Friday afternoon amongst her busy preparations for Shabbat, Nona (my mom) always made Sütlaҫ, pronounced sootlach, as one of the Shabbat breakfast or lunch dishes. Sütlaς is rice pudding, a very simple and satisfying dish with a silky smooth texture and lightly sweet cinnamon flavor.
Sütlaς is the Turkish name for this pudding consumed widely across the Middle East. Süt means milk in Turkish. Süt lü kahve means coffee with milk. Since Sephardic people lived in Turkey for generations, Ladino contains many Turkish words and the food was heavily influenced.
For today’s recipe and photo shoot I used non fat Lactaid milk (milk for us lactose intolerant types) and the Sütlaς was great. If you can tolerate whole milk, then go ahead and use it, I am sure that is what Nona used. This recipe can be made in a larger portion if you wish, just keep the same ratio if you double it. Two cups of milk makes enough for 3 generous servings.
¼ cup rice flour or Harina de Arroze
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 cups of milk
Cinnamon for sprinkling
½ teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Place the rice flour and sugar in a small heavy bottomed saucepan. Add ¼ cup of the milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until the flour and sugar are dissolved in the milk. Add the rest of the milk and stir with the wooden spoon until combined. Add the vanilla at this point if you wish.
Place the saucepan on medium heat. Stirring constantly in figure eight motion, cook the rice pudding. Stir until the outer edge starts to bubble and the milk becomes thick. Turn off the heat, remove the saucepan and pour the pudding into individual serving dishes. The Sütlaς sets up stiff as it starts to cool. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Eat hot, cold, warm, as you wish. Serve this on Shabbat along with desayuno like borekas, frittata, Huevos Haminados and Kahve Turko.