This stovetop rice pudding is a soothing and unpretentious dessert, with an elegant fragrance that is made for cold nights and simple meals. The chewy rice is suspended in a creamy pudding and perfumed by rich notes of vanilla and cardamom.
To be honest, I haven't paid rice pudding much attention. It has such a homely reputation--who has time for a bowl of sweet rice in milk? I’ve always chased the more exciting desserts like chai spiced cruffins, caramelized kouign amann, and homemade double-layered marshmallows.
And what a shame that was. I've deprived myself of the deliciousness that is stovetop rice pudding for almost 30 years.
When I finally came around and made it for the first time, I couldn’t stop sampling the pot. I finally just poured myself a “trial bowl” of hot, soupy rice pudding so I could get back to cooking it (granted, I was very pregnant at the time, but that’s no excuse).
I think what I love is the simplicity of it, which, ironically, is what gives it the grandma vibe to begin with. But I really love high-quality ingredients and simple, well-done food, and that’s what good rice pudding is all about.
The chewy rice is suspended in a creamy, silken pudding and perfumed by rich notes of vanilla and cardamom. It’s sweet but not cloying, and it’s rich but not overly decadent. It’s a soothing and unpretentious dessert, with an elegant fragrance that is made for cold nights and simple meals.
what's the best rice for stovetop rice pudding?
The best type of rice to use in rice pudding is a hotly debated topic. It comes down to starch quantity and strength of the rice grains. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your preference for the consistency of the final pudding. Here's are some guidelines:
- short grain rice (sushi, arborio) has a lot of starch to release which will make a creamier pudding, but it may be too chewy for some (arborio is my preference)
- medium grain rice (spanish bomba) has enough starch to produce a creamy texture and will cook to a tender consistency without falling apart
- long grain rice (jasmine, basmati) has the least amount of starch and will produce a less creamy pudding, and the grains are more likely to break down to a mushy consistency
notes on this cardamom rice pudding:
- this cardamom rice pudding is simple and relatively quick to make, but it does need to be stirred and watched almost constantly to prevent burning
- like any good dessert, this one needs salt to bring out the flavors and make it taste truly delicious. Start with ½ tsp and readjust after cooking the yolks and sugar, just before taking it off the heat.
- the cardamom rice pudding will seem thin and soupy when it’s done, but don’t worry! As it cools, the starches will gel and thicken the mixture to a rich pudding consistency.
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stovetop rice pudding with cardamom and vanilla
This rice pudding is a soothing and unpretentious dessert. The chewy rice is suspended in a creamy pudding and perfumed by rich notes of vanilla and cardamom.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American
- 4 cups whole milk
- ½ cup raw Arborio rice (or medium grain if you prefer more tender pudding)
- ¾ tsp ground cardamom
- 1 vanilla bean, split, or 1-½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 large egg yolks
- ⅓ cup sugar
- chopped salted pistachios, for garnish
- golden raisins, for garnish
- In a large saucepan over medium high heat, add the milk, rice, salt, and cardamom. Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean, stir into the milk and add the empty bean (if you’re using vanilla extract, don’t add it yet). Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- Uncover and continue simmering, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and the pudding is reduced to about 3-½ cups, 10- 15 minutes. Let the pudding gently simmer, and stir constantly toward the end of cooking to prevent scorching.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract (if using). Slowly add the cooked rice mixture, whisking constantly, then return to the saucepan. Set the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan constantly, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of the spoon, about 1 minute. Taste and add a pinch or two of salt, if needed for the flavors to pop.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the pudding to a bowl or serving dish. If you’ve used a vanilla bean, fish it out and discard the empty bean. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on the warm the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Serve hot, warm or cold. When ready to serve, sprinkle with chopped salted pistachios and golden raisins.
serves 4 | recipe adapted from Fine Cooking
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 300
- Sugar: 29g
- Sodium: 434mg
- Fat: 12g
- Saturated Fat: 5.8g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4.5g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 36g
- Fiber: 0.1g
- Protein: 12g
- Cholesterol: 164mg
Keywords: stovetop rice pudding
This looks great! Cardamom rice pudding is my go to dessert at the Indian spot down the street. it at home would be a dream! Do you think basmati rice would work well?
Indi Hampton says
Absolutely! It might break down a bit more and it will be less chewy and creamy, but it will totally work. Report back!
Basmati worked well! It did break down a bit, but the taste was still great. I’ve made this with Arborio rice a handful of times since the first attempt with basmati, and short grain is definitely more creamy and chewy. So I make sure to keep my pantry stocked with Arborio rice now haha. Great recipe!
Indi Hampton says
So great to hear! Basmati is so fragrant, I bet it was delicious!
This is delish and simple! Super creamy. Will definitely make this again!
Indi Hampton says
So happy to hear this!