‘Arroz’ con Leche
Arroz con leche has always been one of my favorites. A few weeks ago I was texting with my Latin friend and telling her I was working on a recipe for aros con leche and there was a few seconds of confusion, because I used the word aros which is rice in Papiamento but in Spanish means hoops, instead of using arroz.
Growing up speaking 4 languages can get quite confusing at times, but it also translates to our cuisine in the Dutch Caribbean. With influences from all the countries surrounding us, previous colonizers, west African slaves it can get quite difficult to figure out where certain dishes originated from. You can find a version of arroz con leche in all countries that were colonized by Spain and basically all countries in Latin America and Caribbean have their own version of making arroz con leche which they think is the best. In Dominican Republic adding raisins is a must, while in Peru you have to infuse the milk for hours with the cinnamon and orange peel.
For my version I substituted the actual rice with yuca, which binds the milk together creating the same pudding like effect you get when you over cook rice and it releases starch. The milk has been substituted with coconut milk I love the way it turned out and for me the best way to eat it is while it’s still hot. I hope you enjoy it.
'Arroz' con Leche
- 1½ cup yuca grated
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 2 cup water
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp all spice
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- 1 lime zest
- Start by peeling the yuca if you have a fresh one. You want the purple layer on the inside completely removed.
- Quarter the yuca lengthwise and remove the woody section in the middle. Now you can proceed by grating the yuca. I’ve also made it with frozen yuca, which you don’t have to clean because it has already been cleaned. The only thing is you have to wait to thaw it and the best way to grate it is through a food processor.
- In a pan place the coconut cream, water, coconut sugar, salt, cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg on medium high heat. Whisk all the ingredients together till the coconut sugar has dissolved and the milk is boiling.
- Add the grated yuca and mix.
- Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes on low heat while stirring every other minute to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. The yuca will thicken up the milk mixture and start bubbling.
- Transfer the ‘arroz’ con leche to 4 bowls and sprinkle the lemon zest on top. You can either have it warm or allow to cool and have it chilled.