This hot creamy rice pudding is spiked with orange and cinnamon to bring some warmth and sunshine to your life. Like other Greek desserts, it’s an exquisite combination of humble everyday ingredients: rice, milk, and sugar. However, like risotto, making it is a labor of love – you have to be close at hand all the time, stirring and checking on it. Some Greek cooks even go so far as to add the milk in batches, a little at a time, and stirring between each addition.
- generous 1/2 cup short-grain rice
- 1/4 cup superfine (caster) sugar
- 5 cups plant-based milk
- 1 cinnamon stick, cut in half
- 1/2 cup bittersweet (dark) chocolate chips (optional)
- grated zest of 1 orange
- ground cinnamon, for dusting
- Put the rice, sugar, milk, and cinnamon stick into a nonstick saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring the milk to the boil.
- As soon as it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for at least 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the mixture is thick and creamy. Keep checking and stirring, so the rice does not color and stick to the bottom of the pan. Be patient, it may take 50 minutes or longer.
- Stir in the chocolate chips (if using) and cook for 5 more minutes – just long enough for them to soften and melt into the rice. If the rice is too thick, thin it with a little more milk.
- Remove the pan from the heat, remove and discard the cinnamon stick, and stir in the orange zest. Divide between 4 serving bowls, dust with cinnamon and serve immediately.
Use lemon zest instead of orange. Substitute a vanilla bean (pod), split open lengthwise, for the cinnamon stick. For a dairy-free version, use almond or soya milk. Add some freshly grated nutmeg or cardamom seeds.
- Nut-based Milk