Bomba Rice Pudding with Saffron & Nuts

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This re-interpreted Indian-style rice pudding benefits from using Bomba, an amazing D.O.C. rice, grown only in the environs of the Spanish town of Calasparra. Because Bomba absorbs three to four times its volume in liquid (in this case sweet and fragrant, cooked-down, cardamom and saffron-infused milk) the result is the creamiest rice pudding imaginable. Conceived to pair with Champagne (which it richly deserves), it is finished with golden raisins soaked overnight in sparkling wine.

(Serves 6)

3 litres whole milk
1 – 1/2 cups fish and/or prawn shell stock
2 bomba rice
9 green cardamom pods, outer pod removed and discarded, seeds ground to a powder
3/4 g saffron
pinch sea salt
3/4 cup jaggery or piloncillo or palm sugar
1 cup pistachios, toasted, chopped coarsely (unsalted)
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup golden raisins, soaked overnight in an off-dry sparkling wine

bomba rice 300


Add the milk, rice, cardamom, saffron and salt to a wide, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat and bring it to a simmer, stirring frequently with a heat-proof spatula. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is soft and just starting to break up, and the milk is thickened.

Add the sugar, half of the pistachios and raisins, and all of the almonds, and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Check seasoning – it is likely that the saffron will have to be balanced with a bit more salt.

Remove from heat and let the pudding cool. If you think that the pudding is too stiff (it will thicken considerably as it cools), stir in additional milk while it is still hot. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold, garnished with reserved prosecco-soaked raisins and pistachios just before serving.


Recipe Copyright © 2014, Don Dickson / South China Seas Trading Co. Limited