Rice puddings can be found in almost every culture. In Egypt, milky, chilled roz bil laban is fragrant with cardamom and sometimes a hint of rosewater. (Cardamom is also featured in the country’s corn flour puddings, or mhallabiya, a number of pastries, and hot cups of Arabic coffee.) This pudding, which easily feeds a crowd and can be made a day or two ahead, is infused with whole cardamom pods, and has ground cardamom and cinnamon sprinkled on top to taste.
What You Will Need
- 5 cups whole milk, divided
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup long-grain rice
- 2 tbsp. (1 oz.) unsalted butter
- 6 green cardamom pods
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon, for serving
- Ground cardamom, for serving
- In a large pot, add 4 cups of the milk, 1 cup water, the sugar, rice, butter, cardamom pods, and salt. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently with a broad spatula or wooden spoon, and scraping the bottom of the pot. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer very gently, stirring well every few minutes to prevent sticking, burning, and overthickening on the bottom, until the rice is swollen and soft, about 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, add the remaining 1 cup milk, the beaten eggs, and the vanilla; whisk to combine.
- Add the egg mixture to the pudding, stirring to incorporate. Continue cooking at a simmer, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (the mixture will thicken more as it cools), 10–15 minutes.
- Remove the cardamom pods and discard them, then ladle the pudding into a large serving bowl or multiple smaller serving bowls or cups. Let cool completely at room temperature, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill well. (Pudding can be made up to 2 days ahead.) Uncover, top generously with ground cinnamon and lightly with ground cardamom, and serve.