xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml' Trinidad Sweet Rice (Caribbean Rice Pudding)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Trinidad Sweet Rice (Caribbean Rice Pudding)

[above sweet rice was made with ground cinnamon which explains the difference in color from the pics below....]

I intended to post many wonderful recipes for Diwali and Thanksgiving, but 'Sandy' prevented me from doing so. I'm working on a 'Sandy' related post, but tomorrow is Diwali and I was intent on making a contribution, in honor of my mom who celebrates and cooks(!) for this auspicious religious Hindu festival. 

Rice pudding, referred to as “sweet rice” in Trinidad is another one of our popular desserts. Rice is cooked with ginger and spices and three types of milk to produce a classic, creamy rice pudding. I recall that “sweet rice” was mostly served and eaten at religious functions including Hindu 'prayers', but there are many of us who enjoy it occasionally at home…

I’ve been testing this recipe for a while now trying to make it least complicated. I learned to make this from both my sister in law, Karen and Mummy's best friend...and yes there were also quite a few comments and criticisms from Mummy while I tested this recipe. They all make the most delicious sweet rice. I have said this before--no one I know uses measurements, so recipes are very difficult to replicate...however, I think I have narrowed this one down to a science.

The technique is very similar to that used in making Risotto, which involves the gradual addition of liquid and constant turning. I used Jasmine rice but you can definitely try it with white rice, however, do not add milk until the rice is cooked. The senior cooks in my family claim that the rice does not boil well using milk. If for some reason the rice is still not fully cooked using the four cups of water, add additional water(in ¼ cup increments) until it is fully cooked. This recipe can be modified depending on the consistency you prefer. For a thicker consistency, cook longer allowing more liquid to be evaporated, if you like a looser consistency, cook for less time. When I used one cup of condensed milk, Mummy claimed it wasn't sweet enough, so please, for the love of God, add more condensed milk and make Mummy happy! She also said it could use a little more ginger, so ginger lovers, feel free to add more. 

[Please do what I did while I took this shot--pretend you didn't see what my little Munster did to her fingers.]

By the way, the brown sugar in the picture below is deceiving, because I never add brown sugar, don't know what it's doing there. I did it automatically, like I did with the sawine recipe. Sometimes, I can't explain why I do the things I do...because I don't know why I do the things I do. I was born this way.

Warning: This is rich, creamy, sweet, insanely delectable and addicting. Try it at your own risk.

Ria's Trinidad Sweet Rice (Caribbean Rice Pudding)
Serves 4-8 or just 1

1 cup uncooked Jasmine or white rice
4 cups water
1 cup organic whole milk
1 cup evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk (or to taste)***
1 cinnamon stick (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste)
2 inch piece of ginger, grated

Optional ingredients(use any or all of the following): 5 whole cardamoms(slightly crushed), 3 whole cloves, ½ cup raisins, 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

***When doubling the recipe I used 1 cup of granulated sugar instead of the additional condensed milk and it was equally delicious.

Wash rice with several changes of water until water is clear. Drain.

In a medium stock pot, add water, rice, cinnamon stick and ginger (cardamom if using). Bring to a boil over high heat uncovered. Once it comes to a boil, immediately reduce heat to medium. Cook until rice is tender and  all the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. If it's still not soft and tender after that time, add additional water and continue to cook.

[I added it a little late here]

Add whole milk [and optional ingredients] and cook until most of the milk is absorbed (about 3-4 minutes), turning constantly to prevent sticking. 

Add evaporated milk and cook, stirring constantly, until that cooks down, about 3-4 minutes, maybe more depending on your burner.

Add condensed milk and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens but not totally evaporated, another 4-5 minutes.

Remove cinnamon stick (and whole cardamoms, cloves if you used those ingredients) before serving.

Pray for the discipline and self control to not devour all in one sitting.

Enjoy hot, warm or cold, alone, or with fresh fruit…and if you are a real Trini, eat it with Dhalpourie roti...:-) 

Happy Diwali from my family to yours. May good always triumph over evil, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair and light over darkness.... 

Cooking with love,

1 comment:

Cooking with Ria said...

Thank you so much for this recipe and the detail, funny explanations and pictures! Thank you for taking the time to do this from your busy lifestyle. I have been enjoying and trying your recipes for a while, but took the the time to comment and say thank you. You really help novice cooks like my self! So thank you and happy Diwali to you and your family as well and many good blessings! Please keep posting more recipes.

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