I made this for a Middle Eastern themed dinner party and this was a big hit. I made it pretty much as listed, except that I made my own caster sugar in my coffee grinder. I wasn't sure what pudding rice was either, but I used an Egyptian short grain rice that I bought at a local international grocery, and while any rice will work, a short grain firm rice will definitely give you a more classic texture.
Unsure what "pudding rice" is, but any cooked rice will work. I used Thai long grain sweet rice that I first cooked in my rice cooker instead of steps 1 & 2, and it came out just fine. Also, other substitutions seem reasonable; if you have access to it, you can use sweet rice flour (commonly found at Japanese markets) as a thickener; and if you have regular white sugar, you should be ok with the recipe. The rose water is a nice touch, and makes for a distinctive pudding, thanks!
The taste is OK but it is the wording of the recipe I mainly have issues with. Like the others I don't know what pudding rice is and since I have made rice pudding with Indian white basmati rice many times that is what I used although it is not a short grain (I would have used short grain if I had some on hand). You must soak basmati though. The cooking time is not even mentioned at any point, neither is covering the pot which I ended up having to do and add more water because too much of it had boiled off. But seeing as this is a Persian recipe I think it is meant to be uncovered but with additional water. I used regular white sugar as we are corn free and I don't think it would make much of a difference. I used 1 can Carnation evaporated milk and the rest water as that is what I had on hand. Like another reviewer I used sweet rice flour that acts as a starch, to be corn free, Iranian rose water, & both garnishes but dried Damascus rose petals looked pretty but were to *dry*. I have had better so I will not make this encore. Made for Visiting Iran(Persia) in June 2012!