I used to be good with books. I used to write my name and even the date in the hope that one day after long long time when I open them, they will fill me up with the memories of how and when I found them. People find it funny. Some even think it is a waste of money and space. I have seen people selling books for that matter. I might be wrong here. But I always had this notion that books are to be passed on from generations to generations rather than being sold to someone who will just rip them apart and use the pages to sell street food as I had so often seen especially from where I come. Space?! That I suppose is subjective. It often depends on individuals means and circumstances. In my case, being on the move always, space, gets in the way of my growing book collection.
I still have a long list of books I need to buy. Sometimes while flipping through these eats up so much of my time that I forget to enjoy other simple pleasures of life like just relaxing by the snow covered balcony and staring in silence. Staring in silence and enjoying a dessert with flavors from two continents, one where my roots are and other where my heart belongs. A perfect combination. Sweet and bitter. Indian rice pudding and chocolate pudding. Homemade and instant.
I would suggest making Indian rice pudding or Kheer (as known in India) and chocolate pudding a day in advance. Personally I prefer making home made chocolate pudding but little short on time, forced me take the instant mix route. Hope you don’t mind. They go perfectly with each other as the sweetness of Kheer is balanced by little bitterness of chocolate pudding.
- ½ cup broken white rice or long white rice
- 3-3.5 cups milk (any fat content) (I used 2%) (Remember more fat content, creamier kheer)
- White sugar to taste
- 2-3 Cardamom pods (Take out the seeds from pods and grind them either by hand using a rolling pin or in mortar-pestle
- Sliced almonds, dried cranberries, sliced pistachios for garnishing.
- Jello instant chocolate pudding mix
- Wash the rice in warm water till water becomes clear. Soak them in hot water for an hour. In a pot, pour milk and rice. Bring them to boil and then let them simmer at med-high flame. Keep it stirring in between so milk does not stick to the pot bottom.
- Let them simmer until milk reduces to half and rice becomes soft. If you feel more milk is needed, then add some more and let it simmer more.
- Add sugar and cardamom powder. Mix it well and using the back of the ladle or spoon, mush it up nicely. Taste and adjust sugar if needed. Let it cool in fridge for 2-3 hours.
- Make chocolate pudding as package directions.
- In serving cups, layer them as desired and garnish. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them get chilled overnight or for few hours before serving.