Turkish Rice Pudding (Kazandibi) 8.000

Renee Comet for The Washington Post; styling by Bonnie S. Benwick; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Plate Lab Nov 2, 2014

It takes patience and some stovetop skill to make this traditional Turkish dessert, but the results will bring rave reviews. Chef Zeynel Uzun's recipe calls for brown rice flour -- not rice -- so the texture is surprisingly creamy and smooth.

Make Ahead: The sugared pan needs to be well chilled before the pudding goes in. The pudding needs to be refrigerated, uncovered, for 1 day before serving.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling


Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-by-12-inch metal pan with the butter; choose a pan that can handle direct stovetop heat, such as a stainless-steel hotel pan.

Use 1/4 cup of the sugar and the tablespoon of all-purpose flour to evenly coat the buttered pan; there shouldn't be much excess to tap out. Refrigerate, uncovered, while you make the pudding.

Combine the milk, half-and-half and the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Reserve 1 cup of it in a liquid measuring cup. Bring the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan to a boil over medium-high heat; this will take several minutes.

Whisk together the brown rice flour, the remaining 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour and the cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the reserved cup of the milk mixture, along with the egg yolk and vanilla extract, to form a smooth slurry.

Once the milk mixture in the saucepan is foamy and rising to a boil, whisk in the slurry; the mixture will soon thicken to form a soft pudding. Keep whisking; reduce the heat to medium-low, cooking for a few minutes to ensure that the consistency is lump-free. Turn off the heat.

Pour about half of the pudding into the chilled, sugared pan, using an offset spatula to spread it evenly into the corners.

Here comes the tricky part (see NOTE): Place one-half of the pan over one burner on medium-high heat. The sugar-flour mixture will begin to caramelize on the bottom, which will add great flavor and some body to the pudding. The pudding layer in the pan will quickly bubble; use the spatula to constantly tamp down the bubbles and smooth the pudding while the caramelization continues. As soon as you see that the bottom is evenly browned (through momentary gaps in the pudding), turn and repeat on the other side of the pan. This step will take a total of 6 to 8 minutes. It’s okay if the pudding seems to darken a bit, but do not let lumps form. Turn off the heat.

Pour the remaining pudding into the pan, smoothing it into an even layer. Refrigerate uncovered for 1 day. Use an offset spatula to cut into 8 equal portions, which you will invert on individual plates so the caramelized side is on top. Sprinkle lightly with ground cinnamon. Serve chilled.

NOTE: The caramelization step may be omitted, but you'll miss out on lovely flavor. Either way, you should butter/sugar/flour the pan.

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Recipe Source

From Zeynel Uzun, chef-owner at Kazan restaurant in McLean.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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