rice pudding

Contributed by Bijaya Thapa and Ichchha Thapa, Taste of the Himalayas Restaurant

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Serves 3—4

5 cups milk

1 cup basmati rice

¼ cup jaggery

¼ cup ghee

½ cup grated coconut

2 teaspoon ginger powder

2/3 teaspoon cinnamon powder

2/3 teaspoon cardamom

pinch nutmeg



1. Bring milk and rice to a boil in large pot. Simmer, stirring until it begins to thicken. 

2. Add the sugar, coconut, spices and ghee.  Add water as needed if the pudding is too thick.

3. Serve hot pudding in small cups, topped with nuts.  Add additional sugar and ghee to taste.


Bijaya Thapa

Bijaya Thapa

nutritionist’s comments

Contributor – Tiffany Xu

Nutritional Value & Potential Benefits

This simple yet sweet and tasty dish is filled with a variety of flavor-packed ingredients that also provide many health benefits. When combined into one delicious pudding, one may wonder why more mothers don’t enjoy this!

  1. Every ingredient is intentional, even the sugar. Instead of a refined sugar, this recipe calls for Jaggery (also known as Gur, Panela, Pilonillo etc.). This is an unrefined sugar that contains small amounts of key nutrients for lactation—Vitamin A, C, E, B6 and Riboflavin—that normally are extracted for refined sugars (1, 2).

  2. Coconut provides a great amount of insoluble fiber to aid healthy and regular digestion movement (3).

  3. Ginger improves blood glucose levels. By taking in 1-3 g of Ginger daily, mothers with gestational or regular diabetes, should expect to see lowered fasting blood glucose levels, improved insulin sensitivity, and decreased Hemoglobin A1C levels (4).

  4. Milk is a great source of calcium (5). It is important for breastfeeding mothers to get enough calcium since their newborns need calcium for strong bones are getting this nutrient from mom’s body. After giving birth, estrogen levels in mothers decrease and women are also at risk for osteoporosis. It is good for all mothers, whether breastfeeding or not to get enough calcium (6).

  5. Milk is also rich in protein which is important for postpartum recovery in repairing and growing cells (5, 6).

  6. The rice provides ready-to-use energy for your body to use in postpartum recovery and day to day functions.

Mindful Modifications:

  1. For lactose intolerant Mothers, you can switch out the milk with your favorite non-dairy alternative milk. Since the recipe uses Ghee, a clarified butter that has almost no lactose, you can be confident this pudding will be almost completely lactose-free!

  2. For mothers who are fighting or at risk for heart disease, consider… (7).

    1. using low-fat or nonfat milk

    2. removing the coconut gratings (due to their high level of saturated fats) . Other nut shavings (like brazilian or macadamia nuts) with a few drops of coconut extract are great substitutes that preserve the nutty flavor while keeping to the unique coconut flavor.

    3. replacing basmati rice with whole grain rice

    4. decrease the amount of jaggery

  1. In order for our bodies to absorb calcium, it needs vitamin D. To help increase absorption of calcium, try using vitamin D fortified milk.