Vegan Cypriot Rice Pudding

Rizogalo translates as Ρύζι/Rice and Γάλα/Milk. In this recipe I have swapped the milk for a dairy free milk substitute, making it suitable for Lent and vegans. This fragrant Cypriot rice pudding is also made with rosewater and cinnamon. It’s thick and creamy and evokes memories of my childhood, with my Yiayia (grandmother) cooking it for us on her small, brass paraffin stove! She would always sprinkle a thick layer of cinnamon and extra sugar on top. We loved to lick the bowl afterwards!

Ingredients (serves 6):
150g pudding rice or any short grain rice such as Arborio
200 ml water
175g caster sugar
725g carton of coconut, soy, nut, or any other dairy free milk
2 tsp cornflour diluted in a little coconut milk
2 tbsp rosewater
1 tsp vanilla extract
250ml any plant based cream

For topping:
Ground cinnamon
Unsalted, chopped pistachios or almonds

Place the rice with the water in a heavy based pan and place over a medium heat, bring to the boil, lower heat and stir occasionally until most of the water has been absorbed. Do not burn the rice!
Pour the coconut milk and sugar into the rice, stir and when it comes to the boil, turn the heat down to medium and simmer gently, stirring frequently; it takes quite a bit of stirring but is well worth it. Cook until the milk has reduced and thickened – it will take about 25 minutes. Don’t overcook the rice, it should be just cooked but not mushy.
In a small bowl, whisk the cornflour (diluted in a little coconut milk), the rosewater, vanilla extract and cream, stir into the rice and cook for about 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Place into small or large glass dishes, sprinkle with ground cinnamon and pistachio nuts. The rice pudding will thicken when cold. Enjoy warm or cold.
Καλή Σαρακοστή!

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