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Mother-In-Law's Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche)

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“This recipe is perfect if you need to make a relatively economical dessert for a crowd. I got it from my husband, who was born and raised in Peru. This is how his mother has always made arroz con leche, and it's the only recipe for it that I have ever seen that includes cloves and shredded coconut. These ingredients make it extra special, to judge by the compliments I get when I make it. And since the cinnamon and cloves are added while the rice is cooking, it makes the house smell good, too. (Special instructions included for picky eaters or those allergic to coconut and/or raisins.)”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large kettle, boil the rice, cinnamon, and cloves in about 3 liters of water for 40 minutes or until cooked and very soft. (If it gets too thick and sticky before cooking has finished, add boiling water.).
  2. Remove from stove. Stir in all the remaining ingredients, mixing well.
  3. Taste to test for sweetness; this tastes sweeter warm than it will cold, so allow for that.
  4. Pour into individual dessert dishes or disposable cups.
  5. Eat while still warm (not hot), or refrigerate and eat cold. This dessert keeps well, refrigerated, for a few days, though some liquid will separate out on the top after a day or two; just stir it back into the rice before eating.
  6. If you have picky or allergic eaters who don't do raisins and/or coconut but you don't want to omit these ingredients, just leave them out at first, when you are mixing the remaining ingredients into the cooked rice. Pour out portions for the special people, then mix in the "offending" ingredients with the remaining rice and serve the rest. If you are sure to mark which portions are "with" and which are "without," you can make everyone happy. :-).

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