Different countries have their own twist on rice pudding. The Lebanese version of this dessert in unapologetically sweet and addictively creamy. My mom would only make rice pudding for special occasions or for special guests because making it meant she would have to spend a few hours babysitting it; not her favorite thing.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup short-grain rice
  • 8 cups full-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mastic (I’ll explain below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rose water

 

Mastic Explained:

According to the internet, mastic (mastica in Arabic) is a resin from the mastic tree. Originally from Greece, the small golden nuggets are used as flavoring in desserts and baked goods. Mastic, also called Arabic gum, adds a distinct flavor and slight chew. (www.foodrepublic.com, www.en.wikipedia.org).

How to:

Wash the rice three times. The water should run clear after the third time. Below is the way my mom thinks you measure one cup. She usually makes it with a hello kitty mug, she humored me by using the measuring cup below.

 

Place the washed rice in a small pot with two cups of water and two tablespoons of sugar. Boil for 20 minutes. It will get gloopy and sticky, that’s what you want.

Pour the milk into a big pot and heat on medium until it begins to simmer.

Once it is gently bubbling, add the rice and 3/4 cup of sugar.

Simmer for 1.5 hours on low, stirring frequently (about every 5 minutes).

The stirring needs to be done with a wooden spoon, don’t ask questions, just do as my mom tells you.

Place the mastic in a mortar and pestle along with a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and grind until it turns into a powder. My mom places them in a plastic bag and rolls a rolling pin over them until they turn into powder. We are Arabs and our mortar and pestle smells like a big bulb of garlic no matter how many times we wash them.

After simmering gently for an hour and a half, the rice pudding will thicken and coat the back of the spoon. At this point it will still be liquidy, it will thicken much more as it cools.

Take the pot off the heat and add the powdered mastic, and rose water, stir until well combined.

Scoop into small bowls. Allow to cool to at room-temperature before placing them in the refrigerator. They are suppose to develop a skin on the top, and crack slightly. My mom says that’s how you know you did it right.

They are ready to eat within a few hours, but overnight is even better. I topped mine with rose petal jam and pistachios, but feel free to get creative here and top with any nuts, jams, or syrups you have on hand, or nothing.

 

My Mom’s Lebanese Rice Pudding

My Mom’s Lebanese Rice Pudding

Different countries have their own twist on rice pudding. The Lebanese version of this dessert in unapologetically sweet and addictively creamy. My mom would only make rice pudding for special occasions or for special guests because making it meant she would have to spend a few hours babysitting it; not her favorite thing.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup short-grain rice
  • 8 cups full-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mastic (I'll explain below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rose water

Instructions

  1. Mastic Explained:
  2. According to the internet, mastic (mastica in Arabic) is a resin from the mastic tree. Originally from Greece, the small golden nuggets are used as flavoring in desserts and baked goods. Mastic, also called Arabic gum, adds a distinct flavor and slight chew. (www.foodrepublic.com, www.en.wikipedia.org).
  3. How to:
  4. Wash the rice three times and place in a small pot with two cups of water and two tablespoons of sugar. Boil for 20 minutes. It will get gloopy and sticky, that's what you want.
  5. Pour the milk into a big pot and heat on medium until it begins to simmer.
  6. Once it is gently bubbling, add the rice and 3/4 cup of sugar.
  7. Simmer for 1.5 hours on low, stirring frequently (about every 5 minutes).
  8. Place the mastic in a mortar and pestle along with a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and grind until it turns into a powder. My mom places them in a plastic bag and rolls a rolling pin over them until they turn into powder. We are Arabs and our mortar and pestle smells like a big bulb of garlic no matter how many times we wash them.
  9. After simmering gently for an hour and a half, the rice pudding will thicken and coat the back of the spoon. At this point it will still be liquidy, it will thicken much more as it cools.
  10. Take the pot off the heat and add the powdered mastic, and rose water, stir until well combined.
  11. Scoop into small bowls. Allow to cool to at room-temperature before placing them in the refrigerator. They are suppose to develop a skin on the top, and crack slightly. My mom says that's how you know you did it right.
  12. They are ready to eat within a few hours, but overnight is even better. I topped mine with rose petal jam and pistachios, but feel free to get creative here and top with any nuts, jams, or syrups you have on hand, or nothing.
http://www.foodosopher.com/rice-pudding/