Mliako s oriz or the Bulgarian version of Rice pudding is another traditional to Bulgarians recipe. It most probably comes directly from our Turkish neighbors and it’s called “Sütlaç” in Turkey, and a bunch of other Balkan countries, our research shows.
Our research (and experience) also shows that rice puddings are found in nearly every corner of the world, and despite being similar recipe ingredients vary considerably. The Bulgarian rice pudding is usually boiled, cooled, and eaten cold. The list of ingredients is much simpler and usually don’t includes butter, eggs, nuts, dry fruits, cream, zest, jam or anything more than rice, milk, sugar and cinnamon. As it was a kindergarten staple, there are many grownups that refuse even to give it second chance and others like me, to whom this genuine dessert brings nice childhood memories from the first spoon.
The rice, used for rice pudding is round and short, and when cooked produces a creamier consistency than the other types, but any short grain rice can be used as a substitute.
Preparation time: 20-25 minutes
200g (1 cup) round grain rice
300ml whole milk
6 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
Optional: generous handful raisins
Put the rice (without rinsing it) in a heavy based saucepan, cover with the water and cook over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the water is almost absorbed. Stir from time to time.
When the water is absorbed, add milk and cook for 5 more minutes. Then add sugar and half of the cinnamon and stirring continuously cook for 5 more minutes, until the sugar is melted and the mix is creamy. Be careful not to overcook the rice, you need the mixture to be pourable and the rice – slightly al dente.
Pour the mixture into four glasses and sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon on top. If you decide to use raisins, mix them into the ready rice pudding before distributing in the serving glasses. Chill well before serving.