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Glass serving bowl with Syrian Rice Pudding

Syrian Rice Pudding

This Easy Rice Pudding is a creamy and delicious rice pudding flavored with rose essence. It is perfect to serve chilled for dessert or even for breakfast.
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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: middle eastern, syrian
Servings: 6 servings


  • ½ cup Short grain Rice*, rinsed and thoroughly drained
  • 1 cup Water
  • 3 cups Milk*, divided
  • ¼ cup Sugar (adjust as per taste)
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • ½~¾ teaspoon Rosewater*
  • 3 tablespoons Pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dried Rose petals, crushed (optional)


Instant Pot Version:

  • Add the rice to the Instant Pot along with water, 2 cups of milk and sugar. Mix well and lock the lid. Make sure that the steam valve is closed.
  • Press Porridge button - this will automatically set the IP for 20 minutes on High Pressure. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
  • Once the pressure cooker beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then quick release the remainder.
  • In a small bowl, combine corn starch with the remaining 1 cup of milk and rosewater. Whisk well to make a slurry without any lumps. Add this to the Instant pot and mix well to combine.
  • Select 'Sauté' and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture is creamy about 2~3 minutes.
  • At this point, carefully remove the steel pot from the housing. Leaving it on the heating element will cause the bottom to scorch.
  • Let the mixture cool slightly and divide it between serving bowls. Cover the top with plastic wrap and chill at least 2~3 hours before serving. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and dried rose petals and serve.

Stove Top Method:

  • In a medium heavy bottom pan, combine the rice and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.
  • While the rice is cooking, whisk together milk, sugar, corn starch and rosewater. Make sure that the corn starch mixes well without any lumps.
  • Add the milk to the rice and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, simmer stirring occasionally. Cook till the mixture thickens and rice is completely cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  • Divide the pudding between the serving bowls, cover the top with plastic wrap and chill at least 2~3 hours before serving.
  • Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and dried rose petals and serve.


  • Make sure to use short grain rice for the best creamy texture. Arborio, jasmine, Egyptian varieties are the best options.
  • Adjust the quantity of rosewater to your preference. Some might not enjoy overpowering taste of rosewater. 
  • Also if you don't have rosewater on hand, then substitute it with vanilla extract.
  • Use orange blossom water instead of rosewater for another interesting Middle Eastern twist to rice pudding.
  • Adjust the quantity of sugar in the recipe to suit your taste preference.
  • Once the corn starch slurry is added to the instant pot, it is very important to stir the mixture constantly. Otherwise the bottom is scorch and burn.
  • Also removing the pot from the housing after the rice pudding is cooked through is important to avoid scorching of the bottom.
  • Serve topped with fresh berries or citrus fruit - not traditional but absolutely delicious.


Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 1mg
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