Comfort Me with Rice

When I was first adopted from South Korea, cookies and milk were so foreign to me and I often requested, instead, a bowl of hot steamed rice with a pat of butter for my after-school snack; a bowl of warm rice was comfort food for obvious reasons.  It didn’t last too long, though, as I was immersed in American culture and soon after had my fair share of chocolate brownies and other goodies.  I still find comfort in a bowl of rice, whether Korean-style as in bibimbap, Cajun jambalaya, Spanish paella, or a Puerto Rican-inspired arroz con pollo.

Lately, I’ve been making all manner of rice desserts–sticky rice with seasonal fruit for the new book, and then some Indian-inspired recipes that I’ve been developing for Sukhis, a gourmet Indian food company based in California.



Golden Carrot Rice Pudding

Yield: 4 to 6  |  Total time: 40 min
Print Recipe
This Indian-inspired rice pudding (kheer) is a delicate and comforting sweet bite. I like adding carrot and orange zest for color and freshness as well as the garnish of fresh pomegranate arils, but try adding any fresh fruit you prefer.


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup fragrant long-grain rice, such as Basmati or jasmine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole (or 2% as a secondary option) milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot, about 2 medium
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • OPTIONAL ADD-INS: golden raisins, ground cardamom, chopped candied ginger, a few saffron threads
  • Ground cinnamon and/or fresh pomegranate arils, for garnish


  1. Bring water, rice, and salt to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer on low until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add milk, cream, sugar, carrot, and vanilla. Stir in any of the optional add-ins. Increase heat to medium-low; cook uncovered until rice is tender and mixture thickens slightly to a soft, creamy texture, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Mixture might seem runny, but it will thicken up later.

  2. Remove pudding from heat and let cool just slightly.  Serve warm with a sprinkling of cinnamon and fresh pomegranate arils, if desired.

Date Published: November 1, 2013

All recipes have been tested by the Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.

4 comments... read them below or add one


  1. November 2, 2013 5:28 am by Donna Reply

    Kim, rice is one of my all-time favorites, too–it’s a Lowcountry South Carolina tradition–but for some reason, I’ve never cottoned to rice pudding. Put a bowl of rice and gravy in front of me, though, and I am a happy camper!

    • November 2, 2013 11:05 am by kim Reply

      Hello Miss D! I love the low-country versions as well. Some rice puddings can be cloying and too thick, but give this one a try. I miss seeing you, cooking with you!

  2. December 14, 2013 12:18 pm by Seung Hee Reply

    My favorite way of eating rice as a kid was — hot bowl of steamed white rice, butter (maybe margarine at the time…), and soy sauce. And of course, with toasted salted sea weed. Yum!

    • December 16, 2013 6:24 pm by kim Reply

      I will now add toasted salted seaweed! Great idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *