This Turkish recipe for rice pudding is a really easy summer dessert. If you can’t get the two cherry varieties, one is absolutely fine. If you can, infuse the milk and cream a day in advance and keep it in the fridge.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (107 votes)


  • 750 ml (3 cups) full-fat milk
  • 225 ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 3 small cinnamon sticks
  • 1½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 180 g pudding rice
  • ¼ tsp rosewater
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1½ tbsp slivered or lightly crushed pistachios, to garnish
  • 3 tsp dried, edible rose petals, to garnish

Cherry compote

  • 250 g pitted black cherries
  • 150 g pitted morello or sour cherries
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp rosewater

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Infusing time 1–2 hours or overnight is possible

Place the milk, cream, vanilla bean and seeds, cinnamon and caster sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring almost to boiling point, then remove from heat and allow to cool. Leave in the fridge to infuse for 1–2 hours, or overnight if possible.

To make the compote, stir the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until a thick jam consistency. Set aside to cool.

Reheat the infused milk and cream to the boil. Add the rice and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes, or until rice is cooked through but still retaining bite, and pudding is thick. You will need to add a little bit of water, up to 50 ml, towards the end of cooking if the pudding becomes too thick before the rice is done.

Remove from the heat and carefully pick out the cinnamon and vanilla bean. Add the rosewater and stir in the salt.

Place some of the cooled cherries in individual bowls and spoon over some pudding to cover. Repeat with more cherries and rice. Finish with a spoonful of cherries, a scattering of the pistachios and the rose petals. Serve immediately.