I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few days trying to figure out what I’d like to make next. To be honest, there’s a lot I’d love to try, but I don’t think I have the time or the skill to tackle them just yet. For example, the other night my cousin stopped by – because I hounded her repeatedly until she did so – to drop off her mom’s shushbarak bi laban. Shushbarak is probably my favorite Arabic dish and one of my favorite meals period. It’s essentially meat dumplings swimming in a tart, creamy yogurt soup of sorts. It is an incredibly time consuming dish to make, and I think I’ve maybe had it a dozen times over the course of my lifetime. This dish is responsible for my relentless obsession with dumplings of any kind.
I will make this dish some day. But today is not that day.
This week, I’m going to cook a simple dish – a dessert in fact. One that always reminds me of winter, comfort and my childhood home. It’s nothing fancy and every culture probably has their spin on this recipe. I figured with winter close to being over, it would be a good time to try making it.
I’m just offering my mother’s recipe this time around. Give it a try some night when you want the edible equivalent of something warm and snuggly. It happens to be just as yummy when it’s cold.
1 cup Cream of Rice
7 cups of water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. anise seed
1 tsp. caraway seed
1 cup sugar
Chopped nuts (use walnuts or pistachios)
Pinch of nutmeg, clove, cinnamon
Mix and stir above ingredients. Place on medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce to low heat and cook until the liquid mixture thickens slightly. Pour the pudding into small dishes and garnish with nuts, raisins and spices.