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Creamy Turkish Sutlac Recipe: Tradition Meets Indulgence


Remember those moments when you craved something sweet and comforting, a dessert that wrapped you in a warm embrace of flavors? Look no further! Today, we’re diving into the world of Sutlac, a delightful Turkish rice pudding that has been cherished for generations. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey that combines creamy textures, aromatic hints, and the rich tapestry of tradition.



Every dish carries with it a story, a journey through time that traces its origins, transformations, and the cultural tapestry it weaves. Sutlac, the delectable Turkish rice pudding we hold dear, is no exception. Let’s delve into the pages of history to uncover the intriguing narrative behind this cherished dessert.

The Roots in Ottoman Kitchens

A Royal Delight

The story of Sutlac is interwoven with the opulent history of the Ottoman Empire. Its roots can be traced back to the grand kitchens of the sultans, where skilled chefs concocted culinary wonders fit for royalty. Sutlac, initially known as “Ashura,” was among these esteemed creations.

The Feast of Ashura

Originally, Sutlac was prepared as part of the “Ashura” dessert, a dish with deep symbolic significance in Islamic tradition. Ashura is linked to the story of Noah’s Ark, commemorating the day the ark landed on Mount Ararat and celebrations began. This dessert, shared among communities, symbolized unity, togetherness, and harmony.

Evolution Over Time

From Ceremonial to Culinary

As centuries passed, the Ashura dessert gradually transformed into the creamy and delightful Sutlac we relish today. What was once a ceremonial offering evolved into a dessert enjoyed on various occasions. Its preparation shifted from communal gatherings to individual homes, embracing a wider audience.

Culinary Perfection

The evolution of Sutlac wasn’t solely in its form; the recipe itself evolved, refined by generations of cooks who added their own touches to enhance its flavor and texture. The essence of Sutlac remained, while its taste continued to evolve, captivating palates far and wide.

Cultural Significance

A Taste of Tradition

Sutlac isn’t just a dessert; it’s a taste of tradition that connects modern kitchens with the past. As families gather to savor its creamy richness, they engage in a culinary ritual that transcends generations, carrying the legacy of centuries.

Symbol of Heritage

In Turkey, Sutlac is a symbol of culinary heritage. It embodies the essence of sharing, the joy of simplicity, and the warmth of family. From festive occasions to everyday moments of indulgence, Sutlac has carved a place in Turkish culture that’s irreplaceable.

Global Reach

Beyond Borders

As the world became more interconnected, Sutlac embarked on a journey beyond Turkish shores. Food enthusiasts and curious palates discovered this exquisite dessert, embracing it with open arms. Sutlac’s popularity spread, offering people from various corners of the globe a taste of its creamy elegance.

Adaptations and Innovations

As Sutlac ventured beyond its homeland, it encountered new culinary perspectives. Different regions embraced it, often adding unique twists to suit local tastes. Variations with chocolate, fruits, and diverse ingredients emerged, adding layers to its narrative of adaptation and innovation.

Preserving Tradition

Handing Down the Ladle

In today’s fast-paced world, Sutlac remains a link to tradition. As families gather to prepare and enjoy this dessert, they pass down more than just a recipe; they transmit a piece of history. The act of stirring a pot of Sutlac becomes a bridge connecting the past and the present.


Cooking StepTime Required
Rinse Arborio rice5 minutes
Simmer rice and milk25 minutes
Add vanilla extract1 minute
Fold in golden raisins2 minutes
Transfer to baking dish2 minutes
Bake Sutlac in the oven40 minutes
Serve and garnish5 minutes
Total Preparation Time80 minutes


IngredientsQuantity for 2 Servings
Arborio rice1/4 cup
Granulated sugar1/4 cup
Whole milk2 cups
Vanilla extract1/2 teaspoon
Golden raisins2 tablespoons
Cinnamon or pistachiosFor garnish


Rice Rendezvous

  1. Rinse Arborio Rice: Begin by rinsing 1/4 cup of Arborio rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch and prevents the rice from becoming too sticky during cooking.

Simmer Sensation

  1. Combine Rice and Milk: In a saucepan, combine the rinsed Arborio rice and 2 cups of whole milk. Place the saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Gentle Simmer: Allow the mixture to come to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. This step takes about 25 minutes.

Vanilla Voyage

  1. Introduce Vanilla: Once the rice is tender and the mixture has thickened to a creamy consistency, remove the saucepan from the heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and give it a gentle stir. The aroma will envelop your senses.

Raisin Romance

  1. Add Golden Raisins: Gently fold in 2 tablespoons of plumped golden raisins. These little bursts of sweetness will add texture and charm to your Sutlac.

Baking Beauty

  1. Transfer to Baking Dish: Carefully transfer the creamy rice mixture into a heat-resistant baking dish. Spread it evenly to create a smooth surface.
  2. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) in preparation for baking the Sutlac.
  3. Bake to Perfection: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes. This baking time will help develop a beautiful golden top layer.

The Aroma Infusion

  1. Embrace the Aromas: As the Sutlac bakes, your kitchen will be filled with enchanting aromas that beckon you to the oven. Let the anticipation build!

Serving and Garnishing

  1. Scoop of Love: Once the Sutlac is baked to perfection, remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly. Serve the creamy goodness in individual bowls, each scoop brimming with love and nostalgia.
  2. Dusted with Delight: For a final touch, garnish your Sutlac with a sprinkle of cinnamon or finely ground pistachios. This not only adds visual appeal but also a delightful crunch.

Follow these steps, and you’ll find yourself savoring the creamy comfort of Sutlac, a dessert that carries within it the essence of tradition and the joy of indulgence. Enjoy!

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

Nutrition InformationPer Serving (2 Servings)
Serving Size1/2 cup
Total Fat3g
– Saturated Fat1.5g
Total Carbohydrates28g
– Dietary Fiber0g
– Sugars15g
Calcium10% DV
Iron2% DV

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on specific ingredients and serving sizes.


  1. Rinse Thoroughly: When rinsing the Arborio rice, make sure to rinse it thoroughly until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch and prevents the rice from sticking together.
  2. Low and Slow: During the simmering process, keep the heat at a gentle simmer rather than a rolling boil. This allows the rice to absorb the milk gradually, resulting in a creamy texture.
  3. Stir Occasionally: Stir the rice and milk mixture occasionally to prevent sticking. This ensures even cooking and helps prevent a scorched bottom.
  4. Golden Raisin Plumping: To plump the golden raisins, soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes before adding them to the Sutlac. This ensures they’re juicy and tender.
  5. Patience for Baking: While baking, patience is key. The 40-minute bake time might seem long, but it’s necessary to achieve that perfect golden top layer.

Pros & Cons

✅ Creamy and comforting❌ Requires oven baking
✅ Rich in tradition and history❌ Longer preparation time
✅ Versatile for variations❌ Contains added sugar
✅ Simple ingredients❌ Not suitable for lactose intolerant
✅ Ideal for sharing❌ Potential for overcooking if not monitored


In the tapestry of culinary delights, the Sutlac recipe stands as a testament to the magic of tradition and the joy of indulgence. From the rich history woven into every creamy spoonful to the aromatic journey that fills your kitchen, Sutlac offers more than just a dessert – it offers a connection to the past, a celebration of culture, and a symphony of flavors that dance on your taste buds.

As you embark on the journey of crafting this Turkish rice pudding, remember that each step is an invitation to create memories. From the gentle simmer of rice and milk to the final touch of garnish, you’re not merely following a recipe; you’re embracing a tradition that spans generations.

Whether you’re seeking comfort in a bowl, a new twist on a classic, or a connection to the rich heritage of Turkish cuisine, Sutlac is ready to be your companion. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the aromas, and let the creamy embrace of Sutlac transport you to a world where flavors tell stories and every bite is a celebration.

Don’t hesitate; take the plunge into the world of Sutlac and let its magic unfold in your kitchen. Your taste buds – and your heart – will thank you for embarking on this delectable journey.


  • Fact 1: From Royalty to Your Table 👑
    • Did you know that Sutlac was once a royal favorite? In the lavish kitchens of the Ottoman Empire, skilled chefs crafted this dessert fit for sultans and sultanas. Now, you can recreate that regal experience in your own kitchen!
  • Fact 2: The Sweet Symbolism of Ashura 🏛️
    • Sutlac’s origins lie in the heartwarming Ashura dessert, a symbolic delight in Islamic tradition. It’s said that the ingredients for Ashura represent unity and diversity – much like the creamy rice and the plump raisins in your Sutlac.
  • Fact 3: A Journey from Ashura to Sutlac 🚀
    • As centuries passed, Ashura transformed into the Sutlac we adore today. It’s like witnessing the evolution of dessert history – from a communal tradition to a creamy indulgence that warms hearts one spoonful at a time.
  • Fact 4: The Vanilla Voyage 🌼
    • Vanilla extract isn’t just a flavor enhancer; it’s your ticket to a magical journey! As you add a hint of vanilla to your Sutlac, close your eyes and let the aroma transport you through time, connecting you to generations past.
  • Fact 5: Sutlac’s Global Adventure 🌎
    • Sutlac’s journey didn’t stop at Turkish borders. With its comforting creaminess and rich history, it embarked on a global adventure, winning hearts and stomachs in various corners of the world. It’s not just a dessert; it’s a cultural ambassador!


Is Sutlac gluten-free?

Yes, Sutlac is naturally gluten-free since it’s made from Arborio rice and doesn’t contain any wheat-based ingredients.

Can I use almond milk instead of cow’s milk?

Absolutely! You can substitute cow’s milk with almond milk for a dairy-free version of Sutlac that offers a slightly nutty undertone.

What’s the origin of Sutlac?

Sutlac, also known as Turkish rice pudding, has its origins in the royal kitchens of the Ottoman Empire, where it was prepared as a regal dessert.

Can I make Sutlac without adding raisins?

Certainly! While golden raisins add sweetness and texture, you can omit them if you prefer a smoother, raisin-free Sutlac.

How long does Sutlac last in the fridge?

Properly stored in an airtight container, Sutlac can be enjoyed for up to 3 days when refrigerated. Reheat gently before serving.

Can I use jasmine rice instead of Arborio rice?

While Arborio rice is preferred for its creamy texture, you can use jasmine rice as a substitute, although the texture might be slightly different.

Is Sutlac suitable for vegetarians?

Yes, Sutlac is vegetarian-friendly, as it primarily consists of rice, milk, and flavorings.

Can I use coconut milk for a tropical twist?

Absolutely! Coconut milk can be a delightful substitute for cow’s milk, infusing Sutlac with a tropical flavor and aroma.

What can I use instead of vanilla extract?

If you’re out of vanilla extract, you can use a small amount of almond extract or even a pinch of ground cinnamon for a unique twist.

How do I prevent a skin from forming on top of the Sutlac?

To prevent a skin from forming on the surface, place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the pudding’s surface before refrigerating it. This creates a barrier and preserves the creamy texture.