Rice pudding with cardamom, rosewater and pistachios. A faerie tale.

Once upon a time, a Cheergerm happened upon a magical sounding exotic rice pudding recipe in a magazine. It was torn out and safely filed/misplaced/lost, never to be seen again. (It is most likely in the same wee hidey-hole as my sanity and my mind.) As human beings are want to do, we hanker after something when it is gone. This dish was concocted from my standard rice pudding recipe and sketchy memory of the one that went missing.

Taking the horse and carriage, I headed out into the dark and grim forest to procure the necessary ‘pimped up ingredients’ of almond milk, rosewater, pistachios and in my opinion, extravagant dried rose petals. To be able to afford these elements, it was first necessary to make a deal with a wicked faerie queen. In classic storybook manner, I agreed to surrender my firstborn when he turned sixteen. (Sucked in stupid faerie, if the last few days have been anything to go by, he will be even less compliant than he has been as a child. If that is even possible.)

This dessert is decadent and creamy with a deep herbal spiciness from the cardamom and highlighted by the sweet floral aroma and flavour of the rose. The Yak and I lived happily ever after for about fifteen minutes whilst we hungrily devoured bowls of this delightful pudding. Now what else can I throw those bloody expensive rose petals over? The End.


1 cup basmati rice
1 litre almond milk (it’s better to use unsweetened if you can find it)
1/3 – 1/2 cup caster sugar (I don’t like it too sweet and how much sugar you need will depend on the almond milk you use)
1/3 cup sultanas
3/4 tsp cardamom powder
Large pinch of salt
1 tsp rosewater
1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
Edible dried rose petals to sprinkle upon said dessert in a bewitching manner, you may need to take a mortgage out to purchase these

Rinse the rice.
Place the rice, almond milk, 1/3 cup sugar, sultanas, cardamom and salt into a medium size saucepan. Stir and taste this mixture to see if you need to add more sugar.
Bring the mixture to the boil then reduce to a simmer.
Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is thick and porridge-like.
Remove from the heat and stir through the rosewater.
Serve and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and dried rose petals. Oh, so very pretty.

Note: one of these photos shows a brand name product, rest assured, no payment has been received for this post. Considering the cost, I wish! This also makes a great breakfast dish.

A Cheergerm creation

25 thoughts on “Rice pudding with cardamom, rosewater and pistachios. A faerie tale.

  1. Really love the cardamom in your rice pudding. But, (sacrilege, I know) ditch the rose petals altogether. Or, since you’ve already done the deal with the fairies and have the petals, consider making your own supply of rose water.

    • Thanks KW, loved the cardamom too. And I do love the pretty colour of those damn rose petals. I don’t know why it bothered me so much, I will happily spend money on spices, oils and vinegars etc but there is something ‘fripperyish’ about those petals. The rosewater idea is great but I don’t think I could bring myself to soak them or throw them…I see a lot of rose petal strewn cupcakes in my future… He he…

  2. Yum! It sounds a lot like traditional kheer, which is made with a dash of rosewater instead of those outrageously expensive petals, and garnished with pistachios. That may be the recipe you stashed away. I like your version too, but I’d go with the easy option and go for rosewater…

      • It was always my favourite dessert in Indian restaurants back in the UK. If you think rose petals are swanky, there was one place in London that used to dust the top with flakes of edible gold. Waah!

  3. I read somewhere that in some exotic locations outside Oz, rose scented rice pudding is fed to new mothers post partum . It has a deep and mysterious exotic sense of luxurious elegance. Can the traded son have those qualities? I looooove rice pud.

    • What a lovely idea to feed this to new mums of bubs. At that thought, I do feel a tad regretful at my trade but then I remember a particular look he gave me earlier today and I am all good again. I went on a rice pudding bender a few years ago then pulled back but I feel the siren call once more. Good stuff hey.

  4. The green of the pistachios with the pink of the rose petals is exquisite! Especially on your matching china 🙂 I am a big rice pudding fan, but we made it differently when I was a girl. It was more like a custard with rice in, and had nutmeg sprinkled on top.

  5. That is by far the prettiest rice pudding I’ve ever seen. And where did you find the perfect bowls to match? Is Almond milk hard to fin in Australia? IT is as common as dirt in our city, where you can find it sweetened, unsweetened, chocolate, vanilla, organic, etc. It is by far my favourite alt-milk beverage. As for the rose petals, who knew they were so dear? It makes you want to take up rose farming.

    • Thanks Sue, the bowls were an op shop (charity shop) find and I just had to use them for this post! It’s not hard to find almond milk but the unsweetened kind isn’t quite as common. I have used sweetened organic almond milk before (it had agave) and had to add less sugar. The rose petals were about $15 aussie dollars and whilst I would spend that on olive oil or even wine (and more!) in a heartbeat, it felt indulgent and fanciful to spend it on rose petals. Maybe rose petal farming is the future?

  6. Lovely little Indian thing, and beautiful photos. Rose petal touch is lovely- I’m expecting to see your remaining petals turn up on little meringues or sprinkled over something middle eastern. When my DIL drop off the two boys, she says she’ll pick them up when they turn 18. Silly girl- that;s when they become a real worry. Boys don’t grow up until they are at least 35.

    • Thanks Francesca, they were a fun bunch of photos to take. Yes, they will be verily sprinkled atop of many a thing! Ha! He has just been a tad ‘pre-teen’ and argumentative the last few days. Yes, I think 18 and driving will be more of a worry!! Eek!

  7. It’s luffly, Cheery. A nice combination of ingredients. And just the right time of year for it. (Having said that, I made chocolate ice cream this morning.)
    Don’t you know that if you’d hung on a couple of years you’d be able to have civilised conversations with your boy? A magic sort of something happens when they turn eighteen. They begin reverting to what the were before testosterone kicked in. Is it too late to get him back?

    • Thanks WM, a pretty bunch of things on a plate and delicious too and never too cold for ice-cream, yum! I get to keep him until he is 16 so maybe my faerie bargaining is all upside down!? He is veering between being delightful then incredibly argumentative but then he has always been like that!! This is just ‘on steroids’, or is that ‘testosterone?’

  8. Ps, Cheery, just noticed what Francesca said about boys. That’s obviously been her experience, but it wasn’t mine or that of my friend who had boys. 🙂

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