Rizogalo aka Greek Rice Pudding is creamy and light. Unlike classic sticky rice pudding that's served warm, Rizogalo is traditionally served cold with plenty of ground cinnamon sprinkled on top. It's a refreshing sweet treat to enjoy anytime during the day!
This creamy rice pudding takes me back to my childhood. 15 to 20 years ago a dessert was still a treat for special occasions and celebrations here in Greece (especially on the Greek countryside ). Back then you'd get scolded if you were eating too much sugar because it was bad for you.
Unlike today that sugar is in each and every food and consumed in large amounts daily.
So growing up in a small Greek village this rice pudding along with the classic custard cream and the traditional Greek yogurt with the fatty skin on top were all treats you had to go to the city center to get. To a place called Galaktopoleion.
Galaktopoleion was something like a pastry shop. But selling only dairy products, and desserts made only with sheep's milk. This was the first type of shop to sell sweets before even the idea of a pastry shop existed in Greece.
What makes Greek yogurt Greek, is the fact that it's made with sheep's milk. That's Authentic Greek yogurt.
Rice pudding was always my favorite treat.
In Greece, we make it using milk, sugar, short-grain white rice, cornstarch to thicken it, lemon peel and vanilla for flavoring, and ground cinnamon on top. No eggs in this rice pudding recipe.
Also, Greek Rice Pudding is almost always served cold. If you're used to eating warm rice pudding I think you should try this too, you'll be amazed at how good and how refreshing it tastes.
Flavor And Texture
So my idea of the perfect rice pudding is a perfectly creamy one. If you prefer sticky rice pudding with rice that has a bite to it, then you may not like this one.
This Greek Rice Rudding recipe is like a custard cream with rice in it. It feels light and truly refreshing when enjoyed cold. It's not too sweet but sweet enough.
- To make Rizogalo use white short-grain rice (it's sticky enough to thicken the pudding and doesn't get hard when refrigerated).
- Overcook rice until completely soft. It should look very gluey and sticky.
- It's best to refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Since cornstarch will thicken more as it cools. Achieving this way the perfectly creamy texture!
All in all, Rizogalo is a great fueling sweet snack to enjoy at all times during the day. I love to have it as breakfast as well. Sounds weird to you? Well, summer in Greece can be really hot and a sweet and refreshing treat like this Rice Pudding can be all you need or (I need)!
Greek Rice Pudding Recipe
- 130 grams (4.6 ounce) short-grain white rice
- 600 ml water
- a pinch of salt
- 1 lemon peel
- 1 liter milk
- 150 grams (5.3 ounce) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 40 grams (4 tablespoons) cornstarch
- ground cinnamon to serve with
- Rinse the rice well and set aside.
- Add the 600 ml of water to a saucepan together with the lemon peel and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add the rice and drop the heat to medium. Cook until the rice absorbs all the water and becomes very soft and sticky.
- Take 100 ml of milk out of the 1 liter and add it to a small bowl together with the cornstarch. Mix well.
- Add the remaining 900 ml of milk to a medium-sized cooking pot together with the sugar, and vanilla extract. Heat over medium heat.
- Once the milk gets steamy hot, stir the contents of the small bowl containing the cornstarch and milk, and pour it slowly into the pot with the hot milk.
- Stir well with a whisk for a couple of minutes until the mixture starts to become creamy and slightly thickened. NOTE: It will start to thicken after it bubbles. Also, it will thicken slightly not much.
- Add the cooked rice (discarding the lemon peel) to the pot, and stir very well.
- Take the pot off the heat. And let stand for 10 minutes. Then transfer the rice pudding to small bowls.
- You can enjoy it warm sprinkled with ground cinnamon or let it cool down to room temperature and refrigerate for 6-8 hours to enjoy it cold, as it is mostly done in Greece.
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