Masala Chai Rice Pudding

Jonathan Gregson
  • Yield: 4 servings

Chai taken to another level here by using it as the base for a light rice pudding. It's delicious served with roasted apricots or chocolate. We also love to eat this pudding cold for breakfast.


4 green cardamom pods
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick, lightly crushed
1 1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
4 black peppercorns
4tablespoons black tea leaves
1/4cup palm or superfine sugar
1cup milk
Rice Pudding
1cup pudding rice
2tablespoons butter, diced
2 1/2tablespoons cornstarch
1cup milk
1/4 cup palm or superfine sugar (optional)


  1. To make the chai, lightly crush the cardamom pods, cloves, and cinnamon with a mortar and pestle.
  2. Put 2 1/2 cups water in a sauce pan and add the crushed spices, ginger, and black peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for a few minutes. Remove from the heat, add the tea and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar and milk to the pan, return to the heat, and bring almost to a boil. Remove from the heat and leave to steep for 4 to 5 minutes before straining.
  4. To make the pudding, place the rice, chai, and butter in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, stir and cover. Cook over low heat for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender.
  5. Mix together the cornstarch and milk to form a smooth paste. Once the rice is cooked, stir in the cornstarch mixture, bring back to a boil, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring continuously. For a sweeter rice pudding, stir in the optional sugar of your choice until dissolved. Serve at once.


  • Experiment with different flavor teas such as jasmine, Earl Grey, or ginger.

Reprinted with permission from Maria Elia’s Full of Flavor: How to Create Like a Chef (Kyle Books, 2013)