Rice – 1 cup, washed and drained
Water – 1 1/2 cups
Whole milk – 3 cups, divided
Sweetened condensed milk – 1/2 cup or slightly less
Salt – a pinch
Butter – 1 tbsp
Golden raisins – a small handful
Almond extract or syrup – 1/2 – 1 tsp (depending on how strong the flavor is)
Almonds – a small handful, chopped
Gently boil the water and 1/2 cup milk in a deep pan. Add rice, turn heat to low, cover and cook the rice.
When rice is cooked, add the rest of the milk and simmer for 20 minutes or so, till rice is very soft and pudding is thickened. Gently mash some of the rice with the back of a wooden spoon and mix well.
Now add sweetened condensed milk as per your taste. (I added just under half cup, you can add more if you like a sweeter pudding). Add a pinch of salt, mix well and remove from heat if the consistency is to your liking. If it is runny, simmer for some more time. If it is too thick, add a few tablespoons of milk and heat thoroughly.
Once done, mix in the almond extract or almond syrup. If you are using an extract, a little goes a long way and half a teaspoon will suffice. Always start with a small amount and work your way up.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan, fry the golden raisins till plumped and mix in the pudding.
Garnish with chopped almonds and serve warm or chilled.
You can add vanilla extract in place of almond extract/syrup. You can also add a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg powders if you like their flavor in rice pudding.
For an Indian flavor, try a combination of cardamom powder and saffron to flavor the rice pudding. Also, use ghee instead of butter.
I am sure this would be lovely flavored with rose syrup as well. Rose syrup will tint the rice pudding pink, so if you want to retain the white color, use edible rose-water.