Rice Pudding

What happens when you’re craving something sweet while watching Anthony Bourdain travel around India? You start googling saffron rice pudding recipes.

I found a few recipes that I liked (this one) but since I’m still working off of what I have in my pantry, I couldn’t follow any of them exactly but instead used the ingredients and techniques as inspiration.

I had plenty of sliced almonds and a bag of purple raisins that I’ve been desperate to get rid of. So, instead of the more traditionally Indian golden raisins, I used boring old American style purple raisins. I wasn’t disappointed after tasting it, though. Also, to my dismay, I realized that I did not have cardamom like I thought I did. Instead I went with a blend of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Again, that’s more like an American style rice pudding but I’m trying to use only what I’ve got. I liked the technique of toasting the nuts, raisins and rice in the butter (or ghee) before adding the milk so I did that with mine. I also loved the idea of adding a bay leaf so I threw one in there. It was good.

I had some jasmine rice on had so I used that for a little extra subtle flavor. YUM. I will always be using jasmine rice for rice pudding from now on.

Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

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5 from 2 votes

Rice Pudding

Creamy rice pudding with Indian spices, raisins, and sliced almonds.
Total Cost: $2.74 recipe / $0.69 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 4


  • 1 Tbsp butter ($0.05)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds ($0.16)
  • 1/4 cup raisins ($0.56)
  • 1/2 cup jasmine rice ($0.44)
  • 4 cups milk ($1.30)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract ($0.07)
  • 1 whole bay leaf ($0.02)
  • 1/4 cup sugar ($0.04)


  • Saute the almonds and raisins in butter over medium heat for one minute. Add the dry rice and saute for 1-2 minutes more or until it looks slightly golden and toasted. Watch the heat carefully, if the butter or sugar from the raisins begins to burn take it off of the heat immediately.
  • Add the milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and bay leaf to the pot. Using a whisk stir it well so there are no clumps. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium/high heat while stirring often with a whisk. As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium/low and let it continue to simmer until thickened (30-40 min). Stir often with a whisk to prevent caking and burning on the bottom.
  • After 30-40 minutes the rice should be soft and the mixture should be thick and creamy. Serve hot or cold.

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.
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Step By Step Photos

raisins almonds butter
Heat the butter in a large pot and add the raisins and almonds.

toasted almonds raisins
Continually stir the almonds and raisins until they are toasted (1 min). The sugars from the raisins can burn so be careful. Add the raisins later when adding the milk if you’re afraid of burning them.

toast rice
Add the rice and stir it for 1-2 minutes more or until it looks slightly toasted and transparent.

add milk
Add the milk…

add spices and sugar
And the sugar and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and bay leaf).

bring to boil
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium/high heat. Stir with the whisk often to prevent it from caking and burning on the bottom of the pan.

simmer till thick
Once it reaches a boil reduce the heat to medium/low and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes or until thickened. Stir it often during this time.

thick rice pudding
Then, like magic, it’s thick and yummy. It will get even thicker as it cools.

Rice Pudding