by Karen Swan

Rice pudding rates high on the comfort food scale for me, but I’ve never quite been able to make it just the way I like it, at home. My mother-in-law makes a rizogalo that is simply spectacular, and this recipe, I’m thrilled to say, got the thumbs up from both my husband and the biggest food critic in the house, my six year old son.  “This is better than Yia Yias!” he exclaimed as I tentatively waited for him to try the first spoonful.

Sweet relief!

Don’t be alarmed by the tiny amount of rice used here; it cooks up beautifully in the water, then, with the magic of cornflour, turns into a rich, creamy and just jelly enough texture to feel more like dessert, than a bowl of sweet rice.  This recipe made 5 small bowls, but, as it is quite rich, you could use smaller ramekins and stretch it to 10 serves.  A generous dusting of cinnamon is essential and it’s best served cold.


90g arborio rice

500ml water

625ml milk, divided into 500 ml and 125 ml portions

4 tablespoons sugar (I used raw sugar, but caster or any other granulated sweetener is fine)

4 tablespoons cornflour

1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract (or more to taste)

Ground cinnamon for garnish.


Place the rice and 500ml of water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.

Once boiling, reduce to low/medium and cook, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or until most of the water has been absorbed.  Stay close by as you don’t want the rice to stick.

Leaving the heat low, add 500 ml of milk and the sugar and stir to combine.

Raise the heat and bring back to the boil.

In a separate jug, stir in the cornflour to the remaining 125ml of milk.

Stir this mix through the rice saucepan and remove from the heat.

Continue to stir until the mixture thickens (only a minute or so), so then pour into your ramekins or small bowls.

Garnish generously with cinnamon.

Leave on the bench to cool completely, then cover and place in the fridge for a few hours to set.


Unsuitable for freezing, this dessert will last 3 to 5 days, covered well, in the fridge.

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