Sarah and I wish everyone a sweet new year! We hope you had a wonderful Rosh Hashana, an easy fast and meaningful prayers on Yom Kippur...and to ensure that your year remains sweet, we present you with our recipe for a delicious Syrian dessert that would be perfect for you to serve on Sukkot.
My grandmother included the recipe for this rice and honey pudding in the cookbook which she made for my mom, but she did not specify how long it takes for rice and honey to cook. I expected it to take 20 minutes or so because after all that is how long rice takes to cook normally. After 45 minutes, I called up my mother and said, "This is taking forever! I want to go out and I'm stuck at home waiting for the rice and honey." My mother told me that yup, it takes about an hour to cook. So, if you have an hour, this recipe couldn't be easier. If you like honey, then this recipe is for you. (Disclaimer: I do not like honey. I do wish that I did because the texture of this dessert is amazing. My mother and brother were the consumers of this dish in my family. This year Mike tried it for the first time and loved it.)
First you mix the rice, honey and water together in a big pot.
You leave it covered on medium/low heat for an hour. Check on it after 45 minutes and see how it is doing. You know it's done when all the liquid is absorbed and it is very thick and somewhat hard to stir. It may even stick to some pots (not mine because I used a stick proof pan). Add the corn starch, which has been diluted in some cold water and cook for 5 more minutes.
After you take it off the fire, mix in rosewater, according to taste. I used 2 teaspoons, but add as much as you feel it needs. I used orange blossom water instead of rosewater. I prefer orange blossom water because it has a more mild flavor than rosewater. It is very similar and a good substitute. If this is your first time tasting rosewater, I suggest using the orange blossom instead.
This is what my bottle of orange blossom water looks like.
Then take a medium size plate (I used 4) and spoon the rice mixture onto the plate to make big patties. Make sure you use real plates and not paper plates because it will stick to the paper. If you have wax paper you can put it on top of the rice and honey patty and make layers. I did not have wax paper so I just used 4 different plates.
Cool to room temperature before serving. To store, cover the plate with saran wrap and put in the fridge.