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Sweet Rice

A classic Indian recipe, Sweet Rice goes down as one of my all-time favorite desserts. My friend’s daughter Sam will have it only in a drinking cup, claiming, “A spoon just slows me down.” There’s nothing really comparable to Sweet Rice in Western cooking, so I encourage you to try it—you won’t be disappointed.

Yield: 8 Cups

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Prep Time: 10 Minutes


  • 8 cups whole milk (half gallon)
  • ⅔ cup white basmati rice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom or
  • 4 dented cardamom pods (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 cup whipping cream (half pint)
  • ½ cup chopped, toasted pistachios for garnishing (optional)


  1. Place the milk and rice in a heavy-bottomed 5-quart pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Once it boils, immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  2. When the rice is cooked and floats to the top, turn off the heat and add the sugar, cardamom (optional), vanilla, rose water, and whipping cream. Stir well, cool for a couple of hours, then chill for 12 to 24 hours.
  3. Remove the cardamom pods if using, ladle into bowls or cups, garnish with pistachios (optional), and serve.


Flavor variation: Instead of cardamom and rose water, try using 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, and a cinnamon stick.

Chill time: 12-24 hours

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