A colonial dessert from Peru, Arroz Zambito, is similar to rice pudding but is less creamy and earthier in flavor. This is thanks to the nuts, dried coconut, and (traditionally) raw sugar used in its preparation. However, for this recipe I´ve tried simplifying your life by switching the raw sugar (chancaca, piloncillos, rapadura, papelon) for brown sugar. I want to encourage you to make it, and I find that brown sugar is easier to find and less time consuming to make. I have also used brown rice, as opposed to the white rice that is usually used in Peru, because I always like to turn my dishes into different versions of the original. This dessert is perfect for entertaining guests, because who wouldn´t like a rice pudding with a twist, right? It can also be enjoyed warm or cold, straight out of the fridge.
- 6 grains anise seeds
- 4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup brown rice
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons grated coconut (unsweetened)
- 4 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 4 tablespoons raisins
- 2 tablespoons Port wine
- Ground cinnamon, if desired
- In a medium pan, cover the rice, anise seeds, cloves, and cinnamon stick with water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, and cook partially covered, until rice is soft, but not mushy (about 35 minutes). Add more water as needed. When rice is ready, turn off the heat.
- In a small pan, melt the sugar over medium heat, with 3 tablespoons water to make the caramel.
- Remove spices from the cooked rice. Add the caramel, carefully, nuts, raisins, and coconut. Mix the sugar in well. Serve hot or cold and with ground cinnamon according to your taste.
- Serve in individual ramekins, sprinkled with ground cinnamon and shredded coconut. You can decorate it with a cinnamon stick cut in half and some blueberries.