Creamy Dreamy Arroz con Leche

With its thick creaminess and distinctive spice-infused sweetness, rice pudding is a wonderful consolation food. Served heat or chilly, it is typical all over the Center East and in the Sephardic kitchen area as an each day dessert. Sutlac in Turkish, Arroz con Leche in Spanish, Roz bi Hal’eb in Arabic, each individual lifestyle has it is personal one of a kind spin of spices and flavorings for their version of rice and milk.

The Judeo-Spanish Jews flavored their pudding with scraped vanilla bean or vanilla extract.

The Jews of Aleppo created Riz b’asal, a honey-sweetened rice pudding cooked with h2o to be served after meat meals.

The Persians Jews make an exquisitely bright and delightfully sinful saffron and rosewater infused basmati rice pudding known as Sholeh Zard, which literally means “wobbly yellow”in Farsi.

Iraqi Jews flavored rice pudding with cardamom and rose water. It was a mainstay on Shabbat mornings and Shavuot, when dairy foods reign, as well as to break the fast following Yom Kippur. Sharon’s complete favourite memory is when her grandmother Nana Aziza would just take a brief split from her do the job in the kitchen and would serve a heat bowl of salty, creamy, milky Roz bi Hal’eb.

Rachel’s Flip: For my Moroccan household, Arroz con Leche flavored with cinnamon and lemon rind was beloved for many generations likely back. My grandparents grew up with it, my dad and mom grew up with it and my brothers and I grew up with it. It was not so a lot a dessert as a warm treat served in the mornings or afternoons. When I married into Neil’s Rhodesli family members, I before long discovered the joy of Sutlach, the chilly rice flour pudding so common with Turkish and Greek Jews. We would serve it on Shabbat just after a dairy meal of cheese and burekas and olives. And my young children uncovered to enjoy it also.

Sutlach rice flour pudding (Picture by Alexandra Gomperts)

Not long ago, I was overcome with nostalgia for Arroz con Leche, so I created it all over again. It was so scrumptious and I’m not ashamed to acknowledge that I ate most of it.

We share Rachel’s Arroz con Leche recipe, but persuade you to make it your individual. This dessert lends by itself to numerous and any add ins. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Nuts like walnuts and pecans. Fruity flavors like orange and lemon rind, rose h2o and orange blossom water, as very well as raisins, figs,  dried apricots and cranberries.

Appreciate this sweet indulgence.

1 cup Aborio or other brief grain rice
1 cup h2o
2-4 slices of lemon rind
2 star anise or 1 cinnamon stick
4 cups entire milk
1/4 cup sugar (or extra for sweeter pudding)
Pinch of salt
Cinnamon for sprinkling

In a medium saucepan, cook dinner the rice over medium substantial warmth, until finally all the h2o evaporates.

Add the lemon rind and star anise or the cinnamon stick.

Increase the milk, 1 cup at a time, stirring properly until finally the rice mixture gets to be thick and creamy. Then repeat with the next cup , 3rd cup and fourth cup.

Incorporate the sugar and salt, stirring to combine fully, take out from heat.

Permit great for 10 minutes and take out lemon rind, star anise or cinnamon stick.

Pour into a substantial serving bowl or particular person ramekins.

Provide warm or refrigerate if serving chilled.

Top with floor cinnamon or other garnishes of alternative.

Rachel Sheff and Sharon Gomperts have been mates considering the fact that large school. They appreciate cooking and sharing recipes. They have collaborated on Sephardic Instructional Centre jobs and local community cooking courses. Observe them on Instagram @sephardicspicegirls and on Fb at Sephardic Spice SEC Food.