Fragrant Rice Flour and Milk Pudding
Called sutlach by the Sephardic communities of Turkey and Greece, this is a light but nourishing rice pudding. Traditionally it is served on Friday night, after Saturday Sabbath morning services, as part of the meal breaking the fast on Yom Kippur, and for the Jewish festival of Shavuot. My mother would make individual bowls of sutlach and sprinkle my sister’s and my initials on the top using ground cinnamon, a practice my children and grandchildren also love.
In this recipe from Rhodes, ground rice flour is used, which gives the dessert a gloriously creamy texture. It is infused with rose water and sprinkled with ground cinnamon. Though easy to make, this pudding requires a little patience as it takes about 15 minutes of constant stirring over very low heat to thicken. There is a quicker alternative using cornstarch, which I describe below. I prefer sutlach chilled alongside fresh berries.