Lebanese Rice Pudding (Riz bi Haleeb) is a creamy rice pudding with rose water is a very popular Lebanese dessert or breakfast!
This creamy goodness is a sweet comfort dish for many! You'll need just a few basic ingredients and rose water, an ingredient that's a staple in Lebanese homes.
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WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
This Lebanese rice pudding is a recipe that my mom and I made together, using our family's recipe. It's a comfort dish that I grew up on and crave from time to time. It's a humble dessert that I can't ever get enough of.
Using simple ingredients and rose water to put a signature Lebanese touch on rice pudding!
Rose water is commonly used ingredient in various desserts throughout Middle Eastern countries. Especially in Lebanon to create a Lebanese spin on most desserts and drinks, and I'm all for it. It adds a beautifully sweet floral flavor to everything it touches.
Just a little bit can go a long way to transform a dish for the better!
After gathering this special ingredient, the rest of the rice pudding process is as easy as it gets. This dish can be enjoyed cold or warm for breakfast or a sweet treat.
LEBANESE RICE PUDDING INGREDIENTS
- Rice. Use any uncooked long grain rice you'd like. Be sure to wash the rice prior to cooking it!
- Milk. Use whole milk to get the best flavor and right amount of creaminess.
- Sugar. Use any type of sugar you'd like. I make this authentic riz bi haleeb with regular white sugar, because that's what I'm used to. However it can be made with just about any sugar.
- Rose water. This is a popular fragrant water that's used in various recipes in Lebanese cuisine. In desserts and drinks alike!
- Vanilla extract. To add a little bit of a vanilla flavor, aiding the rose water's amazing flavor in this dish.
WHERE TO FIND SPECIAL INGREDIENTS
VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Instead of going for whole milk, if you prefer dairy-free you can use canned coconut milk. I prefer to use canned since it's thicker and more like the consistency of whole milk, as compared to refrigerated coconut milk may be a little lackluster in taste.
I used long grain rice, such as jasmine. You can instead use short grain rice or sushi rice. In doing so, you may need to adjust the amount of milk needed.
If you're not a fan of using regular white sugar, trust me, I get it. Feel free to substitute for another sugar of choice, such as cane sugar, monk fruit or whatever you please. Comment and let me know how it went, I'd love to hear about it!
HOW TO MAKE RIZ BI HALEEB
Step one: Wash your rice then add it to a medium sized pot on low-medium heat, along with water.
Step two: Allow the water to completely absorb and the rice to cook. This process can take about 15 minutes on low.
Step three: Once the water is absorbed, add in the milk and again you want the milk to take it's time to thicken. Avoid rushing this process by increasing the heat too much. In the beginning feel free to increase to medium, and as soon as the milk begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low and allow another 10-15 minutes for it to thicken.
Step four: Add sugar, rose water, vanilla, and salt and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Step five: Allow the rice pudding to cool prior to enjoying. Enjoy this Lebanese rice pudding warm or chilled.
- Add more milk if needed. Not all rice are created equal and therefore the milk may need to be adjusted, which is part of your personal preference with rice pudding consistency as well.
- Stay near the stove at all time! Once the milk goes it, be close to stir in order to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Serve in pretty bowls that are on the smaller side. I would say a small bowl or ramekin is perfect. I prefer to use clear bowls!
- Then top the rice pudding with pistachios and strawberries to add color to the otherwise less than enthusiastic pudding color.
- Other toppings can include shaved chocolate, slivered or sliced almonds and cashews, or any berry you prefer.
- Store in an airtight container until ready to serve. The pudding can last in the fridge for 5-7 days if stored properly.
- Avoid storing it in the vessels you wish to serve it in. For longevity and to avoid bacteria growth, store the pudding in an airtight container then transfer to serving ware when you're ready to serve.
Though this dish is known as classis comfort food, if you eat it warm it can be a great way to help sooth an upset stomach. It's also a great dish to eat before bedtime as warm milk always puts me right to sleep!
Sure! Instead of adding sugar at the end, instead opt for honey. The amount may need to be adjusted, so taste as you add in order to know how much to add.
Start with half the amount of honey to sugar ratio, and taste, then add more if needed.
OTHER LEBANESE RECIPES
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Lebanese Rice Pudding (Riz bi Haleeb)
- Simmer the rice and water in a medium pot until the water is completely absorbed.
- Stir in the milk and continue to gradually bring it to a gentle boil, then reduce to low and allow the milk to thicken. Stay close to the pot and stir to avoid sticking. Typically takes 15-20 minutes for the milk to thicken.
- Remove from heat, and mix in the sugar, rose water, vanilla, and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Allow to cool before enjoying. Enjoy warm or cold.