So, the other day we were invited to go to an outdoor graduation party that was potluck-style for a friend. We looked at the weather and it was going to be a hot one… high base temp, high humidity, etc. Because of this I felt that a cooling dish was in order – but also something that would be supportive for the digestive system, because at potluck-style events those dishes, especially here in MN, are not always the easiest to digest, plus mixing of various foods, are not the best thing for a person’s digestive health… but they are fun, and often very nummy so we do them anyways! I decided to modify a traditional Cardamom & Rose Water Rice pudding to fit these requirements.
1 Tbsp Ghee*
1/2 cup rough chopped walnuts
1 full tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground coriander*
1/4 tsp turmeric*
1/4 tsp black seed*
1/4 tsp ground fennel*
1 vanilla bean (split)*
1/4 tsp Shatavari*
pinch of saffron*
1/2 cup white basmati rice
6 cups of Whole Fat Milk
1/2 cup white cane sugar
1 tsp rose water
1/4 tsp blackstrap molasses*
2nd – 1 tsp of cardamom
2nd – 1 tsp of rose water
* If you don’t have some of the * herbs/ingredients, that’s fine, just skip them (see why I added them below)
Note: Whenever possible, use organic ingredients.
In a large pot on LOW heat, put in ghee and as it is melting, add all the herb and spices (walnuts, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, black seed, fennel, vanilla bean, Shatavari, and saffron), and as you add in the herbs/spices, think about the term ‘unconditional love’ while adding these to the pot. Allow for the ghee to fully melt and stir in the herbs and allow for the smell to start to rise (about 2 or 3 minutes), and while stirring think more about the term ‘unconditional love’. This time allows the ghee to infuse with the herbs (and vice-versa) as well as the walnuts. Just as the aroma is opening with the herbs, add the 1/2 cup of white basmati rice and stir for about 1 to 2 minutes, allowing for the herbs and oils to penetrate into the rice. At this point now add the 6-cups of whole fat milk, then the 1/2 cup of cane sugar, the rose water, molasses and the 2nd tsp of cardamom. Turn the heat to high and cover. Just as it starts to boil, reduce heat to its lowest setting (maybe even on the smallest burner if possible). Allow this to cook for about 45-minutes to 1-hour. It’s done once it’s just slightly soupy, almost like a runny stew, remove from heat then add the 2nd-tsp tsp of rose water and mix in gently. Allow it to cool off, and place in the fridge overnight (preferably, though I put mine in the freezer for about 3 hours and let it thaw on the 20+ minute drive to the party) then serve chilled/room temp.
(PS: The picture is NOT the finished product… I forgot to take a picture of it finished… LOL — also, probably should have doubled the recipe… it went fast!)
Why the modifications?
As you can see, this is a more complex version of a Cardamom and Rose Water rice pudding, but still fairly simple to make… it just has more things in there. Below you’ll find the reasons as to why I decided to add each of these herbs/spices to this dish.
Ghee – Feeds the small intestines, and is a Pitta Balancing Oil. It also helps “dried out” tissues become hydrated again. Oil also helps the herbs blend better and moves them into the body better.
Cardamom – it’s a really nice digestive herb and has many similar properties to cinnamon and used in the hotter months as cinnamon is heating, while cardamom (or at least the kind generally available here in the United States) is more cooling.
Coriander – this is also another nice digestive herb, that’s slightly sweet and can hide well in the pudding. It’s also considered an antidote in Ayurveda for hot, spicy foods (something that can be common at Minnesota Potlucks oddly enough). It also helps detoxify toxins in the body (which can sometimes happen if food isn’t prepared correctly, or if it gets to warm which is common at potlucks). It also has a blood sugar balancing effect, and often sugary foods are at potlucks.
Turmeric – I’m told you’re suppose to ingest about 1 Tbsp of Turmeric a day. Turmeric is warming for the digestive system, but as it is brought out of the digestive system it is actually cooling on it’s way to the deeper organs and tissue. Turmeric also helps a person become more limber, and helps to attract wealth, which is good for any recent graduate .
Black Seed – aka “c**** everything but death”. I added this because you never know, and while this is a heating herb, I like the texture it adds to things.
Fennel Seed – pretty much the go-to for digestive herbs. In East Indian culture, they will chew on Fennel Seed after the meal for better Digestion. Fennel Seed also helps bring purity to the mind.
Vanilla Bean – It’s another cooling digestive, while also helps to cultivate a sense of “love”.
Shatavari – The most feminine herb in Ayurveda. It is all about Love and Nourishment. Oh, and it’s also cooling, and provides lots of energy (it translates from Sanskrit to English basically as “she who has the energy for 1,000 husbands”… yup, that’s a LOT of energy – and if you have that many husbands (or lovers), you will need something to cool you down some! LOL)
Saffron – It’s a cooling herb, especially for the blood. It also helps release oxytocin… again, helping to bring a sense of unconditional love. It also increase circulation (which is very important on a hot day), as well as increases metabolism (at potlucks you tend to eat a lot of food, you want your metabolism to be strong).
White Cane Sugar – this is also cooling, but you want to make sure it’s cane and not beet (beet seems to be heating for some odd reason, or at least from what I’ve seen – so if it doesn’t say Cane, then that means it’s beet).
Rose Water – rose is kind of the smell of love It’s also pretty cooling.
Molasses – I love this sweetener in small amounts. There are soooo many benefits. The reason I used this today is that it helps rebuild electrolytes (it was very hot, people were sweating… you need to make sure electrolytes are good), even though this is kind of hard to digest.