Thursday, May 25, 2017

Indian Pudding, Indian Style (Polenta Or Cornmeal Pudding)

I cannot believe this is recipe # 500! I am celebrating it with this delicious pudding - an amalgam of Indian and American ingredients which work amazingly well!

Polenta Pudding came into being many years ago because a lot of the sauce was left over after making Ras Malai! I did not want to waste all that wonderfully flavorful creamy sauce and thought a quick pudding would be the best option to use it up.  I was looking for cream of wheat, but all I had available was a bag of cornmeal (even though made of corn, it had the consistency of cream of wheat) - so Indian/Polenta Pudding was born to rave reviews!!

When the pudding was presented, I was asked if it was Indian pudding?!  As it was made with a lot of Indian ingredients, I said that it was :-).  As I was new to cooking, I did not know that there actually was such a thing called "Indian Pudding", a famous New England dessert!

How did Indian pudding get its name? Columbus got lost when he tried to sail to India and ended up in America; he called the native people "Indians"!  Apparently, ground corn was called "Indian meal" by the new settlers as the "Indians" introduced them to corn and corn products and the pudding made with the Indian meal was ..... Indian Pudding.

My first and original Indian Pudding was made with regular milk. Vegan milk substitutes including coconut milk work well for a wonderful dairy-less pudding.


1/3 cup  coarse corn meal (Polenta)
2 cups Milk, any type
1/2 cup regular or brown Sugar
1 pinch Saffron
1 tsp Cardamom
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1- 2 tsp Rose Water (optional)
4 Tbsp Sliced raw Almonds
2 Tbsp Raw Pistachios, Finely Chopped


Place corn meal in a heavy bottomed pan and add milk; let soak for a couple of hours or overnight in the fridge.

Tip in the sugar and mix well. Slowly bring to a boil while stirring constantly.

Reduce heat so that the pudding is gently simmering.

Simmer the pudding for about 30 - 45 minutes stirring occasionally as needed to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning; add more milk if the pudding gets too thick as needed.

When the pudding is well cooked and has thickened, remove from heat.

Place cardamom (use seeds only, discard the pod), saffron and nutmeg in a mortar with a spoon full of sugar and pulverize with the pestle. Stir the mixture into the pudding.

Cover the pudding  with a tight fitting lid and let cool.

Indian Pudding is best served warm.  Stir in the rose water and chill if serving cold.

Serve the pudding sprinkled with the sliced almonds and pistachios.  Enjoy!!

No comments: