NZ Woman's Weekly

Rice as Nice

  • Meal Type

  • Total time

    2 hours
  • Servings

  • Courses

I love it when I’m sent old recipes which have been used by generations of Kiwi families and always get very excited as I’m about to make them up. But sometimes I hear from people wanting me to find recipes for them, which was the case with Mrs Elaine Senior of Dannevirke.
She wrote me a very simple note saying, “Dear Wendyl, Could you please find me a recipe of rice and sultanas pudding boiled in a cloth. Thank you, Elaine.”
The letter was sent back in February and I have been searching ever since. Every recipe I have found in my vast collection of old books bakes the dessert in a dish, so I hope this will do Elaine.
It is very easy to create and tastes deliciously creamy. You can make this in five minutes, then pop it in the oven to cook while you are doing other things, such as preparing dinner or entertaining.
It will happily adjust to being shoved at the bottom of the oven while cooking a roast at 180°C, but the lower the temperature and the longer you cook it, the creamier it is.
I’ve added half a vanilla pod to the recipe, simply because my Tahitian mother-in-law used to do this with her rice pudding and it always tasted superb.
  • ½ cup short grain rice (or use sushi rice if you have it handy)
  • ½ cup sultanas or raisins
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Lemon rind
  • ½ a large vanilla pod
  • or a whole small one
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg

1. Find a baking dish (Pyrex or similar) which will hold eight cups or two litres of liquid.  I prefer to use a glass dish because you can see how the pudding is cooking.

2. Put the rice and sultanas into the dish. Scald the four cups of milk (this means just before it simmers and not boiling). Pour this over the mix and then add salt, sugar, butter, lemon rind and vanilla. Stir together.

3. Grate some nutmeg over the top then place in a 160°C oven. Bake for about 1½ to 2 hours. I left mine until it was quite caramelised and golden. Check every 20 minutes and give it a stir. If it starts to dry out, add a little more milk.

Do you have a Nana recipe you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear about it. Email me at: or write to Nana’s Pantry, NZWW, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142

Issue 1541

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