12 Days of Caravan-Serai Cooking 2013

December 3, 2013by Brenda

It’s that time of year again! Welcome to the 2013 12 Days of Caravan-Serai Cooking. We hope you will enjoy this year’s set of recipes, and share with friends and family throughout this holiday season and on into the new year.


Day 1: Rice Pudding with Pistachios

pic8nnalpMost cultures have some form of rice pudding. What makes this particular dish different is the addition of pistachios and rose or orange blossom water. There are two versions here – try them both this holiday season. This is a dish to make in advance.

Version 1:

You will need:

  • 4 cups of milk
  • 10-12 teaspoons of sugar (to taste)
  • ½ cup of rice
  • 2-4 Table Spoons of corn flour
  • 2 teaspoons of orange blossom water or Rose Water
  • Pistachio as a garnish


  1. Rinse the rice then let dry
  2. Boil the milk with the sugar and rice on low heat for 15 minutes or until the rice softens all while stirring continuously.
  3. As the rice softens add the orange blossom water or the Rose Water  and the corn flour and stir it in and boil/stir for another 5 minutes or until the pudding hardens and gains the consistency of yogurt. If you add too much corn flour the pudding becomes too jello-like and if you add little it’ll take      on a more watery consistency. This is a personal preference. Try adding 2 first then increase if you need to.
  4. As the pudding hardens, pour it in your heat-resistant serving cups/plates and let rest for a few minutes before garnishing with pistachio and refrigerating.

Serve cold.

Version 2:

You will need:

  • 6 cups milk (low-fat or whole)
  •  1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  •  1 cup short-grain rice
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1/2 cup dried apricot, chopped
  •  1 – 2 teaspoon lemon zest, minced
  •  2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
  •  1/2 cup pistachios, chopped


  1. In a saucepan, combine milk, condensed milk & rice & bring to boil over medium heat.
  2.  Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer & cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  3.  Add cardamom, vanilla & 2/3 of the apricots, & cook until rice is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in zest & cream, if using it.
  5. Garnish with pistachios & the remaining apricots, & serve warm or cold.

If serving cold, press parchment/baking paper directly onto surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming, & chill at least 3-4 hours (or overnight if desired).

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