Lavender Rice Pudding

January 15th, 2007  | Category: Puddings and Custards

Lavender Rice Pudding

Here is what I came up with for a recent Turkish food blog event (theme is rice)… This is the first time I am experimenting with Arborio rice for a pudding and I have to say it makes a huge difference in terms of texture.

You would have to usually use egg yolks or large amounts of corn starch, which will change the color and the taste of the final pudding. Arborio rice, with a higher starch content, makes a creamier pudding without the addition of egg yolks (just a small help from cornstarch).

Lavender is also one of my most favorite ingredients when it comes to milk based desserts and it worked pretty good this time around as well.

Lavender Rice Pudding


1/2 cup Arborio rice

2 1/2 cups whole milk

1 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons lavender

2/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch


Put milk, sugar and lavender in a small pot, bring to boiling point, take off heat and let steep for 30 minutes minimum. Put the rice together with boiling water in a small pot and cook on medium heat with lid half closed for 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed by the rice.

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch together with a couple teaspoons of water and add a bit of hot milk to increase its temperature. Then add the whole thing into the milk. Transfer the infused milk through a strainer into the rice and cook for 30 minutes or so, until you reach the desired consistency. Transfer the pudding into your serving dish and refrigerate (covered with plastic wrap) until serving.

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  1. 1 - Ozlen on January 15th, 2007

    Hi Cenk

    I wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I ordered Greenspan’s book yesterday and it is much cheaper on Amazon for a giant hardcover book and my son and I tried the berry cobbler on Friday. He is two but helps with baking and licking afterwards 🙂 I had frozen berries in the freezer and used those.

    The family approved so it was a good recipe. Take care,


  2. 2 - Patricia Scarpin on January 15th, 2007

    Hi, Cenk,

    I have never tried anything with lavender and rice pudding reminds of my mom – I loved to eat hot rice pudding, right out of heat, with a big dash of cinnamon on top.

    Yours look divine.

  3. 3 - Cenk on January 15th, 2007

    Hi Ozlen – I am glad the cobbler turned out OK. Dorie’s book is extremely cheap considering the quality and the amount of information packed into it. Good buy!

    Patricia – You should definitely try lavender at least once. Since you like rice pudding as well, why not try this recipe? Let me know how it turns out if you decide to give it a try.

  4. 4 - valentina on January 16th, 2007

    Cenk, I love the texture of rice pudding. However I have never had it with lavender. I might use some of the lavender I sitll have in the cupboard. the corstarch element is also interesting. When I do make it I will report back here if that’s ok.

  5. 5 - Cenk on January 16th, 2007

    Hi Valentina
    I would really like to hear what you think about the pudding. So please do drop a line when you try it.

  6. 6 - Ivonne on January 17th, 2007

    It’s beautiful, Cenk! Arborio rice is fantastic … and I love the lavender!

  7. 7 - nazife on January 17th, 2007

    Tarifleriniz ve resimleriniz çok güzel, keşke türkçe versiyonuda olsaydı 🙁

  8. 8 - Cenk on January 17th, 2007

    Thank you Ivonne!

    Nazife – Blogumun Türkçesine adresinden ulaşabilirsiniz.

  9. 9 - Oya on January 20th, 2007

    Hi Cenk,
    I had Arborio in my cabinet for over 2 years. You know there are always a piece of something, sits there for years.. Sometimes you even forget, you have it there..Well, it was not enough to make a Risotto, just about half of cup… If I would not came across with your recipe, I beleive it would be sitting there for another 2 years…Make a long story short, your recipe worked out very well. I used lemon zest instead of levander though. Thanks for the easy and creative recipe…

  10. 10 - Janice on January 21st, 2007

    Hi Cenk,
    I’m a new visitor and did not want to drop in without commenting. Your site is great — can’t wait to come back again. I don’t have time to do as much cooking as I would like, but never get bored reading about cooking and food. I just purchased Claudia Roden’s book about Middle Eastern cooking and I’m eager to explore and learn more.

  11. 11 - Cenk on January 21st, 2007

    Oya – Actually, my Arborio rice was sitting in my cabinet for almost a year as well. I am not a fan of Risotto and can’t even remember why I bought it… I am glad to hear that you liked the recipe.

    Janice – Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment. I am looking forward to reading about your recipe trials from Roden’s book.

  12. 12 - d.chedwick on January 28th, 2007

    I love lavender, and am going to make this tomorrow. My Sunday project.
    Thanks for the post.

  13. 13 - Ozlen on January 28th, 2007

    Hi Cenk..

    So quick question for you. i had friends over for dinner last night and cooked a turkish dinner, nothin elaborate. for dessert, i made profiterol using a dr oetker mix i had at home.. That really made me think of Inci Profiterol. Although honestly I think Dr. Oetker package was not bad at all. I was wondering if you have a good profiterole recipe. I found something similar in my Julia Child baking book with Jacques Peppin. But I am specifically looking for the choc. sauce and the cream to go inside. And for the choc. ti is important that it is not a bitter choc. sauce.. Have you had Inci’s profiterol? I think it is divine.

    Another thing, if you are still looking for Varlhona (sp) choc. there is a Trader Joe’s near where I live and I can buy and send you some if you want, just e mail me your address and I can get some next time I go shopping. They also sell Scharfer Berger there. Just a thought. It would not be a problem at all.

    Take care,

  14. 14 - Cenk on January 28th, 2007

    Hi Ozlen – Thank you for your kind offer. Very generous of you, but I plan on a visit to US soon and plan to stock up for the rest of the year.

    As for profiterole, I must start by saying that I am not a fan of Inci. I don’t recall the taste or texture of their chocolate sauce or cream, so my recommendation may not be on the spot… (btw, my favorite profiterole is Baylan’s – have you been there?).

    Nowadays, for any chocolate dessert, my book of reference is Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme. Here’s the chocolate sauce recipe from the book:

    Chocolate Sauce (recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme) 

    4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (Valrhona Guanaja)
    1 cup water
    1/2 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
    1/3 cup sugar

    Place all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the sauce thickens very slightly and coats the back of the spoon. Be patient-this can take 10-15 minutes and shouldn’t be rushed. Use immediately.

    You’re saying it should not be a bittersweet chocolate sauce, but I haven’t experimented with a milk chocolate based sauce before, so no recommendations for that one (sorry).

    As for the cream part, you might want to try the raspberry cream recipe from my Swan Raspberry Eclairs post – just skip the raspberry and food coloring.

    Hope this helps! Let me know how they turn out, in case you decide to give them a try.

  15. 15 - Ozlen on January 29th, 2007

    Hey Cenk..

    You have never been to Inci? I am not sure if it is still there in that little hole on Istiklal Street but next time you are in Beyoglu please try it. I am an Anatolian Side girl myself so I discovered Inci much later when I was in college. Anyway it is famous as far as I know for it is excellent Profiterol. I have been to Baylan many times but never tried their profiterol. I have had profiterol at other places and found the choc. sauce to be almost bitter in taste which I did not care for. I think I am older than you so who knows maybe it is a new thing. When we were going there Baylan was famous with the “Kup Griye” – never figured outabout the name but the kup was delicious. Ohh I miss Istanbul so… Anyway thanks for the recipes. I am not sure when I will be able to try them. My husband is not a chocolate person at all so it has to be for company sometime..And the kids are too young yet. My son who is only 2 likes chocolate so far though.

    I will let you know. You are welcome about the choc. offer. It would not be a problem at all. Take care,

  16. 16 - Cenk on January 29th, 2007

    Hi Ozlen – I think you got me wrong… I have been to İnci before, but don’t like their profiterole as much as you do.. I absolutely go crazy over Kup Griye and I think their profiterole is the best. Maybe I should do an individual post about Baylan…

  17. 17 - Ozlen on January 29th, 2007

    Hey Cenk,

    I reread your response and saw that I misunderstood you. Hah! I am totally shocked. You are the first person I know who does not prefer Inci’s profiterol. In July I have to try Baylan’s profiterol per your recommendation. Funny because Baylan is walking distance from my mom’s place in Moda. And never even thought about that. By the way Hacibekir across from Baylan has very good Aycoregi. That is a pastry I could not get right. I thought maybe the flour here is different.

    Take care.

  18. 18 - valentina on February 4th, 2007

    Hi Cenk, I made the rice pudding yesterday. The whole experience was wonderful. The scent of lavender always maeks me feel really relaxed, and quite happy to cook with it. I loved the fact that the taste of lavender was gentle and not overpowering. I just made a mistake in that my pudding cooked for a little bit too long as I had a phone call and i forgot to cover it with cling film when in the fridge. I think that yours was creamier – at least that ‘s what I see from the picture. I have posted it at my blog.thanks again for the recipe and the experience. I want to look for more lavender recipes with milk.

  19. 19 - Cenk on February 4th, 2007

    Hi Valentina,
    It makes me really happy when I hear that people try one of my recipes. I am glad to see that you were happy with the experience. Covering the pudding with cling film does protect the moisture. Thanks for mentioning my blog and your nice words at your post. By the way, your photos look amazing.

  20. 20 - joan on February 23rd, 2007

    Hi Cenk!

    I had rice pudding once with lavender and it was such a wonderful experience. I really want to make lavender rice pudding at home and I know this sounds silly but I was wondering what sort of lavender do I buy and where. Do I go to the florist? Or is there a specialized store that sells dried lavender?

    Thank you!

  21. 21 - Cenk on February 23rd, 2007

    Hi Joan,
    You do not need to go to a florist at all. You should be able to find dried lavender in the spice aisle of the supermarket. Lavender buds are sold in mini glass bottles just like black pepper. After a quick search, here is what I have found at Amazon (click here for link.) I hope this helps.

  22. 22 - Kirsten on June 13th, 2009

    I have linked my blog http://www.thechocolaterucksack to this recipe as it ties in so well with my post about lavender.
    Your recipe is delicious, thank you for sharing it with us.

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