Lebanese Classic Rice pudding or Riz Bi Haleeb


Rice pudding was Kaia’s first favorite food. I used to cook it more when my girls were teething☺ I consider it more of a baby food than a dessert, because it reminds me of them sitting in their high chair enjoying eating Riz bi Haleeb.

It is an easy and simple recipe to prepare for the whole family. Every country around the world has its own version of rice pudding. I find the Lebanese recipe the best I’ve ever tasted. Perhaps, because of the use of the mastic gum that gives it a little of a light chewy feel and the aromatic fragrance of the orange blossom water.

Hope you and your kids enjoy this great old-fashioned dessert!


  • 3 cups full fat milk
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup short grain white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp mastic powder, pound
  • 1tbsp orange blossom water
  • Unsalted whole pistachios, to decorate
  • Unsalted ground pistachios, to decorate
  • Pine nuts, to decorate


  1. Pour milk in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add sugar and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the rice and water. Stir well.
  3. Cook over medium heat for about 30mn or until the mixture is creamy, stirring constantly, making sure the rice doesn’t stick at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the mastic powder and the orange blossom water and cook for another 15mn until thickened.
  5. Remove from heat. Spoon the rice evenly among serving bowls.
  6. Decorate with pistachios and pine nuts. Served chilled.

12 thoughts on “Lebanese Classic Rice pudding or Riz Bi Haleeb

  1. Hi, this recipe looks lovely! I would really like to try it, but I don’t think I can find Mastic Powder (I’m not even sure what it is!) Are there any substitutions? Will the recipe still work without it? Thanks

  2. I ‘ve always wanted to try this recipe, and when i finally did it was a catastrophe. I assumed, as your recipe implied that it will take 45 minutes, it ended up taking more than 2 hrs and the rice would still not cook. Totally disappointed..any reasons why this happened…

    • Shame! I don’t know why the rice didn’t cook, but you can always try my mom’s method. She cooks the rice in water and then add milk and the rest of the ingredients. She leaves it simmering until thickened.

      • Thanks for replying back. I will try your mom’s method soon and let you know how it turns out. cheers

  3. This recipe nailed it. Great job Maya. Tastes just like home. I didn’t have mastic powder so I just left that out.

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