I first visited Norway in the 2nd week of December 2007, when Christmas festivities were in the air. I landed in Oslo to about 30 cm of snow and temperatures of -12°C. It was a magical experience; everything around me, as far as the eye could see was covered in snow but then lit up with the Christmas lights.
Kongsberg, the town in which our Norwegian office is located, is a small place with a population of about 30,000 people today. It is famous as the headquarters of Kongsberg Gruppen, a famous Norwegian defense contractor, and is also home to other companies like FMC Technologies. In days of yore, Kongsberg was famous for its Silver mines and today, is the home for the Mint of Norway.
Whenever I think of Kongsberg, I think of a town of snow-covered single- or two-storey homes decorated with warm Christmas lights. Of course, who can forget the merry river Numedalslågen that flows through the middle of the town.
It is also the place where I was first introduced to Norway’s amazing range of breads, cheeses, and desserts. The standout dish of Norway for me is Riskrem; their outrageously creamy, very mildly sweet rice pudding that is a traditional Christmas favourite. I guess, my joy at eating Riskrem was so obvious, that my business partner Bjorn E always ensures I get some to take home as well.
Riskrem is something like our Ksheerannam but with much less sugar and with loads of cream blended into it. It is absolutely divine (especially if you don’t have a sweet, sweet tooth). It is served with a generous topping of a Lingonberry syrup; since I don’t get Lingonberry syrup in India, I use Raspberry or Strawberry syrup.
Do try it this Christmas!
Cooking Time: 2.5 Hours
Cooling Time: 8-12 Hours
Easting Time: 1 Minute! 😀
- Rice (ideally a starchy variety) – 1/2 Cup
- Full-cream Milk – 1 litre
- Full Cream – 2 Cups
- Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1/3 Cup
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Raspberry or Strawberry Syrup – 1 Cup
- Refrigerate the cream.
- In a heavy-bottomed vessel, bring the milk to a boil.
- Add the rice and salt.
- Over medium heat, cook till the milk is completely absorbed. Stir at regular intervals. This takes upto 2 hours.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add sugar and Vanilla extract.
- Mix well till the sugar is dissolved.
- Let the rice pudding mix.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, whip the cream into soft peaks.
- With a gentle hand, fold the cream into the chilled rice pudding.
- Divide into 4 equal portions.
- Top each portion with 1/4 cup of berry sauce.
- Many Indians find Riskrem to be “not sweet enough”. You can increase the amount of sugar to your liking in Step 6.
- You can also use Almond extract instead of Vanilla extract.