20. EGYPT

SAVEUR - - Contents -

Rice pud­ding with car­damom,

SERVES 10 To­tal: 1 hr. 25 min. (plus cool­ing)

Rice pud­dings can be found in al­most ev­ery cul­ture. In Egypt, milky, chilled roz bil la­ban is fra­grant with car­damom and some­times a hint of rose­wa­ter. (Car­damom is also fea­tured in the coun­try’s corn flour pud­dings, or mhal­labiya, a num­ber of pas­tries, and hot cups of Ara­bic cof­fee.) This pud­ding, which eas­ily feeds a crowd and can be made a day or two ahead, is in­fused with whole car­damom pods, and has ground car­damom and cin­na­mon sprin­kled on top to taste. 5 cups whole milk, di­vided ¾ cup sugar ½ cup long-grain rice 2 Tbsp.(1 oz.) un­salted but­ter 6 green car­damom pods Pinch of kosher salt 2 large eggs, beaten 1 tsp. pure vanilla ex­tract Ground cin­na­mon, for serv­ing Ground car­damom, for serv­ing 1 In a large pot, add 4 cups of the milk, 1 cup wa­ter, the sugar, rice, but­ter, car­damom pods, and salt. Bring to a low boil over medi­umhigh heat, stir­ring fre­quently with a broad spat­ula or wooden spoon, and scrap­ing the bot­tom of the pot. Lower the heat to medi­um­low and sim­mer very gen­tly, stir­ring well ev­ery few min­utes to pre­vent stick­ing, burn­ing, and over­thick­en­ing on the bot­tom, un­til the rice is swollen and soft, about 35 min­utes.

2 Mean­while, in a sep­a­rate bowl, add the re­main­ing 1 cup milk, the beaten eggs, and the vanilla; whisk to com­bine.

3 Add the egg mix­ture to the pud­ding, stir­ring to in­cor­po­rate. Con­tinue cook­ing at a sim­mer, stir­ring con­stantly, un­til thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (the mix­ture will thicken more as it cools), 10–15 min­utes.

4 Re­move the car­damom pods and dis­card them, then la­dle the pud­ding into a large serv­ing bowl or mul­ti­ple smaller serv­ing bowls or cups. Let cool com­pletely at room tem­per­a­ture, then cover tightly with plas­tic wrap and chill well. (Pud­ding can be made up to 2 days ahead.) Un­cover, top gen­er­ously with ground cin­na­mon and lightly with ground car­damom, and serve.

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