Last updated on March 19th, 2023
The use of rice as a food has more than 3000 years of tradition. There are an infinite number of dishes that can be prepared with this cereal, from sweet to savory.
It is said that the consumption of rice began in imperial China in ancient times, and as a result of commercial and cultural exchanges, this cereal was introduced in Europe by the Arabs after the Iberian conquest.
Then it was used to create native dishes such as Paella or Risotto. It was not until the 15th century that rice arrived in America in the form of a dessert: Arroz Con Leche.
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Arroz con Leche is a creamy dessert made primarily with rice and milk. The original recipe has traveled all over the world and evolved into different local variations.
While it’s most often enjoyed for a sweet treat, in some European and American countries this sweet rice-based meal is eaten for a comforting breakfast.
For this post we bring you a review of what an arroz con leche is, where we will tell you about its variations according to each country and how to make it.
Before you start to read, you can take a really good recipe to make this savory meal in the next link: https://mahatmarice.com/recipes/arroz-con-leche/
Arroz con leche: An international and delicious dessert
Arroz con leche, or Rice pudding, as it is known in English-speaking countries, is a dessert made with rice cooked in milk, which can be whole milk, coconut milk, almonds milk or even goat’s milk, depending on the taste and consumption requirements of the diner.
For example, in Spain, they use to cook rice in whole milk and to add a few teaspoons of sugar.
Rice pudding is a deeply rooted food in Latin America, where each country has its own version. In addition, this dish transforms cooking into a family activity. It is a widespread custom to get together during breakfast or dinner to eat this dish.
Here we tell you about its different variants.
In Latin America, there are many versions of this delicious dessert. Below, we will explain them:
Compared to the Spanish version, the Mexican one has only subtle differences. In some towns of Mexico, the raisins used to cover the dessert are sometimes flamed in local drinks such as tequila or mescal to give it a touch of flavor.
Peruvian Arroz Con Leche
The use of spices is often what makes the difference in different Arroz con Leche recipes. In Peru, for example, the milk is infused with cinnamon, or also with cloves to give it a more intense flavor.
In the Cuban method, an additional step is added before cooking the rice. This step consists of soaking the rice for at least two hours before cooking it with the milk so that the grains are tender.
This extra step is considered one of the best secrets of Latin American cuisine for this dish.
The Colombian recipe has an added secret ingredient. Like risotto, to achieve an extra creamy and velvety pudding texture, a little of butter is added to the cooking liquid.
Although in Puerto Rico cinnamon stick is not used to infuse the milk before cooking the rice and the ingredient list is shorter, the result is equally delicious. The addition of butter as a binder makes this dessert win the hearts of many.
If you have an instant pot at home, you can use your appliance to make a delicious rice pudding. Once you have mixed all the ingredients, press the “Rice pudding” function.
Then, let the pressure release naturally and enjoy. For an extra touch of sweetness, you can add a little condensed milk to the cooked mixture or dulce de leche as a topping.
Here’s a delicious recipe for making rice pudding at home – a meal that’s sure to please your taste buds!
- 1 cup of rice.
- 2 cups of water.
- 2 cups of whole milk or milk of your choice.
- 2 cinnamon sticks.
- 1 tablespoon lime zest.
- 1½ cup sugar.
- 1½ cup raisins (optional).
- Ground cinnamon (optional).
- Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Drain the excess water and then, in a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
- Cook the rice with the milk over heat for 15 minutes, uncovered. After this time, add the milk, cinnamon stick, lime zest, sugar and cook over medium heat.
- After 10 minutes, return the pot to low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. When the rice is done, remove the cinnamon sticks.
- Serve garnished with raisins and ground cinnamon.
Tips and advice
- You can customize your own dish by adding the topping of your choice. You can choose between shredded coconut, white chocolate chips, nuts, peach, strawberries, or dark chocolate, which will give it a special touch.
- In case you don’t have lime zest, you can use orange or lemon zest to keep a touch of citrus in the mix. Citrus flavors are key to balance the sweet ingredients.
- Another trick you can apply is to use round grain rice such as Arborio, bomba rice, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano. These rice variations have more starch and give a creamier texture.
- Also, don’t stop stirring the mixture while cooking; you can use a wooden or silicone spoon so as not to break the texture of the rice and prevent the bottom from burning.
Is Rice Pudding Mexican?
No, rice pudding is not from Mexico.
Is Arroz Con Leche A Drink?
No, Arroz Con Leche is not a drink.