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Halawet el Riz

An Authentic Arabic sweet made with rice, cheese and cream and drizzled with a fragrant sugar syrup before serving.
Servings: 6
Author: Sadia Mohamed



  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3-4 drops mastic plus a tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Sugar syrup
  • Kashta

For the kashta

  • 450 g ricotta cheese
  • 4 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp rose water

For the sugar syrup

  • 100 g sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tbsp Rose water



    To make the rice and cheese layer

    • In a pan mix together rice and water. Cook till rice is well done.
    • In a mortar and pestle, grind together 1 tsp sugar and mastic till powdered.
    • Blend the rice into a puree.
    • Return back to flame, add sugar and mix well. The mixture will become loose when you add sugar.
    • Pour rose water, orange blossom water and powdered mastic.
    • Add in the mozzarella cheese. Mix on very low flame till cheese is nicely melted. It will be a little tough to stir.
    • Spread this mixture on a tray. Refrigerate it.

    To make the kashta

    • Mix all the ingredients listed under kashta.

    To make sugar syrup

    • In a pan add in the sugar and water. Let it come to a boil, stir for the sugar to dissolve.
    • Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes till the syrup turns very thick.
    • Switch off flame and add in orange blossom and rose water.
    • Cover with lid and keep aside.

    To Serve

    • Cut the prepared rice and mozzarella mix into any shape you like.
    • Place the piece on serving plate.
    • Spread a generous amount of kashta on top.
    • Sprinkle pistachios.
    • Pour sugar syrup and serve immediately.


    * Plain thick cream with rosewater and orangeblossom water can be used for kashta instead pf ricotta. If you get the Arabic cream kashta (clotted cream) that would be best.
    * Orange blossom water can be omitted if you don't get it. But it sure gives an authentic aroma.
    * Mastic can be omitted if you don't like the smell of it.