Arroz con leche (rice pudding). Creamy dessert infused with cinnamon and cloves consumed hot or cold in Latin America.
Welcome to the month of August!
This month we celebrate Bolivia's independence. As in any celebration, there must be good food and delicious desserts.
It has been 23 years since I left my country, but the delicious dishes that my mother made and the others that were bought on the streets, have remained in my memory.
I hope you come back every week and enjoy our Bolivian recipes.
It is said, that arroz con leche originates from Asia and later spread through Europe and Africa. From the sixteenth century after colonization, it was exported to America due to the European trade and population that emigrated to the American territory.
In the Book of the Art of Cozina by Domingo Hernández de Maceras, published in 1607, you can see the oldest official recipe on how to make a rice pudding very similar to the one we know today.
We can find many examples of fusion or adaptation of this dessert to the conditions and products available in each country.
Bolivian rice pudding
Although I cannot say exactly that this is a traditional Bolivian recipe, it is the recipe that my maternal grandmother made.
The techniques or secrets (of which there are not many) were passed on to her children. So, today's recipe was made with the help of my mom and one of my uncles who is known for making the most delicious rice pudding in the family.
This dessert or snack is easily found in street. It is served in disposable cups and spoons so you can continue on your way while enjoying something delicious.
The ingredients are few and common in many Latin American kitchens.
- rice: I prefer short grain rice. But you can use what you have on hand. I don't recommend parboiled rice.
- sugar: I used white sugar, but use your favorite sweetner
- cinnamon: use cinnamon stick, or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- cloves: you can use ground cloves, or replace with 4 whole cloves
- milk: whole milk is always the first option. But you can use 2% milk
How to make it:
You need a medium pot or saucepan.
15 minutes before heating the pot on the stove, soak the rice (without washing it) in the milk.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, and cook over low heat. Stirring constantly.
Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
Creamy rice pudding
What are the secrets of creamy rice pudding? There are not many, but if you follow them I assure you that the results are delicious!
- do not use parboiled rice
- soak the rice for 15 minutes in the milk
- stir constantly
How to serve it:
Bolivian rice pudding can be served as a dessert or as a snack.
In the winter I like to serve it warm in a glass or small bowl.
In the summer, I serve it in a glass and keep it in the fridge for at least 4 hours to serve it cold.
Arroz con leche around the world:
Bolivian Rice Pudding
- ½ cup short grain rice
- 4 cups whole milk
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves (4 whole cloves)
- 1 cinnamon stick (½ teaspoon ground cinnamon)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- In a saucepan add the rice and milk and soak for 15 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
- Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the mixture is creamy.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves, if used.
- Serve in glasses.
- It can be eaten hot or it can be stored in the refrigerator and served cold.