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Scandinavian rice porridge

Rice porridge is a staple in Norway at Christmas

Scandinavian rice porridge with cinnamon, sugar and butter

Scandinavian rice porridge with cinnamon, sugar and butter.

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Scandinavian rice porridge (makes 3–4)

You need a short grain type of rice high in starch to make the porridge creamy. In Norway there is a particular type of short grain rice called “porridge rice” (grøtris), but you can substitute it with Italian risotto rice (e.g. arborio or carnaroli) which is also starchy. The Norwegian type of rice needs very long cooking time, approximately 50-60 minutes; and it is this long cooking time that makes it so creamy. The parenthesis below denotes measures if you are using risotto rice.

200 ml water (100 ml water)
700 ml full fat milk (500 ml full fat milk)
125 g short grain rice (225 g risotto rice)
½ vanilla pod
20 g sugar
a pinch of salt

1. Heat the water in a thick-based pan. Split half the vanilla pod and scoop out the seeds. Add the rice, vanilla seed and pod when the water boils.

2. Let boil on low-medium heat for about 10 minutes until most of the water is absorbed.

3. Pour in the milk and let simmer on as little heat as possible. Make sure to stir once in a while to prevent the porridge from burning, particularly towards the end. The lid should be (almost) on to prevent the milk from evaporating.

4. In the end, season the rice with salt and the sugar. Spoon the porridge on a plate. Place a doll-up of butter in the middle and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Serve immediately.

Note: Cooking porridge is not an exact science, and if the temperature is too high the liquid will be absorbed too quickly. It this happens, pour in some more milk. If you use the porridge rice, let it cook for 50-60 minutes. With risotto rice you only need 20-30 minutes. For the risotto rice I would have added a bit of heavy cream to add some creaminess.

More Nordic dishes?

Rhubarb tart 1938
Danish Æbleflæsk (pork apples)
Tilslørte bondepiker (Nordic apple trifle)