Almond and Rice Dessert with Pomegranate

This Almond and Rice Dessert harnesses the rejuvenative power of almonds, milk and pomegranate. Divali, the Festival of Lights, is a season of sweets, running from the New Moon to Kartik Purnima, the November Full Moon. This Divali season, enjoy a rejuvenative Ayurvedic treat! Almond and rice dessert is good for strength and energy, for the male reproductive system and for ojas, core immunity. It is also an aphrodisiac treat for a romantic evening. Cow's milk is best for ojas and shukra (sperm production), while goat milk can be substituted for an allergy-free version. And for a vegan recipe, use all coconut milk and no dairy milk. It will be delicious!

Ingredients

For almond milk:

  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

For Dessert:

  • 5 Tbsp. rice flour (grind basmati rice in spice grinder to make this)
  • 1.5 cups cow or goat milk
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 tsp. rosewater
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped pistachio
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped almonds
  • 2 pomegranates

Preparation

  1. For almond milk, place blanched almonds in a small bowl, and pour the boiling water over them.
  2. Cover, and soak for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Blend the soaked almonds into a fine puree.
  4. Strain the almond milk through a double layer of fine muslin cloth into a small bowl, squeezing the cloth to extract as much almond milk as possible.
  5. Combine the milk, coconut milk, and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. As the milk comes to a boil, reduce the heat.
  7. Add rice flour as almond milk comes to a boil, and reduce the heat.
  8. Stir the rice flour and almond mixture, because rice flour has a tendency to separate from the liquid and settle at the bottom.
  9. Add it to the milk and coconut milk in the saucepan in a steady, slow stream, stirring rapidly with a wire whisk to prevent lumping.
  10. Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens and a thin custard is formed on the spoon.
  11. Continue cooking the custard, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes.
  12. The custard should be quite thin.
  13. As it chills, it will thicken considerably.
  14. Stir in the rose water, cover and cool.
  15. A skin may form on the custard. If so, stir it in with a wire whisk.
  16. To serve, pour into individual dessert dishes, sprinkle with chopped almonds and pistachios, and place a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds in the center.
  17. Serve your delicious almond and rice dessert with love and pride!