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.
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.
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How to make Riz Bi Haleeb?
Riz Bi Haleeb
- 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 5 cups milk
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 4 tbsp chopped pistachio
- Wash rice and soak in water for around 15 minutes.
- Boil milk in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add soaked rice and allow to cook for around 20-25 minutes or until the rice is nicely cooked.
- When the rice is cooked, add sugar, mix and cook for another minute so that sugar gets dissolved completely.
- In a bowl mix cornflour with some milk at room temperature to form a paste. Add this paste to the pot and mix. Let the pudding cook for another few minutes till it starts getting thickened.
- Add orange blossom water, mix and switch off the gas.
- Pour the pudding in serving bowls and garnish with chopped 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.