Thursday, 9 July 2020

Rice Pudding With RoseWater And Apricot Compote

Remember rice pudding in a tin?  That's pretty much the only way we got it as children (and I loved it).  Now I like to make baked lemon rice pudding (so easy), or occasionally a stovetop pudding like this one.  This is another dish from Yasmin Khan's Zaitoun.  I may have to buy myself a copy, as I have to take it back to the library pretty soon :-)  I love the flavours in this Palestinian pudding, known as Roz Bil Halib (halib means milk in Arabic).

Some readers may remember my strong dislike of (tinned) quinces.  As much as I liked tinned rice pudding as a child (and often ate it out of the tin), I disliked the quinces that mum would offer with it.  So we had to sit there till bedtime - 'cos those quinces had to be eaten.  And if we didn't eat them before bed, they'd be there next morning with our cornflakes and rice bubbles.  Maybe I fed them to the dog?  Thank goodness, I can eat my rice pudding the way I like it in my dotage :-)    

delish pudding

Serves 4:


For the rice pudding:

1 litre (4 cups) milk of your choice - cows'/nut/soy etc - I used coconut

75g. (6 U.S. tablespoons) sugar - caster or white

1 tsp vanilla extract

seeds from 8 cardamom pods, crushed

160g. (healthy 3/4 cup) pudding rice - I used arborio

a big pinch of sea salt flakes

1 to 1½ tbs rosewater

up to 150 mL (scant 2/3 cup) boiling water - if needed

for the apricot compote:

125g. (2/3 cup) dried apricots, roughly chopped

2 tsp lemon juice

seeds from 2 cardamom pods, crushed

200 mL (scant 7/8 cup) boiling water 

2 tbs honey

1 tsp rosewater

Decoration (optional)

2 tbs pistachios, chopped

1 tbs edible dried rose petals

a good dash of pouring cream in each bowl


The Pudding:

Put the milk, sugar, vanilla and the crushed cardamom seeds into a large saucepan

Bring it to the boil, stirring often

Once the sugar is dissolved, add the rice and salt, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes - keep an eye on it, and stir regularly, especially towards the end of the cooking time as it may stick

Add a bit of boiling water if it seems too dry

When the rice is how you like it, gradually add the rosewater, and cook for a few more minutes

Serve with (optional) rose petals, pistachios and pouring cream

While the rice is cooking - make the compote:

The Compote:

Put the apricots, lemon juice, crushed cardamom seeds and boiling water into a small saucepan over medium heat

Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and let cook for ten minutes

Stir in the honey, and let it simmer for another five-ten minutes

Add the rosewater, and let the compote cool 


Rosewater is a strong taste, so be judicious and only add as much as your tastebuds are happy with

Chuck the cardamom pods away after taking out the seeds!  You only want the crushed seeds of course

I suggest making the compote first, or even the day before as I did

I actually liked this pudding and compote cold from the fridge, rather than room temp. after cooking, but it's up to you, my friends

stirring the milk, sugar, vanilla, cardamom seeds, rice and salt

after 30 minutes simmering - deliciously thick (I cooked it for another 10 mins.)

compote ingredients gathered

bring to a simmer then cook for 10 minutes

add the honey and simmer for another 5-10 mins.

sticky, sweet, gorgeous apricot compote

all ready to eat

and I hoed straight in ...

apricot artwork © Sherry's Pickings


  1. I haven't had rice pudding in years! Used to be a staple at my house when I was a kid, too, although I don't recall that my mother got it from a can -- I'm pretty sure she cooked it from scratch (using leftover rice). Fun recipe -- thanks.

    1. Hi KR
      you can still buy it in a tin, and I still like it:) but this is better.

  2. This is one of the best rice pudding that I have ever seen. So yummy and I gotta try that apricot compote ASAP.

  3. This is my type of recipe. I love rice pudding. This was looks delicious. Thanks for sharing. I'm adding it to my 'to do' list.

    1. thanks LB for dropping by my post. yes this is rather tasty.

  4. Over here we don't have rice pudding in a tin, as far as I know. But I have made it as it used to be my father's favorite dessert. This looks good, Sherry. (And just so you know...scones have eggs and biscuits, don't!)

    1. hi abbe
      i think it's quite an English thing to have tinned rice pudding:) thanks for the info re scones. they always look the same as american biscuits.

  5. This looks great Sherry. We never had rice pudding from a tin, Mum always made it from scratch, but I love the idea of these Middle Eastern flavours. The apricot compote looks delicious. I have become a real fan of apricots in cakes and desserts. Must give this a try.Thanks for sharing.

    1. thanks pauline. yes i am a fan of that compote. and will definitely make it again. cheers!

  6. This sounds absolutely delicious and totally up my street. As you know I'm a big fan of Middle Eastern flavours. I haven't made rice pudding for years, but now feel like I need to. Choclette x

    1. hi choclette
      how are you? Middle Eastern flavours are so good. Yep this pudding is worth a go. cheers S

  7. I'm always excited to read recipes for things I've never heard of. I mean, of course I've heard of rice pudding, but not one with apricots! Also, I'm always interested to see a recipe with rose water, because I have a bottle in the cupboard that needs to eventually get used up!

    1. yes the apricots go really well with this jeff. i know what you mean about rosewater. it can be hard to find a recipe to throw it into.:-)

  8. We love rice pudding and the rosewater sounds perfect with it. And with apricots? How can you go wrong? It’s funny that this should appear in my mail this morning — my students and I were zooming last evening and we were discussing how much we all love rice pudding. I thought to myself, we should make some soon!

    1. yes it is pretty delish david. i loved the apricots. yep give this one a go.

  9. Wow, that looks amazing, Sherry! We don't eat rice pudding here all that often. Laura buys the packaged version from the store once in a while, but that's like once a year...if that. Now that I've seen this version with all of those toppings, I suspect we might need to make our own!

  10. I adore rice pudding, my grandmother used to make it and then bake it in the oven. It got crispy around the edges. Unfortunately the rest of my family can't stand anything with that particular texture...congee, cottage cheese, etc. So sad. I have made rice pudding for just myself when I am feeling poorly, it makes me feel cared for.

    1. yes it's a very heartwarming, childhood feeling isn't it?

  11. Sherry,
    That definitely looks like the best rice pudding I have ever seen. I love the cardamom, rosewater, and pistachios in this recipe. It looks like a little work (just to get the ingredients) but worth it. I'll have to give this one a try.

    1. thank you judee. i love all the middle eastern flavours in it. so tasty. i usually have all these ingredients in my pantry anyway so it's not hard to make it. cheers S

  12. Honestly this is the most exciting rice pudding I ever seen, so vibrant so full of different flavours and texture.

    1. thanks so much raymund. it really is quite delicious with those apricots!

  13. We love our rice pudding up this way, but I've never seen it in a tin. Here we get it in the refrigerated food aisle package in a plastic tube.
    But, I've not tried rice pudding with cardamom and rose water. Must make for a tasty pudding. I'm most interested in the compote as our local apricots are soon ripe. Thanks for sharing Sherry.

    1. hi Ron
      i think tinned rice pudding is going the way of the dinosaur around here :-) Hope you try/enjoy the compote if you make it.

  14. There's something so comforting about rice pudding, especially when eaten out of the tin! Your version looks delish and not just because it's quince free!

    1. thanks sammie! i do still find tinned rice pudding a comfort!


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