Baked Chai Rice Pudding

I felt pretty pleased with myself when I thought of making a chai flavoured rice pudding, then I googled it only to find someone else had already thought of it. There is nothing new under the sun. No matter. I still wanted to make it, and so I did this morning. After being up for a few hours with no breakfast on a cold Melbourne autumn morning, let me tell you this was utterly perfect. I double dare you to make this on an empty stomach and not devour at least half of it!

If you like, add some sultanas that have been softened in some warm apple juice. I prefer it without though.

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups milk
  • 200 ml weak black tea
  • 4 pieces cinnamon bark
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 12 cardamon pods
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • A little butter, for greasing

Preheat the oven to 180C

In a pestle & mortar, crush the pepper, cardamon pods, cloves and cinnamon a little. Don’t ground to a powder, just smash them up a bit. Place in a saucepan with the milk, and grate the ginger in. Very gently heat for 10 minutes to infuse the milk. Do not allow it to boil, you want a very low heat.

While the milk’s infusing, make the cup of tea and set aside. Whisk the egg and sugar until combined. Add the rice to this mixture.  Grease an ovenproof dish with some butter.

Remove the milk from the heat, add the tea, and stir. Strain it into the egg/sugar/rice mixture so you don’t get all the chai flotsam and jetsam in your pudding.

Pour into your greased baking dish. Gently stir to ensure the rice mixture is evenly spread across the base of the dish. Scatter a few cardamon pods and cinnamon pieces from the strained chai, grate some nutmeg over the top, and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Serve warm.

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