If there is one thing that reminds me of Turkish cuisine, even if I like it or not (and I usually do not), it is this rice pudding. I do not like this, no, as I do not like any rice pudding or porridge or anything else that resembles these.. All those things feel like baby food. But well, I still enjoyed eating this one I made for the blog, because I felt like a little girl eating mama’s rice pudding again.
The Turkish name of this rice pudding is called “Sütlaç”. It is actually a compound word, based on “Sütlü aş” and it means “food with milk”. It has its roots in Rumelia region in Ottoman times, and it is probably the most well known and most widely cooked milk dessert of Turkish cuisine. The consistency of the pudding changes according to your own preference, however, the most commonly approved version is the one which you can feel the rice as they are, not too mushy.
Just like any other rice pudding, and mostly just like Scandinavian rice puddings generally served in Christmas time, this pudding can be served with ground cinnamon on top. You can also top it with ground pistachios or any other type of nut you like. This one I made, I topped with coarsely chopped hazelnuts and ground cinnamon.
The Turkish rice pudding is made any time of the year, it is not typical for a certain period. There is also a version made in the oven but I do not think I ever ate that so I am not sure about the difference in taste. Making rice pudding is easy, however, there are a few tips you should follow:
First of all, while you are cooking rice with milk, it is very important to constantly stir. If you let it by itself, the rice will go down the base of the pan and it will burn. Second, cook the rice as much as you can. Third, always use rice flour to thicken the pudding, not corn starch or anything else. Rice flour keeps it dense, but not too thick so the consistency still comes close to honey. It is said that in Ottoman times, there would not be any rice flour added to the pudding but the starch of the rice would be enough, however, today there is definitely the need for this extra rice flour. And finally, you should always use the porridge rice which is broken (so if you cannot find that rice but if you have only long rice, then just put it in the food processor for a second). The broken rice lets its starch easier while cooking, this is the reason to choose that one.
It is really easy to make this pudding if you just follow these tips and give your time to make the pudding. Enjoy!
Difficulty: ★☆☆ (Easy)
1 lt. + 1 cup / 2.5 dl milk (separate from each other)
1/4 cup / 0.6 dl porridge rice (read text above for rice)
1 cup / 2.5 dl granulated white sugar
2 tbsp / 30 ml rice flour
To serve, optional:
Different kinds of nuts…
1. Put 1 lt. milk and rice in a pan and cook it continuously stirring, on medium low heat, until rice gets soft.
2. Add sugar and continue cooking while still continuously stirring.
3. Put rice flour in 1 cup milk and stir it well until rice flour dissolves in milk. Then pour this mixture into the other milk mixture and continue stirring and cooking until the pudding thickens.
4. Divide the pudding between bowls. Let them cool to room temperature, then put in the fridge. Serve with ground cinnamon, ground pistachios or other ground / coarsely chopped nuts.