Puvha ~ Flattened Rice Pudding
A milky dessert made up of flattened rice and almonds, lightly laced with rose water, vanilla and a sprinkling of cardamom and nutmeg.
While one can enjoy it all year round, it is traditional to prepare this particular dish in October on the night of the Harvest Moon which seems largest and brightest; being closest to the Earth on this night.
Legend has it that this night promises a trail of good luck, hence the tradition of enjoying the delicacy sitting by the waterfront taking in the fresh air and the cool sea breeze after a long hot summer.
Serves 6 to 8 persons
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup flattened rice
1/2 cup ground almond
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp Freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp rose water
In a pan stir on a low fire until completely dissolved the milk and sugar. Add to it the salt, flattened rice. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for 30 minutes. Continuing on a low flame, add the almond powder and cook till thickened to the right consistency of choice. Another 30 minutes. Add the vanilla and the rosewater, cardamom and nutmeg. Mix well and cool.
Garnish with rose petals.
The consistency of this pudding is creamy but still in the liquid state rather than a solid one.
Sometimes it may thicken after cooling. Add a little milk to thin it out if needed.
If rose water is unavailable do not add an alternate.
Pure rose water is fragrant and rose essence is very different.
Pistachios are often added to this for texture and flavour but just an extra.
One can also find flattened rice in pink leaving a hue behind when cooked.
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.
Photo credit Samira Victor-Henry