Arroz con Leche is simply the Latin name of one of the most comforting desserts: Rice pudding. It is white rice cooked in milk until it gets a creamy texture.
In Latin American countries, people eat rice pudding as a snack in the mid-afternoon, as a dessert, or as breakfast.
It can also be enjoyed when you need to feel pampered or have a sweet punch during the day.
Different types of Arroz con Leche
This sugary dish is made of rice, milk, sugar, and flavorings. Depending on the country, its name changes as well as some of its ingredients.
For example, it is called Arroz con Leche in Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, and most Latin American countries. In Spain, Arroz con Leche is also a traditional dessert.
The classic Arroz con Leche recipe contains rice and granulated sugar cooked in whole milk with lemon zest or cinnamon sticks. People eat it warm or cold, topped with ground cinnamon or raisins.
Some variations may include condensed milk or nuts. Go to https://mahatmarice.com/recipes/arroz-con-leche/ and check the detailed ingredients of a delicious version of Arroz con Leche.
In India, Kheer is the name given to rice pudding. This delightful recipe has coconut milk flavored with cardamom instead of whole milk. To eat it, people add toasted almonds and pistachios at the top of it.
Risgrynsgröt (something like Rumagrit) is the name of the Swedish rice pudding. It is also known as rice porridge. This recipe includes some extra ingredients like eggs and vanilla, and it is served with melted butter during Christmas celebrations.
In Germany, rice pudding is called Kalter Milchreis mit Brombeeren. It includes typical ingredients like rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon, but it goes with whipped cream and blackberries.
Rizogalo is the name of a Greek rice pudding. It resembles custard flavored with vanilla and lemon zest. It is a simple preparation served with ground cinnamon.
Riz au lait is a rice pudding from France. It maintains the regular components of a classic rice pudding. It differentiates from others by how it is served at breakfast with salted butter caramel sauce and candied almonds.
Fırın sütlaç is a rice pudding from Turkey. Rice, sugar, whole milk, eggs, and cinnamon are baked until getting a custard-style dessert.
In the Philippines, rice pudding is known as Tsamporado or Champorado. It is a breakfast dish with rice, Tablea (chocolate disks of ground-up cacao beans), or ground cocoa, sugar, and evaporated milk. It is served hot accompanied by Tuyo (salted dried fish).
Cooking rice pudding at home
The base of Arroz con Leche remains the same in each country: rice, milk, sugar, and flavorings. The variations are in the type of milk, the cooking process, and the additional ingredients that normally reflect local tastes. Another difference is the toppings added to each preparation that create delicious preparations.
If you want to cook it at home, good advice is, to begin with the classic components and then try a worldwide recipe or create your version of Arroz con Leche.
The classic cooking process of rice pudding is on the stove-top. Other methods include baking and even using a rice cooker. All ingredients are placed in a big pot and cooked slowly with constant supervision to avoid the milk to burn at the bottom of the pot.
Fortunately, there are some shortcuts to make it faster and easy.
- Use leftover rice or one-day-old rice. This step reduces the time of cooking it and you do not have to babysit rice all the time.
- Add cinnamon sticks and vanilla paste to the milk to enhance its flavors.
- If you prefer a citrus taste, add lemon zest or orange peel to the milk.
- Combine milk and water to make a creamy texture.
Even though you follow the classic recipe, the way of serving and toppings can make a difference. You can prepare various types of rice puddings each time.
Try these ideas for toppings:
- Add seasonal fruits. Mangoes, strawberries, blackberries, glazed bananas, caramelized apples, and pineapple chunks are good options.
- Pour chocolate or caramel syrup, or condensed milk.
- Add whipped cream.
- Include raisins, nuts, or almonds.
- Sprinkle it with ground cocoa or cinnamon powder (or both).
- Add shredded and toasted coconut.