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Ryzogalo (Classic Greek Rice Pudding)

Ryzogalo (Classic Greek Rice Pudding)

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Ryzogalo, also written rizogalo, (pronounced ree-ZOH-gah-loh), is the Greek version of rice pudding.

This dessert is a favourite with my family, not only as a dessert but as a special treat. The end result of this Greek dessert should be more a cream than a “set” pudding, and instead of chilling, try serving it at room temperature.

This recipe is easy and has few ingredients, but it needs pretty constant attention while cooking.

The perfect ratio to make ryzogalo

Don’t forget that Greek Ryzogalo is a pudding with rice in it. The rice must be just enough to feel and taste it in the pudding.

I’ve seen recipes using too much rice, for example they use 1/2 – 1 cup rice for 1 litre milk. That is probably made like the traditional English rice pudding which is a rather dense pudding, which I am sure you can cut with a knife when it sets 🙂

After many experiments, this is my perfect ratio:

1 litre or 5 1/2 cups whole milk (any other type of milk can be used)

50 grams (about 1/4 cup) starchy rice (in Greece, I use Carolina rice)

100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar or more, if you like it very sweet

100 grams corn flour (starch) (about 0.80 cups)

The traditional flavour used in ryzogalo, is vanilla. In Greece, the most popular vanilla we use is vanillin capsules. 1 capsule is enough to flavour it. However, you can use the seeds of a vanilla pod, liquid vanilla, vanilla powder, vanilla sugar, etc.

vanillin capsules image
vanillin capsules

I made a little research about rice puddings and was surprised to find out that rice pudding is a dessert enjoyed by people of different cultures all over the world, and it is made by combining rice with a sweetener and other ingredients often including milk.

Recipes can greatly vary even within a single country. The dessert can be boiled or baked. Different types of puddings vary depending on preparation methods and the ingredients selected.

The following ingredients are regularly found in rice puddings.

Rice:   long or short grain white rice, brown rice, black rice, basmati, or jasmine rice,

Milk:  (whole milk, coconut milk, condensed sweetened milk, heavy cream or evaporated milk),

Spices:   (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, saffron, etc.),

Flavourings:   (vanilla, orange, lemon, pistachio, rose water etc.),

Sweetener:   (sugar, brown sugar, honey, sweetened condensed milk, fruit or syrups, stevia etc)

Eggs are also included, which make the pudding much richer;

Ryzogalo picture

Some days back I wrote about Koupepia and memories came back from my school years in Cyprus.

Writing about rice pudding today brought some distant memories during the three years when I used to go to elementary school in London.

I have a lot of good memories during those years and one of them is eating at school.

Ryzogalo rice pudding image

I remember that we had to drink a bottle of milk in the morning and we also had lunch at school.

I can’t remember much about the food we used to eat but the only things I do remember is that we loved mashed potatoes with gravy.

The other thing I loved very much was their rice pudding with plums, which was more like a thick soup rather than a cream.

Anyway, I remember that they were so tasty that at the end you could not tell if there used to be food on the plate, as we ate it all and the plate looked as if we had licked it 🙂

Now that I think back I can’t remember “rice” in the pudding, so I guess they may have ground the rice or used rice flour.

Dulce De Leche Ryzogalo

(A twist of mine)

Based on the traditional recipe below, instead of using regular condensed milk, I had recently made dulce de leche which I already used in other recipes and had a leftover can, so I used it to make ryzogalo.

I did not add any eggs or vanilla in this recipe as I wanted the flavour of caramel to prevail. In order to make it a little bit darker I added 2 tbsp charoupomelo (carob syrup).

Dulce de leche ryzogalo served with dulce de leche image

I served it with a dollop of dulce de leche on top.

Dulce de leche ryzogalo served with cocoa powder picture

Ryzogalo with Rose Petal Sweet Preserve

Another twist I made to the classic recipe was to make this rice pudding with fresh milk but without adding vanilla, sugar or eggs.

I used the same ratios as the recipe below but substituted half a cup of milk with half a cup rose petal preserve syrup.

Of course, I served it with some rose petals preserve on top!

Ryzogalo with rose petal preserve picture

You can find many more Greek recipes in my cookbooks «More Than A Greek Salad», and«Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» both available on all Amazon stores.  Read more here.

Ryzogalo with cinnamon image

Ryzogalo (Classic Greek Rice Pudding)

Yield: 7
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ryzogalo,also written rizogalo, (pronounced ree-ZOH-ga-lo), is a Greek rice pudding which is a thick and creamy pudding with rice and it is a delicious treat not to miss.


  • ¼ cup short grain, starchy rice or carolina
  • 2 cups water to boil rice
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 can condensed sweetened milk*
  • 3 cans water (use the can from the milk) it makes a total of 5 1/2 cups of milk
  • 100 grams corn flour (starch)
  • 1 vanillin capsule or 10 drops vanilla essence
  • 1 whole egg or 2 egg yolks (optional)
  • Cinnamon to sprinkle on top


  1. Put the rice and water in a saucepan and bring to boil Add a pinch of salt, lower the heat and cook until it absorbs all the water (about 15 minutes), stirring frequently.
  2. Heat the water.
  3. Add condensed sweetened milk and water and stir.
  4. In the meantime put the yolks, corn flour, vanilla and water in a bowl and whisk until incorporated Add to the cooked rice and continue stirring until the cream sets.
  5. Divide into bowls and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

Instructions to make it with fresh milk:

  1. Boil the rice as above.
  2. Heat the milk, reserving about 1 cup.
  3. In the meantime put the yolks, corn flour, sugar, vanilla and cold milk in a bowl and whisk until incorporated. Add the hot milk and cooked rice, mixing constantly until the cream sets.


If you want to make it with fresh milk, substitute the condensed milk and 3 1/2 cans water with 5 1/2 cups whole milk and 100 grams sugar.

If you want to make it with stevia, for this amount of milk, I use 8 stevia tablets but it's not very sweet. You can adjust it to your liking.

The egg may be omitted but it makes the pudding much creamier.

The reason why we heat the water or milk is to reduce the times of stirring until the puddings sets. You can add either of them cold but it will take much more time stirring.

Read the whole post to see some other twists I made to this classic recipe.

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 205Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 68mgSodium 108mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 6g

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Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Ryzogalo (rice pudding) Recipes

Here are a few more "ryzogalo"rice puddings which you may also enjoy:


Collage Ryzogalo Greek Rice Pudding image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Cristina M

Friday 5th of November 2010

I had a craving for rizogalo today! Thank you for recipe. It taste just like my mum's!!


Wednesday 28th of November 2007

I think ryzogalo is great for all year round but I agree that it's perfect for cooling down during summer.

Laurie Constantino

Tuesday 27th of November 2007

It's funny, I love cold rizogalo, it's perfect for cooling down on a hot summer evening. I recently read someone else's blog about rice puddding, and they associated it with winter and ate it cold. Yours is an interesting recipe -- I've never seen cornstarch used before. Thanks to opening my eyes to something new and reminding me of my good memories of rizogalo!


Tuesday 27th of November 2007

Sounds good. I have been wanting to try making a rice pudding for a while now.

Peter M

Monday 26th of November 2007

Ahhh rice pudding...every Greek home has a recipe and each one very comforting.

I'll have to consult my father for his Rizogalo.

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