Culture & Lifestyle / DIY: Bread Pudding Recipe With South Asian Spices

DIY: Bread Pudding Recipe With South Asian Spices

Culture & Lifestyle Mar 22, 2017

Take your favourite bread pudding and give it a desi twist with our recipe.

Lately, in many of the restaurants that I’ve dined at, I’ve noticed that bread puddings are making a serious comeback! I mean really, what’s not to love: bread, milk, sugar and butter?! Regretfully, my waistband did not share my less rational sentiment, which set me on the search for a slightly more health-conscious bread pudding that would satisfy my sweet tooth!

bread pudding
This traditional bread pudding definitely takes a backseat to this lighter and healthier version that packs a punch with the South Asian flavours that inspire it. Photo Credit:

This led me to stumble upon this South Asian twist on bread pudding that is easy enough to make and lighter on the carbs. What I really appreciated about this dish was that it brings together many pantry staples, particularly those that are likely to be common within a South Asian household.

For example, the aromatic and spicy cinnamon, and its partner in crime, nutmeg, are essential in any respectable spice cabinet. As well, although it’s not an essential part of the dish, I always like to add some texture by sprinkling some slivered almonds over it, which are common in both savoury and sweet South Asian dishes.

More importantly, though, the star of the dish, cornmeal (and sometimes, its counterpart, corn flour) are infamous in South Asia. Specifically, cornmeal is widely used in northern India and Pakistan to make scrumptious bread that can be paired with most platters.

While this rendition of a bread pudding may stray from the more familiar version, and may even look a little questionable, I promise you will not be disappointed. It will warm you from the inside out with its spicy sweetness, and you won’t feel as guilty about indulging. Try it for yourself and see.

bread pudding
Cornmeal lightens up this ordinarily heavy and guilt-laden dessert. Photo Credit:


  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (coarse is best)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter or ghee
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds (optional)
  • Ice cream (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Celsius. 
  • In a medium saucepan, on low heat, add in your milk and butter or ghee. Keep an attentive eye on your milk, stirring constantly in order to prevent it from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot or from boiling over. Bring the golden tinged liquid to a boil then add in the molasses and whisk it thoroughly so that it dissolves as much as possible.
bread pudding
You know it’s going to be a joyous soirée for both your mouth and your stomach when this trio gets an invite to the party. Photo Credit:
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the salt, cornflower and flour.
  • When the scalded, or in laymen terms, the boiled milk is ready, slowly shake in the dry ingredients and mix well as you go in order to ensure it gets mixed together well, without clumps. On medium-to-low heat, as it cooks, the cornmeal mixture will swell and become stiffer when stirring. You’ll know it’s done at this point. 
  • Now comes the part that makes me feel like some sort of Parisian-trained chef: I get to temper the eggs! To accomplish this grand task, you’ll need to crack your eggs into a medium-sized bowl (you can use the same one that you used for your dry ingredients), and then, while whisking constantly, gradually pour in about a third of a cup (maybe less) of the cornmeal mixture.


bread pudding
If tempering eggs don’t make you feel like a renowned chef, I don’t know what will. Photo Credit:

  • Once the piping hot and canary-coloured porridge and egg fusion have been fully whisked and united, the goopy mixture is ready to be reintroduced to the saucepan. As you do this, be quite wary of clumps, and whisk as much as your arm(s) will allow. However, if you do have many clumps, I might suggest blitzing it quickly in the blender or use a handheld blender to get rid of those pesky lumps.
  • If you’re sweating from all that whisking, relief is in sight: directly into the pot, you’ll need to sprinkle in the raisins, sugar, spice and everything nice.


bread pudding
These golden raisins add a naturally sweet and fresh bite to this bronzed and deliciously mushy mess. Photo Credit:
  • Next, pour the now rust-tinged and spice-laced mixture into a lightly buttered baking dish (a medium-sized casserole dish is best). 
  • Now, the challenge begins: you must wait for two hours while it bakes in the oven and teases you by filling your home with delicious aromas (If this doesn’t bring even the pickiest eaters in your house out of their rooms, trust me, nothing will!) You’ll know it’s finished when it’s somewhere between the consistency of a pudding and cornbread (do your best to pull it out before it gets too dry).
  • It’ll be difficult I’m sure, but allow the bread pudding to cool down before you serve it, at least 10 minutes. The dish is best served warm.
  • As an optional step, you can serve the pudding with a scoop of ice cream and cascade some slivered almonds on top to add a crunchy contrast.
  • Kick up your feet and enjoy.

Main Image Photo Credit:

Devika Goberdhan

Devika Goberdhan


Devika (@goberdhan.devika) is an MA graduate who specialized in Political Science at York University. Her passion and research throughout her graduate studies pushed her to learn about and unpack hot button issues. Thus, since starting ANOKHI in 2016, she has written extensively about many challengi...