Sütlaç (Turkish rice pudding)

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One of my favourite desserts is rice pudding. Not just any rice pudding but the traditional Turkish one. Originated from the Ottoman cuisine, it is a light and nutritious dessert. Although, every country has its own rice pudding recipe, for instance, the Spanish have their ‘arroz con leche’, the French their riz au lait’, the Flemish and the Dutch their ‘rijstpap/rijstebrij’, the Arabs their ‘Riz bi haleeb’ and etc., I only have a craving for the Turkish version. While most of the countries use cream along with milk, the Turkish one is just made with milk. Actually, I think it’s one of the most plain rice puddings out there using simple ingredients. Originally, in the Ottoman palaces this dish was made with rosewater. If you like rosewater I would strongly recommend you to try this dish out by adding 3 tablespoons of rosewater (and maybe 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom for a Persian version).

For 10 small bowls you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of white rice (any rice is ok, but I prefer the broken one or short one)
  • 1l of whole millk
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 sachet of vanilla (optional)
  • rice flour or corn starch (optional)
  • rosewater (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped pistachios or pistachio powder
  • cinnamon

Pour the rice and water in a pan and cook till the water is almost absorbed. Add the milk and stir gently (prevents sticking) until the milk starts to cook. Mix one spoon of rice flour with a cup of water and add to the mixture. Then add the sugar and vanilla and stir for another 5 minutes before removing from the stove. Garnish with cinnamon, chopped pistachios or almonds on top. Serve cold.

Afiyet olsun!