I feel honored to share this special recipe today, handed to me from a friend who has been making it for years. This traditional Lebanese Rice Flour Pudding has the aroma of foreign spices and a texture and flavor completely unique to my American taste buds. It contains delicate flavors of caraway and anise, as well as rose water and pistachio. To me, this exotic dessert was a taste of a different culture, and insight into another way of life.
My first taste of this pudding was as a special gift to me when I found out I was having a baby boy. In Lebanese culture, when you find out you are having a boy you are given this pudding as a blessing with the health benefits of the spice mixture within the recipe. This is a tradition that has been passed on throughout generations. Now the dessert is given to an expecting mother whether or not the baby is a boy or girl. Outside of pregnancy, the dessert is also consumed at birthdays and holidays in Lebanon.
While making this pudding, you may have one of two thoughts… you may think, wow, 50 minutes is a long time to be a slave to stirring something in the kicthen or you may be completely consumed in the soothing repetition of whisking and find it to be almost therapeutic. I sided with the latter and found it a time for meditation and to take my mind off my never ending list and onto the simple task of whisking and day dreaming.
Some of the spices in this dish can be hard to find. I found ground anise and rose water at Whole Foods. You can also find them at Middle Easter markets. Ground caraway was a bit harder to find but it should also be at Middle Easter Markets, though I ended up borrowing it from my friends Moudi and Derek who own Laziz. But now that I have the spices on hand, I’m excited for the excuse to find other recipes using rose water, caraway or anise. If you know of any, please send them my way or comment with a link!
We served classic jars filled with this spiced rice pudding at our last SLCmixer, highlighting Laziz Foods. You can read more about the mixer and all of the fabulous Lebanese products that Laziz offers on theSLCfoodie.
- 4 oz rice flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 6 cups water
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp ground anise
- 2 tsp ground caraway
- Shredded coconut
- Rose water
- Soak rice flour in 2 cups of water for 2 hours in advance
- Soak the pistachios (or any other nut) in water mixed with a bit of rose water.
- Boil 4 cups water in a large pan. Mix the rice flour and water mixture into the pot with a whisk. Keep heat at medium, and whisk constantly, gradually adding the sugar and spices.
- Keep stirring until mixture thickens, about 50 minutes.
- Pour into individual bowls, garnish with shredded coconut and rose water soaked pistachios.
- Let sit in the fridge up to 3 hours before consuming.