Before I became a vegan, I used to order an incredibly rich Indian cardamon ice cream called “kulfi” at the end of a meal, to end on a sweet note and to refresh my taste buds from all the spices. I also loved the cardamon rice pudding that is usually served with the lunch buffet and drink a mango lassi, a refreshing drink made with yogurt to help digest spicy dishes that have been cooked for a while.
Little did I know at the time that kulfi contained evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy (double) cream! No wonder it tasted so rich! Preparing vegan saag paneer or dahl soup made me crave the cardamom ice cream and the rice pudding even more! How complicated could it be to veganize them?
Traditional Indian rice pudding usually is made with whole milk, egg yolks, and heavy cream as the base so, in order to veganize it, I made a creamy base using cashew cream and coconut cream. The rest of the ingredients are dried fruit and cardamom so no need to change anything. I like to add a pinch of Safran to create a delicate yellow color.
It turned out soo good! If you made my candied orange peels, sprinkle a few small pieces on top to add a citrus note.
Not only does this spice have an exquisite flavor but it is a natural anti-oxidant and a diuretic that helps lower blood pressure, improves digestion, prevents cavities, bad breath, and reduces inflammation. That’s a lot for a little pod!
Dairy-free Cardamom Rose Rice Pudding
- small ramequins
- 1 cup cooked basmati or arborio rice
- 2 cups almond or coconut milk
- 1 cup cashew cream (1/2 cup water, 1 cup water)
- 1 tsp cardamom powder or seeds of 2 pods
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/4 cup raw sugar
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 3 tbsp chopped mixed raw nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios)
- 1-2 tbsp rose water
- Cook 1 cup of basmati or arborio rice with 1.5 cups of water until cooked.
- Mix the 2 cups of soy or coconut milk, the cardamom, pinch of salt, Safran, and raw sugar, stir to dissolve.
- Add the cooked rice and raisins, simmer and stir for 5 minutes until it starts to thicken.
- Add the chopped cashew or almond nuts and stir.
- Stir the rose water.
- Pour into small containers, cover, and refrigerate.
- Add a Tbsp of crushed pistachios on top before serving.