The World of Rice Puddings

I’m in Sydney, tending to my father, who is still recovering from a pretty savage open-heart surgery. Cooking is my first service today, and as my father requested ‘rice pudding cooked just like my mum used to make’, I checked out a few recipes.

My recipe for kheer (Indian-style sweet creamed rice dessert) is a bit different to the one he was accustomed to eat. Here’s some information about this vast subject:Rice puddings are found in nearly every area of the world. Recipes can greatly vary even within a single country. The dessert can be boiled or baked. Different types of pudding vary depending on preparation methods and the ingredients selected. The following ingredients are regularly found in rice puddings.

rice – long or short grain white rice, brown rice, black rice, basmati, or jasmine rice
milk – (whole milk, coconut milk, cream or evaporated)
spices – (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger etc.)
flavourings – (vanilla, orange, lemon, pistachio, rose water etc.)
sweetener – (sugar, brown sugar, honey, sweetened condensed milk, fruit or syrups)

The following is a short list of various rice puddings from different regions.

East Asia

Kao Niow Dahm (Thai) Black Rice Pudding
Banana Rice Pudding (Cambodian)
Babao Fan (Chinese) Eight Treasure Rice Pudding
Pulut Hitam (Malaysian) Black glutinous rice pudding

South Asia

Kheer (Pakistani/Indian) with slow-boiled milk
Firni (Pakistani/Afghan/North Indian) with broken rice, cardamom and pistachio served cold.
Middle East

Firni (Afghan/Pakistani) Rice ground to powder cooked with milk and sugar, usually flavored with cardamom, garnished with slivers of pistachios and almonds, as well as with gold or silver warq (decorative, edible foil). Today, restaurants offer firni in a wide range of flavours including mango, fig, custard apple, etc.
Sütlaç (Turkish) with milk and vanilla
Muhallebi (Turkish) with rice flour
Moghlie (Arab) with anise and ginger
Riz bi Haleeb (Arab) with rose water
Shola-e-zard (Persian) with saffron

Arroz con leche (Spanish) with cinnamon and lemon
Arroz Doce or Arroz de Leite (Portuguese) with milk, cinnamon and lemon
Budino di Riso (Italian) with raisins and orange peel
Milchreis (German) with cinnamon or cherries
Mliena ryža (Slovak)
Orez cu lapte (Romanian) with milk and cinnamon
Risengrød (Danish) with milk and cinnamon
Risalamande (Danish, after French: Riz à l’amande) with whipped cream, vanilla, and almonds, often served with cherry sauce
Ryzogalo (Greek) with milk and cinnamon
Riskrem (Norwegian)
Risengrynsgrøt (Norwegian)
Risgrynsgröt (Swedish)
Rijstebrij (Dutch)
Riža na mlijeku (Croatian)
Sutlijaš (Bosnian)
Sytlijash (Albanian)
Teurgoule (Normandy)
Oriz na vareniku (Montenegrin)
Tejberizs (Hungarian) with milk, cinnamon or cocoa powder
Latin America

Arroz con leche (Latin American) varied preparation
Arroz con dulce (Puerto Rican) with coconut milk
That reminds me – I tasted an amazing rice pudding in Istanbul, suppled to me by one of my students named Ramiz. Here’s a photo I took of it, and below is the slightly rough recipe given to me by another Turkish friend. I think this is the one I’ll make today,

rice pudding:

Turkish Rice Pudding (Sütlaç)

6 cups of milk
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup short grain rice
1 tablespoon of rice flour or corn starch
3 – 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Wash and drain the rice. Bring 3 cups of water to boil and add rice to water. When rice is cooked, drain it. Place rice and milk on heat. When mixture begins to boil, add sugar and stir occasionally, then turn the heat down. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Make a paste of the rice flour with a little amount of water and stir into milk mixture and continue stirring. Simmer some more. Turn off heat and add vanilla extract. Pour pudding in individual containers, and bake until brown on top. Serve warm or hot, or let cool.
Posted by Kurma on 11/9/06; 7:05:07 AM

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