Simone's Kitchen

Arroz con leche

Arroz con leche |

I did promise you I would try and make some authentic Costa Rican food right? And although arroz con leche seems to be pretty much used in most latin american countries plus Spain… it is still one of the dishes that I associate with Costa Rica. Plus I like it.. ๐Ÿ™‚

We’ve only eaten this particular dessert on two occassions while in Costa Rica and as good as the first one was, as bad as the second one was. So even with a dish as simple as dish you can still go terribly wrong. It’s a versatile dish as you can add raisins, banana or any other fruit to the dish. The taste is sweet but neutral so it will work with loads of different things as well. For today I kept it simple. I checked on the internet and I checked in the book that I bought for a good recipe of arroz con leche and there are as many recipes as there are people, I would almost say. A lot of them use condensed and/or evaporated milk. Since I didn’t have either, I made a version with just regular milk. When going through my cupboards I also found out that I had ran out of most of the rice I usually stock! I think this will work extremely well with arborio rice and I wanted to try that but I only had pandan rice left. And since I didn’t feel like going to the store I used that.

Arroz con leche |

I am thinking that it will be creamier when you do use arborio rice, but it tasted lovely with the pandan. I will try it at some point with different rice and maybe with different ingredients as well. For now, this is what I used. It’s enough for two small bowls.

Making your own arroz con leche |


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Arroz con leche |
Arroz con leche
  • 1/2 ltr milk
  • 75 gr rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • zest of 1/2 lime
  • 35 gr sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 eggyolk
  • ground cinnamon optional
  • Banana slices optional
  1. In a small saucepan bring the milk, the cinnamon stick, anis and limepeel to a soft boil. Add the rice and cook the rice until it is soft enough. My rice had 8 minutes regular cooking time, but I added maybe 5 minutes to that to give it a more soft consistency. Just make sure that the rice is still rice and not one mushy drab... ๐Ÿ™‚ Once you add the rice, also add a pinch of salt and the sugar to the milk. When the rice is the way you want it to be add one eggyolk. Make sure it is not boiling anymore or you will have bits of egg. It should thicken the liquid and give you a nice creamy texture. Once you let it cool it will get even thicker. You can eat it warm or cold. I ate mine lukewarm which worked perfectly for me.
  2. You can add banana to it (as I did above) and sprinkle the dessert with some ground cinnamon.

Making arroz con leche |


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  1. You know my husband is an arroz con leche lover… and I hate it! Arroz con leche is indeed very traditional in Spain, specially in the north, but without the banana. In Asturias they boil the rice for 2 hours (no kidding!) until the rice completely dissolves and the result is a creamy pudding.

    • 2 hours??!! My god, that sounds scary almost! Too bad you don’t like it. It’s not something I would eat everyday but I still think it’s very good. The banana is my own addition. Just thought it would work well with the flavors.

  2. rice and all those spices!mmmmmmm

  3. This is one of my most favourite desserts Simone…and you’re right about the amount of recipes out there for arroz con leche. I love that you used pandan rice…a great idea!

  4. That rice pudding looks lipsmackingly good! Lovely flavors.



  5. Mmm…love this rice pudding, sounds so delicious with the cinnamon and star anis ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. This is dreamy Simone! It looks so creamy and sounds so rich and delicious!

  7. Welcome home, sweetie, and hope your Birthday was fabulous! You deserve it! And yum the French Riz au Lait is a favorite dessert here in my house and this arroz con leche looks just as fantastic! And different enough that I must try it! Looks so wonderfully rich and creamy and delicious!

  8. Lovely food photography ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Welcome home, Simone!!

    Your arroz con leche estรก muy delicioso, mmmmmm,…

    I would like to digg in in that big bowl!!!

  10. Welcome home, Simone!!

    Your arroz con leche estรก muy delicioso, mmmmmm,…

    I would like to digg in in that big bowl!!!

  11. oh dear. Look at that rice pudding! So delicious!

  12. Una deliziosa ricetta. complimenti

  13. This must be one of my favorite desserts and your photographs are making me crave a bowlful right now. I guess I every culture has a version of this fabulous dessert. In South India we use cardamom powder and don’t used eggs, but that must make it extremely creamy.

  14. It looks creamy and lush, Simone. I love rice puddings and tapioca puddings and milk puddings. They are so subtle and soothing and comforting and pillowy and yummy.

  15. That looks wonderful. I love this recipe.

  16. Rice pudding always reminds me of my gram. ๐Ÿ™‚ This looks so perfectly creamy and delicious. Beautiful, as always.

  17. What a great, versatile dessert! Sounds so good with the added lime. The banana slices look fantastic in it too!

  18. I love Arroz con leche! I’ve never made it with arborio rice, though. But my mom soaks the rice overnight and that seems to give it a little bit more starchiness. I’ll see what other Costa Rican recipes you try in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I don’t think it needs any arborio rice now that I’ve had it with regular rice. That was soft enough. I did soak the rice for a bit in milk before starting to cook. I guess that also helped to make it creamier.

  19. Hmmm… I’ve never even made or tasted regular rice pudding. I *think* I’d like it, I’m just not sure. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I’ll give it a go at some point. Your pictures make it look enticing, though!

  20. This looks absolutely delicious! I love all varieties of rice pudding!

  21. Excellent work. I think you really nailed the texture. Thanks.

  22. I wish you had translated the measurements for non-users of metric….

  23. In Germany we eat it as a main dish with a cinnamon-sugar topping or with a fruit compote (like cherries or apples). Its called “Milchreis” and very popular.

    By the way… i love your site! Beautiful pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Wish you all the best!

  24. Hello Simone,

    I have a website about arroz con leche (rice pudding or arroz doce in portuguese) and I’d like to add this recipe. Is there any problem with it? Can I add it?

    Feel free to visit my website: Arroz Doce

    Very nice article and very very nice photos! ๐Ÿ™‚


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