Recipe: Sheer Berenj (Rice Pudding)

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The familiar sweet creaminess of rice pudding, made extra special with fragrant rose water and cardamom.

1 cup medium grain enriched rice, preferably Goya brand

4 cups boiling water

1/2 teaspoon corn oil

1/8 teaspoon fine salt

4 cups whole milk

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon rose water

Ground pistachios, for garnish

Soak the rice in plenty of cold water for 30 minutes. Rinse in several changes of fresh water until the water runs clear. Put the rice in a large saucepan with the boiling water, oil, and salt and bring to a boil over high heat, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until all the water is evaporated, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. If the rice starts to stick and/or brown, lower the heat. Mash some of the rice in the pan with the back of a spoon, and then pour in the milk. Raise the heat to bring to a low boil, about 7 minutes, and then lower the heat, adjusting as necessary to keep the rice at a slow bubble. Simmer, stirring frequently to prevent the rice from sticking, until the rice is soft and the pudding is soupy, for 10 to 12 minutes. Add the sugar, cardamom, and rose water. Stir to dissolve for a couple minutes, and then remove from the heat. Pour into an 8-cup serving dish and let cool to room temperature. Press plastic onto the surface and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle with ground pistachios and serve.

Makes about 8 servings

Prep: 10 minutes, plus soaking and chilling times

Cook: 35 minutes