Delicious and easy to make Lebanese rice pudding aka riz bi haleeb is a fragrant and creamy dessert. Flavored with orange blossom, naturally sweetened and gluten free using dairy free milk.
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What is Lebanese Rice Pudding?
Known as riz bi haleeb in Arabic which translates to rice in milk.
Riz bi haleeb is pronounced as riz bee ha·leeb
Lebanese rice pudding is quite an easy dessert to prepare and is normally eaten cold. It requires only 7 ingredients, with the main components being white rice and milk.
There are different variations of this riz bi haleeb, which are dependent on the country and region.
Traditionally made with full-fat milk and white sugar. However, this recipe is a healthier vegan version using almond milk and a natural sweetener such as maple syrup.
😋Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The taste and texture are deliciously creamy
- Very easy to prepare over the stovetop using minimal ingredients, ready in under 30 minutes
- Dietary friendly, vegan, gluten free and naturally sweetened.
- Can be enjoyed as a dessert or for breakfast.
✔️Ingredients You’ll Need
Notes on some of the ingredients, the full list of ingredients and their measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Unsweetened almond milk or substitute with any of your favorite dairy-free milk.
Note that not all dairy free milk is pure white which may affect the color of your dairy-free rice pudding. See pictures below.
White rice - I prefer to use medium-grain, but you can use short grain also.
Maple syrup or rice malt syrup (affiliate link) you can also use raw sugar granules if you prefer. May affect the color of your pudding.
Orange blossom water or rose water (affiliate links) or use both. Lebanese rice pudding with rose water or orange blossom water is so fragrant.
These flavorings can be found at your local Middle Eastern grocer, or click on the links to shop for them online.
I always use a brand I can trust and my family has been using the Cortas brand which is readily available via Amazon in a duo pack.
Corn starch - (aka Corn flour in AU) acts as the thickener. If you prefer it thicker, add another ½ tablespoon
Water - use filtered water if possible, this is used to parboil the rice and also to dissolve the corn starch before cooking.
🥄How to Make Lebanese Rice Pudding
Step 1 - In a pot over medium heat, add rice and 1 cup of water. Cook rice until par boiled, approximately 6 minutes.
Step 2 -On high heat, add almond milk & maple syrup to parboiled rice, stir through and bring to a boil.
Step 3 - Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium and add cornstarch water (pre-mix corn starch with ¼ cup cold water) and orange blossom water. Allow simmering for around 10 minutes. Stirring continuously slow.
Step 4 - Turn heat to high and allow contents to boil. Once thickened, turn off the heat.
Step 5 - Pour into individual portions and allow to cool at room temperature. Transfer to the fridge to chill. Serve cold, garnish with either crushed pistachio or cinnamon.
In these photos I have portioned them into 175ml bowls (6fl.oz) (affiliate link)
You could use leftover plain rice, simply skip the first step, this will quicken the process.
If you are substituting almond milk with oat milk, it's important to note the color may turn out grey.
In winter I like to eat my riz bi haleeb warmed.
Pre mix cornstarch in cold water. In this case, add 2 tablespoons corn starch to a ¼ cup of cold water and mix thoroughly then add into the hot pot. This step will ensure there are no lumps.
Allow Riz Bi Haleeb to fully cool down to room temp, before covering and transferring to the fridge
Rose water and orange blossom water can be swapped with vanilla or simply left out.
Corn starch can be swapped with potato starch, however, note the color and texture may be different. Also when stored in the fridge, potato starch tends to expel water and the pudding may shrink. Not recommended for storing more than 24 hours.
Allow it to cool down completely to room temperature. Then place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to approximately 5 days. Once placed in the fridge it will set to the shape of the container.
🥄Other Lebanese Dessert Recipes
Another creamy milky dessert is called Haytaliyeh vegan Lebanese milk pudding or sahlab which is a sweetened milk drink.
Try this silky milk pudding called Muhallabia or this Lebaense spiced pudding meghli.
Or for other Lebanese desserts try;
- Sfouf Lebanese Turmeric Semolina Cake - A very bright golden cake
- Vegan Meringue with Rose Water - whilst vegan meringue isn't a Lebanese dessert, I have flavored these with Rose Water which is an iconic Lebanese flavoring.
- Baklawa (Lebanese Baklava) which is lighter baklava than others from different cultures.
Vegan Lebanese Rice Pudding (Riz Bi Haleeb)
- 1 litre Almond milk or any dairy free milk
- ½ cup White rice medium grain
- ¾ cup Maple Syrup or rice malt syrup
- 2 tablespoon Orange blossom water sub rose water
- 2 tablespoon Corn starch
- 1 ¼ cup Water
- Combine ¼ cup water and cornstarch and set aside. In a pot over medium-high heat, add rice and 1 cup of water. Cook rice until par boiled, approximately 6 minutes.2 tablespoon Corn starch, 1 ¼ cup Water, ½ cup White rice
- On high heat, stir through almond milk and maple syrup and bring to a boil.1 litre Almond milk, ¾ cup Maple Syrup
- Once boiling, turn the down to medium-low and add corn starch slurry and orange blossom water. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stirring slowly and continuously.2 tablespoon Orange blossom water
- Turn heat to high and allow contents to boil, once thickened. Turn off heat.
- Pour into individual portions and allow to cool at room temperature. Transfer to the fridge to chill. Serve cold, seeing garnish toppings in notes.
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
hii! do you skip rinsing your rice with this recipe?
yes, you want the starches
My family will LOVE this rice pudding! It's so pretty topped with the chopped pistachios too!
Rice pudding has to be my go to dessert. Love this
Thank you Rachi - it's a crowd pleaser 🙂
I'm old skool when it comes to desserts so this is right up my alley. Brulee, Bread Pudding & Rice Pudding are my top 3. I love the orange blossom idea and that colour of the pistachio - can't wait to give it a go!
Thank Gavin. Old school is so cool!
Sounds delicious! I have some orange blossom water I've been wondering what to cook with, now I lnow! This would be great for a dinner party as you could make individual portions ahead of time 🙂
It's perfect for a dinner party. Everyone will polish off their own portion of rice pudding.
I love a good rice pudding and this one looks so easy and delicious! I love the addition of orange blossom water, it must bring really add an incredible flavour to the dessert!
It's very fragrant because of the orange blossom. Thank you Sylvie 🙂