While hanging out with a new found friend in Istanbul and sharing pieces of our lives, this blog came up in the conversation and the need to try as many traditional Turkish foods as possible during my short stay. Rushing off to get a couple for each of us to try, I sunk my spoon into the brown topped rice and found a pudding unlike anything I’d ever had before.
Turkish people love sweet food, they love to give in to their sweet tooth with as many different varieties of dishes as any land can offer and their baked rice pudding is nothing short of fitting into their cuisine. This is far more pudding than rice (1 liter of milk to 1/2 cup rice, I had to triple check this recipe to make sure I was reading it right).
For people who are afraid of trying new recipes or terrified at the prospect of cooking rice from scratch, this is a pretty impressive place to start. It is as simple as can be and involves things anyone would already have in their kitchen (unless you don’t eat rice much), and the beauty is that they have to be refrigerated so if it all goes pear shaped you have time to whip something else up (boxed pudding perhaps).
But I have faith in you and your ability, they say we should do something that scares us everyday and for some or a lot of people making food is something that scares them. This is a truth I encounter more than I imagined possible since beginning this little piece of the internet.
I’d love if you made this at home and tagged me on Instagram to show me how yours turned out. Let’s make food a little less scary and a little more fun, it’s science in action after all. Plus this custard topped rice pudding is unique and worth giving a go, even just once (although it’s pretty tasty that you may crave it once you’ve tasted it).
Note: The original recipe advised 1 cup of sugar which I lessened to 3/4 cup and this was still rather sweet.
Traditionally these are served in clay cups and are best to use if possible.
Images updated in early 2018.
Firin Sütlaç – Turkish Rice Pudding
Adapted from HowtoIstanbul.com
1/2 cup rice
1.1 liters milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 egg yolk
Wash the starch from the rice until the water runs clear than place in a medium pot with enough water to cover. Simmer on medium heat until the rice is soft and the water is almost dissipated.
Set aside 1 cup of milk in a bowl and in a separate bowl a further 3 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl.
Combine the remaining milk, sugar and vanilla extract with the rice until smooth than simmer for 10 minutes, stirring to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Meanwhile, sift the corn flour into the 1 cup of milk and mix until smooth, gradually stir into the rice mixture and cook for a further 5 minutes or until thickened.
Add the egg yolk to the 3 tablespoons of milk and mix until well combined and smooth.
Spoon into small oven proof dishes and spread the egg mixture over the tops with the back of a spoon.
Place on a baking tray (for spillages) in the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden on top.
Remove and refrigerate for several hours.