Sutlatch (Cream of Rice Pudding)
A creamy, delicate pudding, sutlatch—in Turkish sütlaҫ or mahallebi—is traditionally served to break the fast after Yom Kippur and for Shabbat morning breakfast, although it is a beloved treat any time. The pudding is prepared with milk or, more authentically, with pipitada, a drink made by steeping dried and ground cantaloupe seeds in water for 24 hours. This drink is said to be especially restorative following the fast. Sutlatch can be made more nutritious and dairy-free by using brown rice flour and a non-dairy “milk” beverage. Using a nut beverage adds a lovely, subtle depth of flavor. I love the combination of vanilla and fresh orange zest, but instead you can use 1-2 tablespoons rose water or orange water to taste for a different flavor. Many people fondly remember mothers or grandmothers sprinkling cinnamon in the shape of their initials on the top of individual servings. Recipe adapted from Sephardic Flavors: Jewish Cooking of the Mediterranean by Joyce Goldstein.
- 7 tablespoons white or brown rice flour
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 5-6 tablespoons cool water
- 4 cups milk or non-dairy “milk” beverage
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest or 1-2 tablespoons rosewater or orange water*, to taste
- Ground cinnamon
- Roasted almonds, walnuts, pistachios or other roasted nuts, chopped or slivered (optional)
- In a bowl, whisk together the rice flour, sugar and salt. Gradually add the water, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes very thick and lump-free.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the rice flour-sugar mixture a little at a time, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Continue to whisk the mixture over medium heat until it thickens, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and orange zest or flavored water. Quickly pour the pudding into one large serving bowl, eight 4-ounce custard cups or other individual serving dishes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and refrigerate until well chilled before serving. If desired, sprinkle with roasted nuts before serving.
- *Available at Middle East markets