Cardamom Pistachio Rice Pudding

Coconut pistachio ric e pudding

I didn’t know what I was missing. In my past, pre-foodie life, I always turned my nose up at rice pudding. How boring. How bland. Ho-hum, thought I.

It’s not just about taste. It’s about texture. Creamy, rich, unctuous texture. It’s that “Aaaaaahhhh” feeling when it hits your tongue. So. I have seen the light. I am a rice pudding convert!

I made rice pudding for the very first time a few weeks ago. A friend of mine was among the Kelly Family Sunday Diners. She has lived all over the world, including India, Nepal, and Morocco. She claims to be a rice pudding connoisseur. I was so thrilled when she raved about my pudding. “Best I’ve ever eaten!” she gushed.

So, my Fab Frugal Friends, with the dawn of 2011, my New Year’s gift to you is my take on Rice Pudding – my favorite version is with lots of milk and a little coconut milk. And the cardamom is what makes this pudding. So fragrant and delicious! The dairy-free version is fab, too!

The Chinese use “rice porridge” as a part of their two-week New Year’s feast. I say Amen! and Hallelujah! to this tradition!

CARDAMOM RICE PUDDING – Dairy Free or Vegan Version

2/3 cup basmati rice
** 3 cups water
** 2 cans (12 ounces each) coconut milk
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup sugar (or your favorite sugar substitute)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Diced pistachios for garnish

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring to a boil the rice, water (or milk), coconut milk and salt. Reduce heat to simmer the mixture very slowly. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened to the consistency of oatmeal.

Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.

Serve chilled or at room temperature, sprinkled with pistachios on top.


In my cyber searching of rice puddings, I found a wide, wonderful variety. Elise of Simply Recipes makes hers with an egg, raisins and cinnamon. Smitten Kitchen makes arborio rice pudding with almond extract. Lydia of Perfect Pantry uses basmati rice like my recipe, with cardamom and cinnamon flavors. Lydia also made a cranberry rice pudding. The White on Rice couple had to make rice pudding, c’mon, “rice” is in their blog banner! Wasabimon did a rice pudding mango parfait. Former Chef did arborio rice pudding with caramelized apples. I want to try the Latin version by My Columbian Recipes, and also her tangerine rice pudding. Lisa did arborio rice pudding at Lisa’s Kitchen. The foodies at We Are Not Martha did a brown rice pudding. Coconut mango rice pudding at Evil Shenanigans looks delish. Eating Out Loud did vintage rice pudding.

So many rice puddings. . .  so little time . . .

— posted by Donna


    • says

      Thanks Shalini – I got them at a little home decor shop years ago and have treasured them ever since – they make even plain old pudding seem like a fancy dessert!

  1. says

    Oh, Donna! This looks delicious- the perfect thing for a snowy night like tonight. This may be the first time I’ve read a recipe online and immediately gone to make it. So glad I keep extra cans of coconut milk on hand.


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