Masala Chai Rice Pudding with Roasted Grapes

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I went to a cooking demo with culinary anthropologist Nithya Laila as supported by Orchard Grapes and I thought that I’d like to share with you Laila’s interesting dessert of Masala Chai Rice Pudding with Roasted Grapes because it is a real fusion of East and West. Plus…it’s just a lot more interesting than your typical cold desserts or even rice pudding, which is very comforting in itself.


For the pudding

  • 100g short grain rice
  • 50g hulled mung beans (also known as mung dal in Indian specialty stores)
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 0.5g saffron, ground
  • 3 cardamom pods, lightly pounded
  • 2 cloves
  • 0.5 tsp ginger powder
  • 0.5 tsp lemon peel
  • 1 tsp black tea leaves
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar (used caster sugar to keep the colour but feel free to use coconut or palm sugar for added tropical flavour)
  • 500ml full cream milk
  • 500ml water
  • 80ml double cream
For the grapes:
  • 600g Orchard Road grapes
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a heavy-bottomed wide pan, toast the mung beans with the butter over a low flame till it turns a light golden brown, stirring regularly. Add the rice and further cook for another 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the milk, water, lemon peel, saffron, tea leaves, cardamom, ginger powder and cloves to a boil. Once the mixture boils, remove from heat. Split the vanilla pod into two, scrape out the beans into the milk and pop the pod in as well. Stir in the sugar, cover and let steep for 20 minutes.
  3. Strain the mixture with a sieve, add in the rice mix and cook over a low heat with an occasional stir for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  4. Allow to cool and rest in the fridge for about an hour while you prepare the grapes.
  5. Make a quick spiced syrup by melting the sugar with water, adding the cinnamon stick, vanilla extract and cardamom pods over low heat until it thickens to a syrup. Strain and allow to cool.
  6. Heat oven to 2000C.
  7. In a non-stick roasting dish, gently coat the grapes with the coconut oil and syrup before popping them into the oven for 45 minutes, till the juice from the grapes and the syrup have released to form a beautiful grape glaze.
  8. Whip the double cream into soft peaks, mix it into the rice pudding right before serving and top it with the roasted grapes and glaze.
Orchard Grapes are available in Cold Storage island-wide. Enjoy!!

Photos: Mod Photography & Orchard Grapes

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