Rice pudding is a well known comfort food all over the world. We know it here as ‘kheer‘, a creamy milk-based dessert from India that gets prepared and eaten on auspicious occasions [or anytime you have some left over or overcooked rice that needs to be converted into something better and sweeter!] Mexico also has its own version of rice pudding which combines condensed milk and cinnamon to give arroz con leche, a thick rice pudding, though similar types of this dessert are popular throughout Central and South America with slight regional variations.

The recipe, taken from Mommy’s Home Cooking, is sweet enough without the addition of sugar I believe. My can of condensed milk has been waiting for so long in the kitchen drawer that it turned into dulce de leche on its own helped by the blazing summer we have been experiencing lately. The only way I could enjoy my arroz con leche was to let it chill for a couple of hours before topping it off with a dash of powdered cinnamon and nutmeg.



5 cup whole milk, warm

1 to 2 cinnamon sticks

2 strips of lime zest

1 pinch of kitchen salt

1 cup long grain white rice

1/2 can (196g) condensed milk

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Ground cinnamon, to taste


  • Heat, in a medium-size heavy saucepan, over medium heat 3 cups of milk and cinnamon stick.

  • Add lime zest, and salt. Bring to a boil, uncovered. When it starts to boil reduce the heat to low.

  • Add the rice and cook for 10 to 15 more minutes or until milk is almost completely evaporated.

  • Continue adding milk, stirring constantly, 1/2 a cup at the time, until it is absorbed by the rice.

  • With the last 1/2 cup of milk, add condensed milk and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened.

  • Be aware that as the rice cools it thickens. Turn off the heat. Add butter and stir to incorporate.

  • If the cooled pudding is too thick, enough add heavy cream to achieve the desired consistency.

  • Let cool uncovered. Serve warm or cold sprinkled with ground cinnamon to taste. Serves 6-8.

Arroz con Leche