This homey rice pudding is a nostalgic favorite in Cyprus, with a cinnamon and pistachio topping that hints at the Ottoman and Middle Eastern influences on the island's culinary traditions.

EatingWell Magazine, April 2022


Credit: Photography / Penny De Los Santos, Prop styling / Paige Hicks, Food Styling / Nora Singley

Recipe Summary

1 hr
1 hr 15 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine water and rice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the rice is not quite tender and the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

  • Add milk, sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon zest and salt to the rice. Bring to a boil over -medium heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is very soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  • Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk 1 cup of the rice mixture into the egg yolks. Scrape the mixture into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick and lemon zest.

  • Serve the rice pudding warm or chilled, topped with pistachios and ground cinnamon.

To make ahead

Refrigerate for up to 1 day.


If you prefer brown rice, use 2 cups water and cook rice for 15 to 20 minutes in Step 1. Use 4 cups milk and cook for 30 to 35 minutes in Step 2.

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup
159 calories; protein 6g; carbohydrates 26g; dietary fiber 1g; sugars 11g; added sugar 6g; fat 4g; saturated fat 1g; cholesterol 51mg; sodium 97mg; potassium 182mg.