Cardamom Rice Pudding Empayasamem

This is the South Indian equivalent of cake: essential at every wedding, birthday, and holiday. Indians like to serve it warm and soupy. This recipe is part of our menu for Sadhya, a South Indian feast.

Yield Makes 6 to 8 servings Active Time 10 minutes Total Time 1 1/2 hours


    • 6 cups whole milk
    • 2/3 cup long-grain white rice (not converted)
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup grated jaggery (unrefined brown sugar) or turbinado sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw)
    • 1 tablespoon Indian Clarified Butter (Ghee) or melted butter
    • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
    • 1/2 cup raisins


    1. Bring milk, rice, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Add sugar and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
    2. Heat ghee in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until hot, then cook almonds, stirring, until golden. Add raisins and cook, stirring, until coated with ghee and slightly puffed.
    3. Stir almond mixture into rice pudding and serve warm.
Cooks' Notes:
•Indian ingredients can be mail-ordered from
•Rice pudding can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat, thinning with warm milk, before serving.

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Nutritional Info

  • Calories459
  • Carbohydrates74 g(25%)
  • Fat14 g(21%)
  • Protein11 g(22%)
  • Saturated Fat6 g(31%)
  • Sodium156 mg(7%)
  • Polyunsaturated Fat2 g
  • Fiber2 g(6%)
  • Monounsaturated Fat5 g
  • Cholesterol29 mg(10%)
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