Friday, January 23, 2015

Fool Proof Rice Pudding ارز بالحليب

Rice pudding is a decadent dessert enjoyed all over the Middle East. This recipe is fool proof, you just can't go wrong with it. Don't even bother trying those recipes that tell you to cook the rice in the milk (it never will and you'll end up with undercooked rice), or to add the sugar in the beginning (it will prevent your rice from having that melt in your mouth texture).

Anyone out there who knows how make rice pudding will give you a slightly different variation. I came up with this recipe after many different attempts. My goal was to achieve a rice pudding that is not too thick or too thin, not too sweet, and that has a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Here it goes...

scant 1/2 cup short grain/Egyptian rice
1 1/2 cups water
4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar (or honey if you prefer)
dash of mastic gum (optional) or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

- In a large sauce pan heat rice and water until they come to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until rice is fully cooked.
-In another sauce pan, heat the milk. Don't bring it to a boil just make sure it's nice and warm before you add it to the cooked rice.
-Add milk to cooked rice. The water would've reduced by now and even if your rice is still wet it's ok. That water has the starch in it and it will help thicken the pudding.
-Cook the rice and milk on medium heat for about 45-60 minutes while constantly stirring with a wooden spoon. You don't have to stand and stir the whole time but every once in a while to make sure it doesn't stick.
-The rice and milk mixture will start to thicken. Once its reached the consistency you like then proceed to add the sugar and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Add a dash of ground mastic gum or the vanilla extract if you like.
-Pour into small bowls or into a large dish and let cool at room temperature. You can decorate your pudding with golden raisins, a sprinkle of cinnamon or any nuts of your choice. We like to keep it simple in our home and we usually stick to raisins and cinnamon.
-You can cover it and store it in the fridge for about a week but I doubt it'll last that long!