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Chai Spiced Rice Pudding

Chai Spice Rice Pudding

As young children, misconceptions run rampant in our lives, laughable to the adults entrusted with our care. As we grow older, however, the misconceptions become less endearing and more worthy of an eyebrow raise. These misunderstandings are tricky, slipping under the radar, lying low for years until an offhanded comment is made and the truth is suddenly revealed.

I used to believe that when someone "ran for president," they physically had to run a race. I can still picture it in my mind. Dressed up in fancy suits and ties, the candidates would race across the White House lawn towards a finish line strewn with red, white, and blue streamers. The track would be lined with important officials, cheering for the candidate they wanted to win with posters and loud whistles. The rules were simple—the first to cross the line would become the new president.

My poor third grade teacher had to sort that one out.

Chai Spice Rice Pudding Chai Spice Rice Pudding

When I was fourteen years old, I brought up at dinner one evening that I did not understand why the Disney logo was spelled with a backwards capital G instead of a D. My mother stared at me in disbelief, letting her fork full of food hover over her plate. A long discussion followed, but it wasn't until she traced out the D in the logo on the television screen that I understood I was in the wrong. Logically, it made sense that Disney would begin with a D instead of a backwards G, but I had never questioned it until that moment, however disconcerting that fact may be.

(For the record, I still struggle to see that elusive D to this day.)

Chai Spice Rice Pudding

I also used to believe that gray hair grew in all at once. After reaching a certain age, I imagined a person simply woke up one morning and could only grow gray hair. The original hair color would still exist, but new growth would leave hair two-toned—gray on top, color on the bottom. I surmised this is why most older women had short hair; who would want to wait for that gray hair to grow all the way out? It turns out I had just witnessed several women with overdue dye jobs and drew conclusions too quickly.

My mother had the privilege of enlightening me on that one too.

So how does all of this relate to chai spiced pudding? While standing in the spice aisle hunting for a little container labeled chai, it seemed strange to me that I couldn't seem to find it in any of the three stores I had visited throughout the week. I had assumed that chai was a spice all its own, perhaps coming from a tree, like cinnamon. It wasn't until I sat down in front of the computer that the internet softly informed me chai was, in fact, a lovely mixture of several Indian spices.

After twenty-four years of life, I would think that most of these misconceptions would have sorted themselves out by now, but they still pop up when I least expect it.

What are your biggest misconceptions?

Chai Spice Rice Pudding

Chai Spiced Rice Pudding is just as it sounds—creamy rice pudding spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and cloves. A pinch of black pepper is added to give the pudding a little spice, which defines this pudding with a unique signature. I used (and recommend) Arborio rice for this pudding because it retains its texture well. While rice pudding can be served warm or chilled, I find the soft warmth of the pudding and spices fill out a chilly fall evening quite well.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Cherry Bread
Two Years Ago: Fleur de Sel Chocolate Figs

Chai Spiced Rice Pudding

Yields 4 servings

1/2 cup (85 grams) Arborio rice
3 cups (709 ml) unsweetened almond milk (regular milk will also work)
1/3 cup (75 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, bring the Arborio rice, milk, sugar, and spices to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until rice is tender and pudding has reached desired thickness. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, if desired.

Serve warm.

Reader Comments (17)

delicious pudding. It took me a minute to link the spice to tea.
10.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterArchana
I thought the same thing about the "D" in Disney!
This pudding looks great! :)
Can't go wrong with chai, spices and rice pudding all in one sentence!
When I was little, my dad told me the dark spots on the moon were reflections of the continents on the other side of the world. I believed him until I off-handedly mentioned it to someone in college and they looked at me like I was crazy!
10.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica L.
I had/have the Disney issue too.

Pudding looks scrumptious!
10.4.2012 | Unregistered Commentercara
I'm glad I'm not the only one that has issues with the disney D :)
10.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshleigh
Don't worry, I think I've always seen it as a backwards G as well. Only when I saw a picture on Pinterest that pointed the D out did I really understand. I still don't see the D. It will forever be a backwards G.

So feel free to laugh. But I came into this post prepared to say that your rice pudding looks absolutely amazing (which it does by the way. I swoon over your photos in every post) but I don't like tea. I've always assumed that chai was some sort of tea and when people posted anything with chai I kind of just nixed it from my list or I would just glance at the picture. Now I know chai spice is actually a blend of spices. Now I feel kind of silly, but I don't know. Is chai tea a real thing or is it a blend of spices mixed with tea. I dunno. Now I feel like I have to look that up. I also feel like I have to make this because it looks so interesting. I've never had rice pudding before. I've had tapioca pudding (is that the one with the little whatevers in it) and I didn't like that. Grr. I don't like not knowing things. I guess it's off to the magical world of Google for me.

So yes, I will try and make this is the near future! :)
beautiful food!amazing it:)

10.4.2012 | Unregistered Commentermonika
LOL. I`m the same way with the Disney logo. The first letter I always see is the G.

I have yet to try rice pudding and this chai spiced one looks incredible.
10.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynna
That is a confusing one, especially since there are all sorts of different terms out there - chai tea, chai spices, plain old chai...
As I understand it, "chai" actually does just mean tea in the Indian and other South Asian languages. "Masala" chai is really what we westerners associate with chai - it means 'mixed-spice' tea, where all that goodness of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, etc. comes in. (Ever bought garam masala? it's a blend of spices to use in curries, same idea)
It gets mixed up here because we often see the redundant "chai tea" (tea tea) and tend to associate chai with the masala spices rather than the tea. So, what 'chai' means kind of just depends on who's talking!

Hope that helps! And this looks absolutely delicious. I've never made rice pudding but I have all of these things in the kitchen, and with the nights getting chilly this might be happening very soon. (I sure hope so)
10.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiana
This looks lovely! Next month is my "vegan month" so I'll add this to the list! I think all the ingredients are vegan...haha.
Diana-- Thanks for the info!

Katrina-- These ingredients are actually vegan! I didn't even realize that when I made it.
10.5.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
that sounds just delightful!
I've always been a Gisney girl myself, thinking if that's a D, I'm missing something. My favourite misconception is when I was about 11 or 12. Since I had been cooking for 'years already,' I thought myself amply prepared for the "Intermediate" section of my mother's Cordon Bleu cookbook. Full of ego and what I can only call courage, I attempted a 4 course meal, which included steak with a peppercorn sauce as the entree. The recipe said to use 1/2 cup of beef stock for the sauce, so I promptly used 1/2 cup of beef stock POWDER and never thought to taste it. I served the dinner on my mother's best linen and tableware, Vivaldi in the background and apple juice in wine glasses: I borrowed from every romantic restaurant cliche. My parents took one bite and I have yet to live this down: we had
'beef soup' for a few weeks after that. :)
Everyone I know thought the Disney logo was spelled with a capital G, too! It's a funky looking letter..
10.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
these reminds me of summer afternoons=)
10.9.2012 | Unregistered Commentershane
Love all the misconceptions - so funny. I also had the one about the Disney "G." This lovely spiced pudding looks delicious!
11.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

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