Divali, the Festival of Lights, is a season of sweets, running from the New Moon to Kartik Purnima, the November Full Moon. This Divali season, enjoy a rejuvenative Ayurvedic treat. Almond and rice dessert is good for strength and energy, for the male reproductive system and for ojas, core immunity. It is also an aphrodisiac treat for a romantic evening. Cow's milk is best for ojas and shukra (sperm production), while goat milk can be substituted for an allergy-free version. And for a vegan recipe, use all coconut milk and no dairy milk. It will still be delicious!
Almond and Rice Dessert
For almond milk:
- Blanched Almonds - 0.5 cup
- Boiling Water - 0.75 cup
- Rice flour - 5 Tablespoons (grind basmati rice in spice grinder to make this)
- Cow or Goat Milk - 1.5 cups
- Coconut milk - 2 cups
- Turbinado Sugar - 10 Tablespoons
- Rose water - 2 teaspoons
- Chopped pistachio nuts - 1 Tablespoon
- Chopped almonds - 2 Tablespoons
- 2 pomegranates
For almond milk, place blanched almonds in a small bowl, and pour the boiling water over them.
Cover, and soak for at least 15 minutes.
Blend the soaked almonds into a fine puree.
Strain the almond milk through a double layer of fine muslin cloth into a small bowl, squeezing the cloth to extract as much almond milk as possible.
Combine the milk, coconut milk, and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
As the milk comes to a boil, reduce the heat.
Add rice flour as almond milk comes to a boil, and reduce the heat.
Stir the rice flour and almond mixture, because rice flour has a tendency to separate from the liquid and settle at the bottom.
Add it to the milk and coconut milk in the saucepan in a steady, slow stream, stirring rapidly with a wire whisk to prevent lumping.
Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens and a thin custard is formed on the spoon.
Continue cooking the custard, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes.
The custard should be quite thin.
As it chills, it will thicken considerably.
Stir in the rose water, cover and cool.
A skin may form on the custard. If so, stir it in with a wire whisk.
To serve, pour into individual dessert dishes, sprinkle with chopped almonds and pistachios, and place a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds in the center.