Dreamy Creamy Broiled Rice Pudding
Grandma’s recipe for an incredible rice pudding! Luxuriously creamy on the inside with a pleasantly blistered, broiled top on the outside.
Are you tired of Middle Eastern desserts yet?
I am so not! But if you are, this recipe is the perfect palate cleanser for you.
Because there isn’t a dessert the whole world agrees on quite like rice pudding. It’s the most international dessert out there!
So if you’re not from the Middle East, and have been totally lost with what’s been going on around here the past 3 weeks, here’s a recipe you could finally relate to!
It seems that every culture has their own version of rice pudding and this…is my Egyptian Moroccan Grandma’s….
And for me…that makes it THE BEST EVER!
Call me bias (heck I am!) but I’ve never met a rice pudding that is as creamy or as luxurious as this one.
My Grandma (may she rest in peace) was an incredible cook and a perfectionist, so anything that came out of her kitchen was guaranteed to be the best version of anything we knew. Have you seen her fluted fritters?!
Her rice pudding has a thin layer of a wonderfully blistered surface, that might not be the best looking, but it sure gives the pudding that smokey flavor and play in texture of a comforting gratin.
Cut into that surface, only to find the richest and silkiest interior that melts away on the tongue.
I really can decide which part I love more, the broiled top or the oh-so-creamy inside.
It just has the perfect rice to milk ratio, so its not all stiff and starchy like so many we see and yet not soupy that it can’t contain itself. I’d say its the perfect compromise between the two. It has just enough rice that makes it barely hold itself together, yet still manages to be quite stable.
But if there’s anything, Grandma’s rice pudding is known for, is how ridiculously creamy and luxurious it is. Anyone who’s had a taste of it, thinks it must be made with oodles of heavy cream for it to have that unbelievable texture. But I’m here to share with you the REAL secret behind its unparalleled creaminess.
Yes it does have some heavy cream in it, but its only a tiny bit and you could leave it out if you want. (Psssst…don’t!)
But the real secret is ALL in the cooking technique.
Ever wonder want makes a risotto so creamy? It’s that multiple additions of stock over the rice, continuous stirring between each addition and gentle cooking that gives it that velvety consistency.
So what’s that have to do with our rice pudding? It’s exactly the technique we’re going to use! The Risotto method.
You could think of it like we’re making sweet risotto here, using milk instead of stock and sugar instead of onions?
I know that risotto has a reputation for being fussy and time-intensive, but it’s actually quite simple to make. This pudding is even relatively easier than risotto. While you do need to attend to the pot while making it, which is a little over 30 minutes, the results are more than worth it!
So don’t rush it! Slow and steady is the name of the game!
The key to getting the best results here is to use short grain rice. In the Middle East, short grain rice is actually called Egyptian rice! How cool is that?!
Another important thing, is to give your rice a good rinse under running water to wash away the starch. Yes starch is needed for structure but it can also be too much, which could result in a stiff pudding. So to be able to control the amount we need, we’re going to add it in the end in the form of cornstarch. Plus this is how my Grandma used to make it, and I’m listenin’.
So we’ll first start by adding 2 ladlefuls of warm milk over the rice.
Then you’re gonna oh-so-gently simmer them over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the milk is mostly absorbed by the rice.
And then its just a matter of repeating. A ladleful though from now on, instead of 2. So milk goes in, stir stir stir until mostly absorbed.
When you’re done with half the amount of milk, you’re going to add in the sugar. Stir it in until dissolved and the liquid it released is absorbed.
And then you’re gonna go back to ladling milk, stir, absorb until all but 1/4 cup of the milk is gone. At this point, your rice should be cooked all the way through and your biceps should feel a little stronger ??. Unlike risotto, we DON’T want it al dente.
The whole process takes about 35 minutes ? but it’s SO good, that you’re gonna forget about it the moment you take your first bite.
Now comes the cornstarch part I was telling you about earlier. Remember the 1/4 cup of unused milk? Stir that with some cornstarch, then add it to the rice pudding. Keep stirring until it thickens slightly; about 1 minute.
Then add in the creme de la creme for a little extra yummies and further creaminess. Heavy cream baby! Makes everything better.
Then we’re gonna add in vanilla. I used the powdered kind here just like my Grandma, but the extract is just as good!
Also (not pictured), some ground up mastic goes in. This takes the pudding from delicious to OMG BEST THING EVER!
And voila! The pudding goes into a baking dish, then off to the broiler!
One of the best things about this pudding, is that its meant to be eaten warm, unlike a lot of the chilled Egyptian versions. So no more waiting for us! Let’s dig in…
Now this, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call comfort in a bowl.
You’ll just LOVE it!
Dreamy Creamy Broiled Rice Pudding
Grandma’s recipe for an incredible rice pudding! Unbelievably creamy on the inside with a pleasantly blistered, broiled top on the outside.
- 1 cup (7oz/ 200g) uncooked short grain rice, rinsed until water runs almost clear
- 2 liters/ 2.1 quarts whole milk, preferably fresh buffalo
- 1 cup (7oz/ 200g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup (118ml) heavy whipping cream
- 2 packets vanilla sugar or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 pieces mastic, ground into fine powder (optional, but highly recommended)
- In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the milk to a rolling boil. Turn off heat and keep near. Measure out 1/4 cup of the milk and reserve aside.
- In another medium saucepan, place the rice and add 2 ladlefuls of the warm milk over it. Gently simmer together over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until most of the milk is absorbed. Just like making risotto.
- Add in another ladleful of the milk, stirring constantly, until mostly absorbed. Continue the process of adding the milk, one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until each addition is mostly absorbed, until you use up half the amount of the milk quantity. Don't rush the process and be patient with its slow, gentle cooking; its the key for ultra creamy results.
- At this point, add in the sugar and stir until dissolved and the rice absorbs most of the liquid.
- Finish up the remaining milk, adding one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until each addition is mostly absorbed. Cook until you use up all the milk and the rice is creamy and cooked all the way through. The cooking process should take about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Combine the cornstarch with the reserved 1/4 cup milk until well blended. Pour the cornstarch mixture over the rice pudding, simmer, stirring constantly until the rice mixture thickens slightly; about 1 minute.
- Add in the heavy whipping cream. Stir well until just combined.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla and mastic powder (if using).
- Transfer the rice pudding to a 2-quart baking dish and allow to rest, uncovered, until the steaming subsides. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.
- Place the baking dish under the broiler until the surface is spotty brown, about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on it and be careful not to burn it.
- Cool slightly before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, then reheat individual servings in the microwave.
- Feel free to flavor the rice pudding according to your liking. You could add cinnamon instead of the mastic and/or fold raisins or nuts in the end.
Recipe adapted from my sweet Grandma.
Measurements Note: All recipes of this site have been developed using weight measurements. Although US volume measurements have been included for your convenience, it is highly encouraged that you weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale to get the best possible results. Due to the sensitive nature of baking, kitchen scales are proven to yield more accurate and consistent results than measuring cups. Enjoy!
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Hey, great recipe… I’m having people over tomorrow for fetar and was wondering if I can make this today and just broil it before serving tomorrow. Would that work?
Hello Nada:) Sure! Keep it in the fridge, then take it out off the fridge tomorrow and let come to room temperature then broil.
Excellent.. I’ll let you know how it turns out..
BTW your blog is amazing.. I tried your chocolate chip muffin recipe yesterday and it was a huge hit.. My in laws were fighting over them.. 🙂
Hahahaa? That’s always great to hear!
I made this for my father and he was delighted! He’s the only one in my family who likes rice pudding, so I made a bowl for him. Was the rice supposed to be mushy or sort of like risotto rice? Because I’m not sure whether the texture came out right, I followed your instructions as you wrote them.
Hi Luli! I’m so happy your father liked it. Yes the texture of the rice is supposed to be very soft; it shouldn’t have a bite to it like risotto. What you did is perfect, just the way its meant to be.
Awesome, thanks ?
Hi Tasbih, this just looks heavenly delicious I was just wondering is it possible to make this same recipe into the savoury version using salt and omitting sugar to make the famous Riz Ma3amr??
I think this version right here has a very different personality than roz ma3amar. This one is very creamy and pudding-like while roz ma3amar is not as loose, so I wouldn’t recommend this recipe.
Here’s what I do for roz me3amar:
In a baking dish, combine 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of milk & 1 teaspoon of salt. Top the mixture with eshta, or if you don’t have it, drizzle with 1/4 cup melted butter plus 2 tablespoons cooking cream. Bake in a 350F/180C oven for about an hour, or until the rice is cooked through and the topped has brown.
Hope that helps?
I tried this recipe today and it took too long for the rice to absorb the milk, One and a half hours, and the rice had a hard center, and very soft on the outside, what do you think went wrong?
Hi Aya. WOW! 1 1/2 hours of stirring…oh dear God you must feel sore now. It’s really hard to tell what went wrong, but it seems that your stove’s temperature was too low. It definitely shouldn’t take this long. As for the hard center, did you use up the full amount of milk? Also what type of rice did you use?
I used all the milk quantity, and I used Egyptian rice… the flavor was perfect and it was so creamy and perfect except for the hard center
Hmmmm…then it must have to do with the stovetop’s temperature then.
Well then I’ll definitely try it again coz it was still delicious! Thank you
I loooove rice pudding. What brand of vanilla sugar did you use?
Oh then you’re gonna fall in love with this one Cindy! It does require a bit of TLC and constant stirring by the stove, but trust me…the result is well worth it. I use a very common brand available in Egypt, where I live, called Cooks. I believe Dr. Oetker is more internationally available and is really good. Regular vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste will work perfectly well here too.
I love your page and recipes!
I am Puerto Rican and we make a rice pudding but with lots of spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, star annise, sugar, milk, raisins, vanilla, and short grain rice.
I found Cooks vanilla powder on Amazon. They have two kinds, one with a red lid and the other one with a brown lid. Which one do you use?
Hi Elizabeth! So flattered you like my website. The Puerto Rican version sounds so delicious too! I just checked the vanilla powders you’re referring to on Amazon, but they quite different from the packets we have here in Egypt. I honestly think that any vanilla type you have on hand. whether liquid or powder, will work just as well here. I use anything I have and not necessarily the Cook’s powder. Best of luck!
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I found your blog when I was searching the Net for a marble cake recipe. Thought the way you made it would ensure a great cake…..and it was THE BEST marble cake I have ever made.
So I searched through your recipes and found this delicious-looking rice pudding. I live in Australia and have no idea what Egyptian rice is and certainly cannot buy it here – I have looked. Could you please tell me a substitute? Would arborio work? Many recipes say to use pudding rice, but again, we do not sell “Pudding” rice in Australia.
I have also earmarked many of your other recipes and will work my way through them. This one though is top of the list!
Thank you for your amazing blog.
Kind Regards from Australia,
Hi Angela! I’m so glad to hear that you loved the marble cake so much…that’s amazing! I hope you love the other recipes just as much!
Egyptian rice is just short grain rice; it’s just known in the Middle East as Egyptian rice. I think arborio would be too starchy here. Hope that helps!
I tried your recipe and the end result was de-li-cious.
I always preferred muhalabia until I did this pudding.
Used a non stick casserole because I was afraid of the rice sticking.
I put vanilla for the first time instead of orange blossom water. Traditionally, this is what I use.
So happy you loved this Jami! Funny thing I just posted a recipe for muhalabia with orange blossom watee yesterday. It’s like we switched places ?
Have you tried making rice pudding with condensed milk? I’m a sucker for condensed milk so I was wondering what it would be like
YUM! I love condensed milk ANYTHING! I’ve never actually had condensed milk rice pudding, but it’s sounds like my love language. My educated guess would be that it would work here, but you’ll have to reduce the sugar dramatically and possibly sub some water for the milk so it wont be too heavy. Wish I could tell you exact amounts, but that requires experimenting to be able to say for sure.
I am an indian, and i have only the jeerakasala rice which is short grained. Can i use it?
Hi Afreen! I had to google jeerakasala rice because I wasn’t familiar with it ? It looks very similar to the Egyptian short grain rice I use. I think any type of short grain rice will work well here. It’s a very forgiving recipe. Enjoy!
Sounds fantastic im going to try! I will have to use Japanese sticky short grain rice because we dont get any other short rice. Its nice but holds its bite, not al dente but like caviar does, sort of burst between the teeth and gets sticky. Think this will be ok?
Your description is having me drool lol! Is that like sushi rice? I’ve used sushi rice so many times to make poke bowls and I feel like it behaves very similarly to Egyptian short grain rice. I think you should go for it! Best of luck and enjoy ?
Thanks for the reply Tasbih. Yes Japanese rice is all short and plump. Not exactly sushi rice, all the Japanese rice cooks slightly polished but sticky. You can’t touch it with your fingers unless you wet your hands with vinegar or water or oil your hands as it completely sticks to them, no flicking it off. There is a special spatular to handle the rice, it’s texture prevents the rice sticking to it so you can mould it. There is specific rice for sushi I guess that’s even stickier, not sure but tastes delicious. Then there is what is actually called “sticky rice” which is the stickiest of all. I think I should use “sticky rice” to see first time. There is a very delicious red sticky rice too, it cooks a dark purple/red gooey colour. The Thai’s use sticky rice to make mango sticky rice. Can’t wait to try. I love green (and black) cardamon so will put some in and cinnamon on top, maybe some rose water but that’s like gold here. I think your recipe is the most descriptive I’ve read and sounds exactly as I like it too. Gives me confidence to try as I know what Im meant to be achieving. Thanks to your blessed Gran. I had rice pudding in Dubai once and ever since wanted to try, it looked exactly like yours. Im going have to research “poke bowls” next, never seen those around Asia yet……..
WOW I really enjoyed reading about all the different types of rice. Cardamom and rose water would work beautifully here, and I think that for an Asian twist, even red rice might just work too. I hope this one measures up to the one you had in Dubai! Poke bowl are Hawaiian bowls made up of sticky rice and raw fish…so good; reminiscent of deconstructed sushi.
Poke bowl sounds like my kind of food. I can eat that rice just on it’s own too….Im already growing plump on sushi as our supermarket has the most incredibly enticing sushi section. Seven Japanese shushi makers on the go non stop. It distracts me from my shopping. Sometimes I just find myself standing there starring at that knife work, so incredible it is. Locals take it for granted of course and find my fascination highly amusing. I try and limit myself to just fresh salmon eggs piled high on a little raft of sticky sushi rice hemmed in with that salty savoury seaweed. They start on them without even looking up the minute I get there LOL. Sushi magic, I guess. It helps Im so punctual and habitual I suppose. Going to try the rice pudding in a few weeks time. Thanks for the recipe. I will let you know how the Japanese rice works. I didn’t find rose water or mastic, still trying to work out what the latter is in Japanese lol. Anyway I’ve got my sister sending me some from Athens where they have a beach house. Slowly slowly building up to that perfect rice pudding.
Best of luck with gathering all the ingredients. I hope this rice pudding becomes everything you’re hoping for.
Let me begin by saying: I trust you wholeheartedly. Not one recipe I tried of yours has ever failed me.
As to my dilemma, my family is arranging a dinner party tomorrow night, and I was just told that I needed to make an eggless dessert. I’m taking a big risk with a completely new recipe, I’ve never made rice pudding before, I’m a muhallabia person myself. My question for you is, if I wanted to add a dash of orange blossom water, should I omit the vanilla? Would they clash in your opinion?
Thank you so much Alanoud for your trust; that means EVERYTHING to me! And please accept my apologizes for my late reply, as I’ve been traveling the past couple of days with minimal internet access. I hope you still managed to pop out an amazing rice pudding! I personally don’t think that vanilla and orange blossom flavors would clash, but orange blossom would surely overpower, which negates the need for vanilla. I’d recommend using either or, depending on the flavor profile you’re in the mood for.
Hope you had fun on your vacation.
I ended up using both, and you were right the orange blossom overpowered, but I ended up with the most wonderful Riz Bhaleeb! Everyone raved about it!
However, like Aya in a comment above, it took sooo long to cook, around an hour and a half of constant stirring. I keep craving it but whenever I remember the stirring I shy away.
I thought it was possibly due to the type of rice I used? I couldn’t find anything explicitly labeled Egyptian rice in my supermarket, so I used Sunwhite’s Calrose Rice? Maybe I should’ve soaked the rice first? Not sure. But overall, amazing recipe! Thank you so much.
I’m so happy you ended up enjoying the rice pudding. I’ve made regular savory rice with Calroze before and have noticed that it takes longer to cook than Egyptian rice. I think soaking will help and I’ll give it a try myself and in hopes that it would shave some time off of the cooking process.
I wasn’t really a big fan of rice budding till the day I decided to try your version! Now I’m addicted to it! ?
It’s now kinda my signature dish whenever I have friends coming over. So prefect and tastes heavenly.
Thank you for you always perfect recipes.
Question, i’m making this inshallah and my question is: Is cornstarch the same as cornflour? I don’t know the answer to that lol (embarassing I know)
Hi Farida! It’s a good question actually ? Yep! They’re the same. Enjoy!
Question, i’m making this inshallah and my question is: Is cornstarch the same as cornflour? I don’t know the answer to that lol (embarassing I know) ???
Hi! Can i eat it cold?
Hi 🙂 Sure! But I think that this specific recipe is best enjoyed while still warm. Enjoy!
OMG soooo sweeet and lovely. Thank you for this lovely recipe. I really miss Egypt now ?
Enjoy A ?
I wanted to post a picture ?
Ooooooh! I love the single serving vessels. SO pretty and personal ?
I’m sorry but this recipe is way off in many important ways. I’m not talking about authenticity; I’m talking about final result:
Recipe says, “In another medium saucepan, place the rice and add 2 ladlefuls of the warm milk over it.” In your pictures, you are not using a medium saucepan. Notice how the rice covers the bottom with about 1 inch of depth. This is LARGE sauce pan and it makes a massive difference. A medium sauce pan gives a depth of 2 to 3 inches.
“Gently simmer together over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until most of the milk is absorbed.” I used short grain rice and followed the recipe exactly except I went to MEDIUM heat. After 90 minutes, rice was still hard in the center. After using all the milk, I had to add a cup of water and it’s now just soft.
Hi Nick! Thank you for your feedback. So sorry to hear that you faced some issues with this recipe. I can assure you though, that the pan I used was not a LARGE one. It is a 3-quart pan, which is a size that is universally considered as ‘medium.’
When I write a recipe, I share it according to my experience with it and I hope for the best that it matches most others’. Naturally this will vary from one person to another depending on different ingredients, climates, stove top/ovens, how differently we measure thing, etc. So basically many things come to play in determining how long the recipe will take to complete and how it will actually turn out. I put a lot of effort into putting forth accurate recipes that you can rely on, so I have no reason to intentionally confuse my readers, who have come to trust me throughout the years. The reason why your pudding took longer to cook, might be due to using a different kind of short grain rice than what I used; mine is known as Egyptian rice, which might very well be different from the one you used and therefore will need some adjusting. It also seems that my stove top’s medium low is much higher than yours. Also did you make sure to use hot milk?
I tried the recipe, amazing ?, please i need a recipe for ice cream mystic, I sent you a mail but unfortunately you didn’t reply, hope you can see the comment, I trust your opinion, thanks a lot!