Traditionally after Gautama’s Wesak address, his devotees partake of rice pudding in commemoration of the rich rice milk that Sujata, a villager’s daughter, served Gautama before his meditation under the Bo tree. The Gospel of Buddha records that when Gautama had partaken of the rice milk, “all his limbs were refreshed, his mind became clear again, and he was strong to receive the highest enlightenment.”
Makes 60 servings, 26 cups
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 12 ounce box (4¼ cups) Nabisco Cream of Rice Cereal
- 4 quarts almond milk (Naturally Almond-Original Pacific Foods of Oregon works well; it has some rice syrup, malt and salt)
- 3 quarts water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon almond Extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup fruit sweetener (or other natural sweetener)
- Carefully toast slivered almonds until they turn a golden color.
- Bring water and almond milk to a boil.
- Whisk in cereal and boil for four minutes. (Continue whisking to prevent scorching!)
- Lower heat and simmer an additional six minutes while whisking in remaining ingredients.
- While still warm, divide into 3½ ounce servings. (We use 4-ounce squat containers.)
- Garnish each serving with three almond slivers.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
We recommend that you not attempt to use rice syrup or barley malt as sweetener because the enzymes may cause the pudding to break down.
You may choose to make your own almond milk. This is labor intensive if you blanch the almonds and remove the skins. It is not necessary to strain out the pulp. You may also choose to use ground rice cereal from a health food store; be sure to cook it long enough.
This pudding was eaten by Gautama Buddha for sustenance; it should not be as sweet as dessert. The preparation itself is a holy ritual.
Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 35, no. 20.