When we think of a comfort dessert, warm and cozy feelings come to mind. Several dishes evoke these sensations, from savory to sugary, and even drinks.

But the best of all, without any doubt, is Arroz con Leche or rice pudding. This sweet and creamy dish has made a long journey to reach every corner of the world.

Discovering the backgrounds of Arroz con Leche

backgrounds of Arroz con Leche

Arroz con Leche is a simple pudding made from rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Rice pudding was consumed as a dessert; later, it became a sugary preparation without a schedule. Nowadays, people eat it at any time as an energetic breakfast, a comfort snack, or a delicious dessert at celebrations or after a copious meal.

It is arduous to trace its origins. It is widely believed rice pudding came from ancient China, antique India, and the Byzantine Empire. Then, the Moorish invasion brought it to Europe, particularly to Spain and Portugal, from where it arrived later in France, England, and Italy.

After that, Spanish conquerors took rice and all rice recipes to America. This is how the delicious comfort dessert conquered the entire world.

The very first Arroz con Leche

The rice pudding we enjoy today does not resemble the first pudding. At first, it was a salty preparation made from sorghum, broth, saffron, and almond milk. The iconic sweetness of rice came later due to its journey for the world.

It was not even popular. Instead, it was a dessert in the royal courts of Europe. Only wealthy people enjoyed it since rice was an expensive imported good.

As rice imports became cheaper, rice pudding reached everywhere and turned into a common dish in all houses. The rest is well-known history.

types of Arroz con Leche

Different types of Arroz con Leche

When this delicious rice pudding went through the world, it acquired the traditional flavors of each country. This explains the countless recipes we now know for making any of its versions.

The traditional recipe includes rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon. The following link gives you the quantities of the typical ingredients of Arroz con Leche https://mahatmarice.com/recipes/arroz-con-leche/

Other recipes have exotic ingredients, varied toppings, and different cooking techniques. Some of them are:

  • Kheer (Indian rice pudding): It is one of the first known rice puddings. This recipe contains rice, fatty milk, sugar, and cardamom powder topped with nuts.
  • Biko (Philippines rice pudding): It includes rice, coconut milk, and sugar topped with toasted coconut.
  • Peruvian Arroz con Leche: It has traditional ingredients with a strong flavor of cloves.
  • Colombian Arroz con Leche: This rice pudding is creamier thanks to the addition of butter during the cooking process.
  • Italian rice pudding: It has milk, rice, sugar, salt, vanilla, and eggs topped with heavy whipping cream.
  • Japanese rice pudding: This rice pudding includes rice, milk, butter, banana, sugar, and eggs.
  • Scandinavian rice pudding: It is a fatty dish with rice, milk, sugar, and butter topped with unsalted butter and ground cinnamon.

Cooking different variants

Besides being delicious, Arroz con Leche is easy to cook and needs few ingredients. You only need to buy the components, follow the instructions, and enjoy the most delightful dessert at any time.

Traditional Arroz con leche

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 6 cups of whole milk.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • 1 cup of long-grain white rice.
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • Ground cinnamon to garnish.


  1.  In a saucepan, combine 5 cups of milk, sugar, and salt. Cook until boiling.
  2. Add rice and reduce heat. Simmer for 50 minutes. Stir constantly.
  3. When the mixture thickens, add vanilla extract and mix.
  4. Take out of the stove, add the remaining milk and let it cool.
  5. For serving, add ground cinnamon at the top.

Indian Kheer

Indian Kheer

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • ¼ cup of basmati rice.
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee.
  • 4 cups of whole milk.
  • ¼ cup of sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut.
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom.
  • Saffron.
  • 2 tablespoons of almonds and cashews.


  1. Rinse rice with water until it is clean.
  2. In a big pot, heat the ghee until it melts.
  3. Incorporate rice and toast for 2 minutes.
  4. Add milk and cook. When it boils, reduce heat.
  5. Incorporate sugar and shredded coconut. Combine very well.
  6. Add cardamom powder and stir.
  7. Serve warm or cold with almonds, cashews, and saffron at the top.
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