Spiritually Consoling ‘Arroz con Leche’

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Preparation time
30 mins
Cooking time
60 mins
4 people
Meal course
Posted by
Posted on
1 tsp
Cinnamon Powder
0 half
Lime Zest
0 half
Cinnamon Stick
1 cup
5 cup
Whole milk
1 cup
Spiritually Consoling ‘Arroz con Leche’

This is an adaption of Isabelle Allende’s ‘arroz con leche con consuelo espiritual’ which is a soothing warm drink made from rice, milk, and cinnamon. It brings spiritual solace in times of need, perfect for any post-election or referendum blues. I created this version shortly after the last 2015 UK political elections while living in Bogota Colombia when I felt distraught over the sweeping Conversative victory. It also provided comfort in June after the UK Brexit result.

‘Arroz con leche’ literally translates as “rice with milk”, it’s what in the UK we would call ‘rice pudding’. Served as a dessert or beverage, hot or cold, this dish is consumed throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

There are probably hundreds of varieties of ‘arroz con leche’, almost all of which start with a base of rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon. I chose this recipe because it uses lime, my favourite citrus fruit that adds the perfect touch to this simple yet exquisite dish.

This recipe is adapted from Isabel Allende’s ‘Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses’. In this book Allende, a Chilean author, explores the link between sensuality and food. She argues that ‘Arroz con leche’ is one of the most sensual desserts you can try. Allende even describes her dream about swimming in a pool of warm rice pudding; this alone was enough to inspire a recreation!

Cooking Tip: for the full healing power to be released, the dish needs to be made intentionally thinking of the person that needs consoling (whether that’s yourself or somebody else), sending love and positive energy to the receiver.

  1. Prepare the rice by soaking it in lukewarm water for half an a hour
  2. Strain the rice
  3. Add the milk, rice and cinnamon to a large pan, and bring to a boil. Then, turn down to a medium heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the rice is soft. Make sure you keep stirring the rice so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan!
  4. Next, add the sugar and lime zest and continue to cook over a low heat for another 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the mixture has thickened a little. Again, it’s important to stir occasionally
  5. When ready, take off the heat and pick out the cinnamon stick
  6. Pour into mugs or individual dessert dishes, sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and serve hot. This dish can be also be served cold by refrigerating overnight and serving the next day, all depending on your gusto (your taste).

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