I grew up eating rice pudding and had a belief that rice pudding is a dish only in India. But once I stepped out of India, I found that rice pudding is universal; you can find them in other parts of the world also. Rice pudding is varied with additions according to place of it origin. This recipe is Lebanese version of rice pudding “Riz B Haleeb” which translates to “Rice in Milk”
This recipe is adapted from the book “ Hadia Lebanese style recipes” by Haida Zebib Khanafer. She is my virtual friend and also writes the blog Hadia's Lebanese Cuisine. She had sent me the book a while ago, but I was not able to try any recipes from it as I was debating on which one to try first. I have long list to try a few among them being Coconut Namoura, Zatar bread, Stouf cake etc. I am fan of Namoura which I used to get from a Middle Eastern Store near my old house. I collected spices, orange blossom water, rose water, pomegranate molasses etc. Now we are staying very far so it is not easy to make a trip as I would have earlier.
The book consists of 21 chapters divided into soups, salads, appetizers, eggs, pastries, grains, pasta and gratin, Laban (yogurt based), tarts and pies, oriental sweets, drinks ,pickles and jam etc. This book has 440 recipes; and I am sure everybody will find their favorite one. Even though book is named as Lebanese style recipes, but it has recipes from all over the world. I would love to try Lebanese recipes as I can learn about the culture and cooking style. There are about 30 soups, 36 oriental sweets recipes etc to name a few. For example there are 8 pudding recipes you can choose from. This is just to give you an idea that this book has lot of delicious recipes. So if you are looking for good Lebanese recipes then buy this book you will love it. Only con I can find is that you need a long time to try all the recipes.
I choose to try this Lebanese rice pudding because I wanted to learn the difference in cooking style of rice pudding in various countries. In India when we make rice pudding we don’t add any thickener like corn starch. So it is runny consistency where as this rice pudding has thick consistency. Also I like the addition of mastic gum.
I added a splash of orange blossom water which is not mentioned in the book and also reduced sugar. Otherwise I made the pudding as Haida explained in the book.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Haida Zebib Khanafer for this review.
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.