RECIPE – Riz bi Haleeb (Lebanese Rice Pudding)
By Stephanie Wigan and Paul Shalhoub
A comforting and scrumptious Lebanese desert, Riz bi Haleeb adds aromatic flavours to the universal rice pudding. The addition of rose and orange blossom water makes it distinctly middle eastern. Whilst every effort is made to ensure traditional recipes are provided, it is acknowledged that every Lebanese village will have its own ‘special touches’ and the recipes passed down from one generation to another often vary slightly from village to village. We view this as part of the rich Lebanese culture.
(Makes approximately 5 small bowls)
- ½ cup medium grain rice (Jasmine rice)
- 1 cup of water
- 5 cups of full cream milk
- ½ cup of white granulated sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons (30 ml) of corn flour (same as corn starch)
- 1.5 tablespoons (30 ml) of rose water (more or less to taste)
- 1.5 tablespoons (30 ml) of orange blossom water (more or less to taste)
- Cinnamon spine or chopped pistachio nuts to garnish (optional)
- In a pot, combine the rice and water. Allow it to start cooking over a low to medium heat for 5 minutes.
- While the rice is softening but not quite cooked; add the milk, sugar and corn-starch to the pot and stir well.
- Continue stirring over a low-to-medium heat for an additional 15 minutes until the rice has cooked through and has softened.
- Add the rose water and orange blossom water. If needed, add a little more milk (½ a cup) to ensure the consistency stays creamy. Stir well to combine the ingredients and then allow to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to small bowls.
- Garnish with cinnamon spice or chopped pistachio nuts (optional).
- Can be served warm or refrigerated and later served cold.