Ruz Bil Haleeb

Ruz bil haleeb, or rice pudding, is my husband's favorite dessert. For years he would ask me to make it and every time I tried it wouldn't come out right. I've tried SO many recipes and every time something would be off - too much liquid, too much sugar, not enough liquid... Now I know what you're thinking: rice pudding is super easy to make. Yes, I know. I know. I don't know what it is but I just couldn't get it right. Until now! 

Ruz bil haleeb reminds me so much of my paternal grandma. She's the Palestinian dessert expert in our family. My dad is always telling me about all the desserts she would bake for him and his siblings. When I was younger, anytime I went to visit her there would always be a fresh batch of ruz bil haleeb cooling in the kitchen. So now, anytime I eat it, it reminds me of her. 

My grandma always serves ruz bil haleeb without any toppings, but I love to add pistachios. Get creative and add your favorite toppings. 

You'll definitely want to make a double batch of this. Sahtain :)

Ruz Bil Haleeb

Servings: 6 
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus 2 hours to cool in the fridge) 
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes 

Ingredients: 
4 cups water 

3/4 cup Egyptian, or short grain, rice

3 teaspoons cornstarch 

2 cups whole milk 

1/2 cup sugar 

1 teaspoon orange blossom water (or rose water) 

Toppings: (optional)
Crushed Pistachios 
Dried Rose Petals

Cinnamon 

Shredded Coconut 


Directions: 
1) In a bowl, soak the rice for 10 minutes in hot water. Then, place in a sieve and rinse under water until the water runs clear. 

2) In a pot, combine the rice and water on medium heat until it comes to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed, stirring consistently. 

3) Mix the milk and cornstarch together. Add to the rice and let it simmer for an additional 15 minutes on low heat, stirring consistently. Add the sugar during the last 5 minutes. 

4) Once the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and mix in the orange blossom water. 

5) Pour the pudding into 6 bowls and allow to cool. 

6) Add your favorite toppings or enjoy plain. Sahtain! 

Notes: 

1) Make sure to continually stir the rice. If you leave it without mixing, it will stick and burn. 

2) For the most flavor, add the orange blossom water at the end so the flavor doesn't cook out. 

3) You can serve this cold or at room temperature. I prefer it cold in the summer, it's super refreshing.