May 17, 2010

Creamy Whole Wheat Orzo Pudding


Orzo is the most cutest shaped pasta ever in my eyes. They look like rice but only they are pasta. The regular Orzo would typically look white as they are made with Durum wheat/semolina, but these that were used in my pudding are whole wheat and hence they have this brownish hue to them.


I was so thrilled to find the w.w. ones, just because I had not seen them until then or see them being used in any of the recipes I came across.
So very excited, came home, made a beautiful Orzo pasta salad with my favorite vegetables, cranberries and plenty of sunflower seeds and the rest went into making this pudding.


I love Rice pudding, especially the Indian kind. It is called Payasam or Kheer and is very similar to that of its American counterpart. Except there is no eggs in payasam.
My mom to this date makes the best payasam. I don't know what it is that she does, but turns out just right every single time. Rich, creamy... with nice crunchy cashew nuts and fat raisins that cannot get any fatter from drinking all that milk that it soaks up. I could keep on dreaming about it. My, she works such magic with desserts!
So in short, that is where my Orzo pudding inspiration comes from. You could always substitute regular Orzo if you are not a fan of the w.w. kind.
Do keep an eye out for the tempering process (I have detailed it in the recipe below.)
It is a little tricky if you add too much hot liquid into the cold eggs. Gradually heating the mixture is key, just like any other pudding.
Just a small note before we head on to the recipe... this pudding does tends to thicken as it cools.


Creamy Whole Wheat Orzo Pudding


Skim milk - 2 1/2 cups
Whole wheat Orzo - 2 1/2 cups
Fat free evaporated milk - Half a can (or) 6 oz.
Brown sugar - 1/3 cup (More or less according to taste)
Organic Blue Agave - 4 tbsp (I like the taste of Agave, if you do not have it ready, you can add more of the sugar)
Egg - 1
Baking soda - A pinch
Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp grated fresh
Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
Pure Vanilla essence - 1 tbsp
Almonds - 1/4 cup chopped/slivered
Raisins - 1/4 cup


Beat together brown sugar, agave and egg in a bowl.

Combine skim milk and evaporated milk in a non-stick pan and bring it to a boil. Add orzo and let it cook till it is closer to al dente. Do not overcook since it will continue to cook during the process. Keep stirring every now and then to avoid sticking to the bottom.

Pour a little (maybe a ladle) of the milk mixture to the egg and sugar mixture and mix well. Add a two more ladles, one at a time and gradually mix it. Then add the entire mixture back to the pot and let it simmer with a pinch of baking soda.
Very slowly heating up the egg mixture is called tempering.
If you add it all at once to the hot pot of milk, the eggs will curdle and you will get scrambled eggs. And it is totally not pretty!

Add the nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla essence and stir well. Also add almond and raisins at this step.

The mixture will thicken as it is cooling. The pasta tends to drink up a good amount of milk.

I like mine thoroughly chilled. It tastes best that way.