Riz bi Haleeb is a delicious creamy Lebanese rice pudding gently flavored with orange blossom. Made with some of the most basic ingredients, this eggless and gluten-free pudding is a must try recipe from the Middle East.
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases without any extra cost to you.
Rice pudding is a universal dessert as every country has one recipe of its own. Being an Indian, kheer is my favorite rice pudding as it’s the first and most frequently eaten rice pudding by me.
Nevertheless, I also love exploring and trying different rice pudding recipes from around the world. It really amazes me how despite having common main ingredients – milk and rice, how unique they all taste.
Today’s recipe – Riz bi Haleeb is a very popular rice pudding from Lebanon. The literal meaning of Riz bi Haleeb is Rice in Milk. This dish is quite similar to Indian rice kheer and many believe that it got originated from kheer only.
However, some minor changes in the kheer recipe give it a distinct flavor.
Unlike kheer which gets it thick creamy consistency after patient cooking over low flame, Riz bi Haleeb is thickened by adding corn- starch slurry to it.
Another ingredient which makes Riz bi Haleeb unique is the mild essence and flavor of orange blossom water which is used in many Middle Eastern recipes.
Orange blossom water is a by-product of the process of distillation that is used to obtain the essential oil from the seeds, peel, leaves, bark, and pulp of orange.
You can easily find this product in a Middle Eastern store or online.
Step by step photo instructions
More easy dessert recipes from around the world
If you have a sweet tooth and want to explore different easy dessert recipes from around the world then do check the following recipes:
- Mango Phirni (India)
- Easy peach cobbler (USA/ UK)
- Tembleque (Puerto Rico)
- Chocolate banana spring rolls (Indonesia)
- Cherry cream cheese danish (Denmark)
If you try any of my recipes, please rate ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it on the recipe card and also leave your feedback in the comments section below. You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and subscribe to my youtube channel.
Riz Bi Haleeb
- 1 Large cooking pot
- ½ cup jasmine rice
- 1 litre full cream milk
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar adjust to taste
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
- 1 tablespoon finely crushed pistachios
- Take out ¼ cup of milk in a bowl and keep it aside.
- Put the remaining milk in a large pot and let it boil once.
- While the milk is boiling wash the rice well i.e. until you get clear water.
- Put the rinsed rice to boiling milk and stir well. Cook rice in milk for around 25 minutes or until the rice is nicely cooked.
- Add sugar and mix. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sugar gets dissolved.
- In a bowl mix the ¼ cup of milk which was kept aside in step 1 with around 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk until the cornstarch gets completely mixed in the milk.
- Add cornstarch slurry to the cooking pot and mix. Cook continuously for a few minutes i.e. until the rice pudding becomes thicker and creamier
- Add orange blossom water, mix, and switch off the stove.
- Pour the pudding into the serving bowls and garnish with crushed pistachios.
- Allow the pudding to reach room temperature. It can be served warm as well as chilled. If you prefer chilled, put in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours before serving.
- Jasmine rice or any rice variety with medium and fragrant grains can be used to make this pudding. You can use basmati rice too but jasmine rice will give a better result in this recipe as it's more starchy so make the pudding creamier
- Make sure the milk in which you mix cornstarch is at room temperature.
- Keep stirring the pudding continuously after adding the cornstarch slurry to avoid lump formation.
- Use rose water if you don't have orange blossom water. They taste completely different but both make the pudding delicious.
- Instead of pistachios, you can use any nut of choice to garnish this Lebanese rice pudding.
- More recipe tips and tricks are shared in the post above, please follow them to make this recipe.
I’ve tried your Thai dessert sticky rice with mango and it turned out simply divine
where do I get orange blossom water here in India
Thanks a lot, Kanchan. Happy to know that you enjoyed the Thai mango rice, that's one of my favorite desserts too. Orange blossom water is available on Amazon India. To be honest, I feel it's very expensive in India because it gets exported from the Middle East. I live in Dubai where this ingredient is used in a lot of dishes so is very inexpensive. Orange blossom water has a very unique flavor (not at all like orange) and I haven't come across anything that tastes like it so can't suggest a perfect substitute. However, if you want you can try making this dish with rose water or kewra. Hope this helps.
I love rice pudding and have made so many different versions from different international regions. I will definitely have to try this version soon!
Thank you 🙂
This pudding looks delicious. Looks great with so many pistachios on top. I have never used orange blossom water so learnt something new today.
Thanks a lot Mina. I also got introduced to orange blossom water after moving to the Middle East.
I love using orange blossom water whenever I get it so am sure I'd love riz bi Haleeb. Such different flavors from the normal kheer. This creamy dessert is super tempting.
Thanks Mayuri. Though there are only a few minor differences in the procedure, it tastes so different than kheer.