This fragrant, Cypriot, non-dairy rice pudding is suitable for Greek Orthodox Lent and for Vegans. The rice pudding is flavoured with rosewater and cinnamon. Rizogalo translates as Ρύζι/Rice and Γάλα/Milk and in this recipe, I have substituted the usual cow’s milk with a plant based milk.
Rizogalo invokes memories of my childhood with my Yiayia/Grandmother) cooking it for us on her small brass paraffin stove. She always used to grind the cinnamon in her γουδί/brass pestle and mortar, then sprinkle a thick layer along with extra sugar on top. We loved it so much that we licked our bowls clean. Oh, how I miss those precious times!

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

For the topping:
Ground cinnamon
Unsalted chopped pistachios or almonds
Dried edible rose petals (optional)

Rinse the rice, place it with the water in a heavy based pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Lower the heat and stir occasionally until most of the water has been absorbed – about 10 minutes.
Pour the plant based 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 coconut milk (or your preferred plant based milk) has reduced and thickened – it will take about 20 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 of whichever milk you are using), the rosewater, vanilla extract and plant based cream, stir into the rice and cook for about 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
Stir thoroughly and then ladle into large glass dishes or small bowls. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon, pistachio nuts and dried rose petals.
The rice pudding will thicken when cold and can be eaten warm or cold.
Καλή Σαρακοστή!

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