I prefer Indian-style rice pudding, so I figured I should learn to make it. I searched the internet for a recipe that seemed interesting and easy, and found one I was willing to try.

And it turned out great! It was sweet, but not cloying, soothingly bland, but not flavorless. And because I typically find rice pudding in Indian restaurants too runny for my taste, I doubled the rice, so it was substantial. I will definitely make it more often than once every ten years.


* 2 cups cooked basmati rice
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 3/4 cup coconut milk
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1/3 cup golden raisins, if desired
* 1/3 cup chopped unsalted pistachios, if desired


In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the cooked rice and milk. Heat until the mixture begins to boil. Decrease the heat to low and cook at a simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring frequently to avoid scorching, approximately 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium, add the heavy cream, coconut milk, sugar, and cardamom and continue to cook until the mixture just begins to thicken again, approximately 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. When the mixture begins to thicken, remove from the heat and stir in the raisins and pistachios (if desired). Transfer the mixture to individual serving dishes or a glass bowl and stir occasionally so that no skin forms. Although traditionally served at room temperature or chilled, it's also really delicious warm.

I skipped the raisins because I just didn't want them, and I skipped the pistachios because the first two stores I tried only had salted pistachios and I didn't feel like searching all over town for a few nuts. I can't say I felt the pudding lacked for either.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on September 6, 2009 11:03 AM.

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