Rizogalo: A creamy Greek Rice Pudding with Chios Mastic flavor
Rizogalo is one of our favorite treats since we were children. It’s a beautiful rice pudding, that’s very very popular in Greece and it’s definitely one of the best Greek comfort foods. You can have rizogalo as a dessert, as a snack or even as breakfast!
There are sooo many versions of rice puddings worldwide; the same goes for the Greek rice pudding. There are versions which include eggs; there are versions with lemon or orange zest; there are versions which include cinnamon and others without it; Some rice puddings are very thick while some others are creamier; it’s one of the most versatile, easy dessert recipes.
Our version is based on a recipe we received from Mr. Neroladakis, the pastry Chef of Konstantinidis pastry shops. Konstantinidis pastry shops have some of our favorite traditional pastries, and a huge tradition, as they‘re originating from the Konstantinidis family which started making pastries in Minor Asia during the 1920s. Mr. Neroladakis adjusted one of the recipes they use in the shops to transform it into a homemade rice pudding. We adjusted his recipe a bit further, adding mastic and changing the starch content, to make it as thick and creamy as we prefer it ourselves.
We suggest using Arborio or Carnaroli, or any other short or medium grain rice, which have high starch content. In Greece, we mostly use the Glasse (pronounced glass-Eh) or Carolina (ka-ro-lEe-nah) local (high starch) varieties.
This rizogalo version has no eggs; it’s a creamy rice pudding with mastic & vanilla scent, and a cinnamon powder topping: a delicious dessert, full of aromas! This is a rice pudding recipe you will use again and again; your kids, your guests and you will be craving for more! ;)
If you can’t find Chios Mastic just double the amount of vanilla used.
- 1 lt/4 cups milk (full fat)
-500ml/2 cups water
-100g/3.5oz (6 tablespoons) rice, medium/short grain *
-225g/8oz (15 tablespoons) granulated sugar
-60g/2.1oz (4 tablespoons) corn starch
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 teaspoon of Chios mastic, crushed into powder (optional) **
-a pinch of cinnamon per serving
*prefer a high starch content rice, like Arborio or Carnaroli
** if you can’t find Chios mastic than use 1 more tablespoon of vanilla extract
Preparation: Put the rice and the water in a medium sized pot and put it on medium to high heat.
Once it starts simmering, reduce the heat to low, and let it cook for about 10 minutes, until the rice absorbs all the water. Stir towards the end. Remove from heat and let it cool.
Pour the milk in another medium sized pot and put in on medium heat. Once the milk is warm (you can check it with your finger), remove some of it (use a ladle), and pour it in small bowl. Dissolve the corn starch in the warm milk (in the bowl) using a whisk (pic. 1& 2).
Add the sugar and the prepared rice in the rest of the milk (in the pot), stirring continuously. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, to soften the rice. Stir slowly and continuously, to avoid the mixture getting burned at the bottom. If the milk starts to simmer or if you notice that starts to rise, remove from heat for a minute, reduce the heat to a lower setting and then put it back on; and continue stirring.
After the 10 minutes have passed, add the vanilla, the mastic, stir and then the milk-starch mixture from the bowl. Stir until starts to thicken (about 1-2 more minutes). Once thickened, remove from heat. Serve the pudding into bowls and leave aside to cool in room temperature (pic. 3).
Put the bowls in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder before serving. Kali oreksi!
1. If you don't like or can't find mastic, omit it and use the double amount of vanilla.
2. You can preserve rizogalo in the fridge for 3 days. Cover the bowls with cling film.