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Jaggery Brown Rice Pudding

This is a play on two types of rice pudding: the version we’re used to in the United States, and kheer (an Indian version of the dessert that’s more soupy). Using the aromatics of kheer, non-dairy milk, and omitting the traditional egg yolk, this vegan rice pudding is beloved by vegans and omnivores alike. If you prefer to use regular milk and omit the nuts due to allergies, this pudding is easily customizable. Loaded with fiber, brown rice gives the pudding a bit more heft—and lots of nutrition—making it a dessert that errs on the healthier side.

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  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cashew milk (or unsweetened almond, soy, or oat milk)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk, well stirred
  • ½ cup brown short-grain rice
  • ¼ cup palm sugar or light-brown sugar
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Steps:

  1. Step 1

    In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cashew milk, coconut milk, rice, sugar, cherries, almonds, cardamom pods, vanilla bean and seeds, salt, and pepper. Add enough water to the coconut milk can to come up about a third of the way, swirl the can around to get the remaining bits, and dump the slurry into the saucepan. Stir to combine.

    Sous Tip:

    Let your child help with measuring, weighing, and mixing the ingredients together. Have them rub the cardamom pods between their palms to release the fragrance.

  2. Step 2

    Set the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning at the bottom of the pan, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of pudding, 40 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning at the bottom. (Brown short-grain rice takes slightly longer to cook than white.) Taste the rice: It should be tender, but with a touch of firmness.

    Sous Tip:

    With some supervision, you can let your budding chef stir the pudding and help you spot when the desired pudding-like consistency has been reached.

  3. Step 3

    Remove the pudding from the heat and let cool slightly before serving. The pudding is also excellent served cold. If not eating right away, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.