Indian Rice and Coconut Pudding Epcot Food and Wine Festival, India, 2008 Serves 4 1/3 cup basmati rice 5 cups milk 1 cup coconut milk 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted 1 cup 1/4-inch diced mango Garnish: 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds 1. In a large saucepan, bring the milk and coconut milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the rice, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the rice is soft and the liquid is thick and creamy, about 45 minutes. 2. Stir in the sugar, cardamom, saffron, coconut and mango and mix well. Transfer the pudding to 1 large serving bowl, or4 individual ramekins, and refrigerate until chilled. 3. To serve, garnish the top of the pudding with the toasted almonds. Curried Butternut Squash Soup Epcot Food and Wine Festival, India, 2008 Serves 4 -6 2 tablespoons usli ghee or butter 2 medium onions, peeled and finely sliced 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ginger 2 pound Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped 4 cups water or chicken broth Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the Garnish: 1/4 cup heavy cream Ground cinnamon Paratha Bread for accompaniment 1. In a large saucepan, heat the ghee over low heat and stir in the onions, curry, cinnamon and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 8 minutes. 2. Add the squash, stock and enough salt and pepper to taste. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, uncovered, or until the squash is soft. Set aside to cool slightly before puréeing. 3. Working in small batches, purée the soup in a food processor until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and reheat. Taste for seasoning. 4. To serve, divide the soup among 4 serving bowls and drizzle a little cream on top of each serving and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon. Note: this was a very popular dish at my last dinner party and all the guests chose to have it garnished with sour cream instead of heavy cream.