The popular Venezuelan Arroz con coco is the most important dessert for “Semana Santa”, which is like the Venezuelan version of Easter. We usually make a big batch of Arroz con coco or Arroz con leche for this holidays and we enjoy it as a family tradition.
I must say that it’s pretty much the same as Puerto Rican Arroz con Dulce. In Latin America we share a lot of recipes with different names.
This is like the fun cousin of the traditional Arroz con leche. The recipe is quite similar — the spices are the same — but there are some twists in this version.
The first difference is that you don’t cook the rice into the milk. The reason is coconut milk is way dense — and fatty — than regular milk. So cooking the rice in this type of milk would make really hard for the rice to cook well. Also, you would have to add 4 times the amount of coconut milk and if you think that this Arroz con coco is a caloric bomb, just imagine 4 times more fat.
A random fact about me: I love coconut flavor as much as I hate coconut flakes texture.
So in this recipe, you can add coconut flakes to taste. You can add them to the preparation or just a sprinkle on top. For me: zero coconut flakes. But the traditional recipe adds coconut flakes into the recipe for texture (about ½ cup).
This is a delicious recipe that has history and tradition behind its process.
As I often write here in The Cookware Geek, food is something that connects us to our roots. And I love to share a piece of Venezuela with all my readers.
I hope you give a try to this recipe and tell me how it turns out in the comments
See you in the next recipe!
- 1 cup rice (note 1)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup condensed milk
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup milk
- 3 cinnamon stick
- 4-6 Jamaican peppers
- 4-6 cloves
- Cinnamon to sprinkle
- Coconut flakes to sprinkle (note 2)
Cook the rice in the water until fully cooked.
Then pour the condensed milk, the coconut milk, the milk and the spices (cinnamon stick, cloves, and Jamaican pepper). Let it cook for about 15 minutes until the rice is mushy. (note 3)
Take it to the fridge for at least 1 hour and then serve sprinkling coconut flakes and cinnamon.
- Use a rice that is short and that can become sticky and mushy. Don’t use Thai jasmine rice for this recipe. I suggest you use arborio rice or any other sticky rice(like sushi rice).
- You can add ½ cup of coconut flakes into the preparation for a bit of texture.
- Don’t let the rice dry too much. Because when the rice is out of the stove, it still keeps absorbing the liquid. If you let it cook too much the rice will be too compact and not creamy when you cool it down.