Is there anything more comforting than a warm, cozy bowl of rice pudding on a cold December day?
Honestly, I wouldn’t know. It’s currently 62 °F in Manhattan.
El Niño, you are strong this year, son!
This stretch of warm weather seems to be extending well into the next few days; the forecast right now says 58°F on Thursday! It’s kind of hard to get into that cozy holiday spirit as I’m walking around outside, sporting my old baggy Adidas sweatshirt and jeans, feeling like I could see leaves bud on the trees at any minute. “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” may be more than just a song lyric in 2015, at least for this part of the country!
Well, I’ll force that warm and cozy holiday feeling, if I must!
I’ve been a fan of Dona Chai since I discovered it a few months back. One of my favorite little coffee shops in the city, Plowshares Coffee Roasters, uses Dona Chai in their chai lattes, and it was love at first sip. It melds all of the traditional chai spices into a wonderfully soothing concentrate. It’s made locally in Brooklyn, to boot! I bought a bottle for myself at my local Whole Foods a few weeks ago, and I’ve been slipping it into little things, here and there. (Though, mostly, I stick to good ol’ chai lattes.) Today, on a related note, my roommates and I did a very adult apartment project: We cleaned out our fridge! Four bags of trash and recycling later, we have a sparkling (enough) place to store our perishables. Among the things I found was a container of white rice I cooked up two nights ago when I made a vegan coconut curry for dinner. I didn’t see any reason to throw it out. My eyes quickly glanced over at the bottle of Dona Chai on one of the shelves, and inspiration struck!
Rice pudding may not be everyone’s bag of tea, but give it a chance! I used to hate it, namely due to its texture. In 2008, I had a splenectomy, and my first solid food was rice pudding, about eight containers of Kozy Shack Rice Pudding, to be exact. I grew a fondness for it. It’s an incredibly versatile dessert, with so many ingredients that can be added to it. Today, I spied chai.
The rest is history.
Chai Rice Pudding
– 2 cups cooked white rice, preferably medium-grain
– 3 cups whole milk
– 1/4 cup Dona Chai (See: Before We Get Started…)
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– Pinch of salt
Before We Get Started…
– Feel free to use any other chai concentrate or home-brewed chai tea. As I use concentrate to make this recipe, I can not attest to the measurements associated with using home-brewed chai tea. That being said, I encourage you to experiment if you go the latter route!
1.) Combine rice, milk, chai concentrate, cinnamon, and salt in a large non-stick saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer for approximately 20 – 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2.) Remove from stove and allow to cool slightly before serving.
3.) Stir any remaining mixture and press cling wrap to the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
3a.) If storing leftovers, place into plastic containers and press cling wrap to the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
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Note: This post reflects my opinions on Dona Chai; I have not been asked by their company to represent their brand. I am merely an ardent fan! 🙂