Sakura Rice Pudding

When the much awaited cherry blossom (sakura) tea arrived, all the way from Japan, it was a little anticlimactic to see “Lipton” stamped on it. Nevertheless, the floral scented tea did not disappoint! So much so, that I tried a sakura-infused rice pudding. It turned out even more delicious. Enjoy!


Coffee/spice grinder, microwave.


Serves 2.

  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 sakura tea bags
  • 2 tbsps powdered brown rice (coarsely ground in a coffee/spice grinder)
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or more, to taste)
  • Garnish: raisins or Blackstrap molasses or berries or pitted, halved cherries


Heat the milk to scalding (about 3-4 mins in microwave). Place the tea bags and let steep (for about 1 hour). Remove the teabags and add the rice powder to the milk and cook in microwave till thickened (at 60% power for 5 mins, stir and repeat two more times). Add the sugar and mix well. The mixture thickens as it cools.

Serve hot or chilled with the garnish.


  1. This is a simple, entirely-in-microwave rendition of a rice pudding.
  2. I used 2% milk, but any milk will do, even skimPlus. After adding the tea bags, to get a stronger extraction, you can nuke it for a 1 minute.
  3. The rice can be ground in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. It should not be a very find grind: coarse is good.
  4. Blackstrap molasses? See
  5. This is similar to Indian kheer, or, phirnee/firni. Another variation is to set it in individual ramekin or even blancmange molds. Inverting from a mold would need the consistency to be even thicker.
  6. Garnishing sakura (cherry blossom) pudding with cherries reminds me of the Japanese dish called oya-ko (parent-child) donburi which refers to chicken-egg. Oya-ko being cherry blossom-fruit.
  7. Lavender pudding with lychee. I have used lavender to scent the pudding and chopped lychee as garnish. Has been a big hit. You can get culinary dried lavender buds from your spice/tea store, if it is fancy enough 🙂 Make sure it is culinary. It is indeed worth the trouble to locate such a source.
  8. Cardamom infused pudding. The Indian in me, of course, has infused rice pudding with cardamom, with incredible results.

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