Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Indian Corn Pudding with Date Honey for #RandomRecipeChallenge

This simple cornmeal pudding is flavored with date honey but you could easily substitute any syrup you love.  Cooked in a crockpot or slow cooker, it makes an easy, belly-warming sweet finish to any meal.

I’m now in my second go-round of living in the Middle East, but the fact of the matter is that I fear I have barely touched the surface of the ingredients available here. Take date honey, for instance.  I first noticed date honey, or date syrup as it sometimes called, when we moved to Dubai back in November last year but I’d never bought it because I had no idea what to do with it.  Then, last May, on a holiday with my mother in the region, our hotel had a bowl of it out at breakfast.  I put it in my plain yogurt and everyone else was spreading it on buttered toast.  But I still never bought any of my own.  So I was delighted when Dom from Belleau Kitchen set using a local ingredient as our Random Recipe Challenge for this month.  I love Dom’s challenges because they are the impetus I need to try something new, even when sometimes it’s just a recipe in a book I’ve had for years so I bought a big bottle of date honey and prepared to use it in a recipe.

Unfortunately, an EatYourBooks search of date syrup and/or honey showed up zero recipes in my own cookbook collection.  It tastes more like molasses rather than honey or syrup, so I changed the search parameter to molasses and my chosen number lead me a recipe in a book I have never, ever cooked from, Lora Brody’s Slow Cooker Cooking.  I bought it online several years ago meaning for it to be a gift for my elder daughter, along with a crockpot, but she declined the gift idea, saying, quite rightly, that she didn’t need a heavy appliance to lug around.  So I was left with the book and I popped it on my shelf and forgot about it.  It’s actually quite a nice cookbook and I regret neglecting it.  That said, I halved the recipe because I wasn’t sure about a slow cooker sweet dish.  I shouldn’t have worried.  It was delicious, especially with a big slurp of pouring cream.  My husband declared it very good, in fact.  So go ahead and double everything and cook for nine hours.  Live large!  And try something local that is made or grown in YOUR neighborhood.

random recipes #33
Click on the badge to see the Random Recipe Challenge rules.

1/4 cup or about 70g yellow cornmeal
2 cups or 275ml whole milk
1/4 cup or 60ml date honey or syrup (or sub molasses/treacle as in the original recipe)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon butter, cut into two pieces, plus extra for greasing slow cooker
1 egg, lightly beaten

In a small mixing bowl, whisk your egg, a half cup of the milk and the date honey. Set aside.

Check out how dark this stuff is! 

Butter the inside of your slow cooker.  Do not turn it on yet.

Place the cornmeal in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Pour in a half cup of the milk; whisk constantly as you pour, so that the cornmeal does not form lumps.

Add your sugar, salt and baking soda to the egg/milk/molasses bowl and whisk again.  Add this mixture to the saucepan along with the butter and whisk well.

Set the saucepan over medium-high heat and cook the mixture, whisking constantly and making sure to reach into the corners of the pan, until small bubbles start to form on the surface and the mixture starts to thicken.  This takes just a few minutes.

Remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining cup of milk, whisking vigorously to dissolve any lumps.

Pour the mixture into the buttered insert of the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW for about four and a half or five hours, or until the outer edges and top have darkened and the middle just jiggles a little.  Turn off the slow cooker and let the pudding cool slightly, uncovered.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or a good helping of thick pouring cream.

It rather makes its own sauce as well. 



  1. Never heard of this before! Is it gluten-free?

  2. I guess it would be since I just used straight cornmeal. It does have baking soda but from what I can gather, pure baking soda is also gluten-free. So yay!

  3. It was, Jaime. I was wishing for a cold night to snuggle up with a bowl. No such luck here though.

  4. Wonderful, thank you! Will definitely be trying it out on my coeliac boyfriend!

  5. Hope he enjoys it as much as we did!

  6. Wonderful! most corn puddings I have eaten have been on the savory side, but I'm loving this date honey dessert version!

  7. Thanks, Toby! I must admit the whole concept was new to me. But I would definitely make this again. It was nice with the date honey but I'm thinking maple syrup would be good as well.

  8. I've heard of Indian corn pudding but never tasted it. It looks delicious!

  9. Well, you are on step ahead of me, Anita. I had never heard of it. But it was indeed delicious!

  10. truly random!... and this is why I love random recipes... I've never heard of this before and it looks so unusual I just have to taste it... a fab entry, thanks so much xx

  11. I haven't thought of this in ages! Thanks for reminding me and I hope to make it some day soon!

  12. Well you're certainly not the only person who hasn't cooked from a cookbook on their shelf. Guilty! That's why I love RR too. Loving this recipe as well as I love polenta so I've bookmarked it for my next Winter party.

  13. Thanks for hosting, Dom. I always love the random recipe challenge!

  14. How do you cook yours, Kelli? I got the impression that the crockpot was not the typical way.

  15. The way I always cooked it was to go to my Nana's and sit down at her table.......pretty cool trick, huh? :) I believe she baked hers in the oven but it seems to me that she cooked in a pot on a burner for a while then put it in the baking pan with a few things added. I guess this means I haven't had this since about 2 years before she passed away - about 16 years now. She made it during the fall too!

  16. Very cool trick. I wonder if she baked it in a water bath to keep it like pudding instead of cake. You need to make some for Rocket in memory of your Nana.

  17. I thought of that after I got to work and couldn't comment! Yes, she put a pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven each time she made it!


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