Rice pudding can be made two days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. If it thickens too much, stir in a little milk.
Golden raisins and cinnamon sticks are easy to find, but the flat cinnamon and green Persian raisins found online or at Indian grocery stores really make this dish sing. If you seek them out, pick up some whole green cardamom pods while you’re there. Gently crush them, discard the skins, and grind your own powder from the black seeds left behind. This is taking the long way, but the flavors will be deeper, more interesting and more satisfying.
If you can’t find fresh mangoes, look for 16-ounce bag of mango pieces in the frozen foods section of the market. Put the thawed mango in a food processor or blender with the sugar and cardamom and process until smooth. Taste and add more sugar if you like.