I have always been very fascinated by the fact that Rice Pudding per se exists all over the world. What makes it even more fascinating to me is how its ingredients and preparation vary from country to country. What remains constant in this recipe is the rice and milk, however, depending from country to country, or even from region to region, the rest of the ingredients are different.
Back in the days when I used to work at a local university every so often my boss and I shared a bowl of Arroz con Leche from the campus food court. I loved adding raisins and walnuts on top as they added some extra sweetness and crunch.
The Persian version of Rice Pudding is very simplistic, yet huge on flavor. In fact Sheer Berenj on its own is simply made with rice, water, milk and rosewater. Since no sugar is added, Iranians either add jam or honey when it is served.
This is a super easy recipe and it’s a great dessert option.
1 cup rice
2 cups water
4 cups milk
1/2 to 1 cup rose water
Wash rice and cook with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt for about 20 minutes.
Add 4 cups of milk and cook on low for 1 hour. Occasionally, stir the pot to make sure that the bottom does not stick.
After one hour the rice and milk will thicken into a pudding consistency. Add rosewater and let cook for a few more minutes. Place in a large bowl, or several small bowls, let cool to room temperature then refrigerate.
Some people like to use cardamom in Sheer Berenj along with rosewater. You may add 1/4 tsp along with rosewater in the end.
For a creamier consistency, you may use 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of cream or half and half.
Serve with your favorite jam, honey, or sugar.