Bhutanese Red Rice, Millet, and Oat Breakfast Pudding


Make Red Rice and Millet the Night Before:

• 2/3 cups Bhutanese Red Rice
• 1/3 cup Millet
• 2 1/2 cups Water
• 1 Cinnamon Stick, Broken in Half
• 1 Black Cardamom Pod (or 2-3 Green Cardamom Pods)
• 2 Bay Leaves

In a small saucepan (or electric rice cooker, as I did) combine Bhutanese red rice, millet, water, cinnamon stick, cardamom and bay leaves; allow grains/spices to soak for at least 20 minutes before cooking.

Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, being careful mixture does not boil over. Cook until grains are tender, about 25 minutes. Pick out whole spices and discard. Cool and transfer cooked grains to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.

In the Morning:

• 1 1/2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
• 2/3 cups Unsalted Roasted Cashews, Broken in Half with Fingers
• 2 teaspoons Turbinado sugar
• 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
(or Regular Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats if you do not have any GF guests)
• 1/2 cup Dried Currants
• 2 Ripe Bananas, Mashed (for about 1 cup)
• 2 cups of Half-and-Half
• 2 Large Eggs
• 3 tablespoons Brown Sugar
• Pinch Ground Ginger
• Pinch Ground Cloves
• 3/4 teaspoons Salt
• 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray or butter a 2 quart round ceramic baking dish. Set aside.

Make cashews: In a small pan, melt butter over medium heat until beginning to brown. Add cashews, shaking pan or stirring occasionally, being careful not to burn them as they cook quickly. You want most of the pieces golden brown on both sides. Remove pan from heat and add turbinado sugar, tossing to combine. Set aside.

In a large bowl, gently break up the cooked grains with a spoon. Fold in the oats, and currants (breaking up any clusters, with your fingers), to evenly incorporate.

In a separate bowl (I used my quart Pyrex), using a fork or whisk, combine mashed bananas, half-and-half, eggs, brown sugar, spices, salt and vanilla.

Pour liquid mixture into grain/currant mixture and stir. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with toasted brown butter cashews. Bake for 40-45 minutes until top is golden and puffed up. Serve immediately, with a dollop of crème fraiche or yogurt, if desired. Enjoy and then eat something savory!

Yield: Serves 6-8 as a sweet part of a festive breakfast