Rice porridge is the quintessential Caribbean breakfast. Thick, creamy porridge is enhanced with vanilla, almond, and warm spices. Learn how to make easy rice porridge on the stove or in the Instant Pot with this versatile recipe.
Rice Porridge Breakfast
Rice porridge wasn’t a dish my family made often (we were cornmeal or oats porridge kind of people), but it was a dish I enjoyed whenever I visited my granny Inez. This recipe is for my friend Asha, this was her favorite type of porridge. Asha and I often share stories about the foods we enjoyed during our childhood, especially the ones our granny made.
Recently she reminisced that her granny made the most delicious porridge. It was creamy and well spiced and she still longs for it in her adulthood. It was Asha’s memories of rice porridge that prompted me to share this recipe. Thank you, Asha.
- Rice Porridge Breakfast
- Why You’ll Love This Rice Porridge Recipe
- What is rice porridge?
- Rice Porridge Ingredients
- How to Make Rice Porridge
- Recipe Variations & Substitutions
- Tips for the Best Rice Porridge
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Caribbean Rice Porridge
Why You’ll Love This Rice Porridge Recipe
- Simple: You really only need a few ingredients to make this dish: rice, water, some kind of milk and a sweetener. Everything else is just a flavor enhancer. Whip up this comforting meal in just 30 minutes.
- Nourishing: A little goes a long way with this recipe. This porridge is easy to digest. One bowl of this in the morning will leave you feeling full and ready to take on your day.
- Versatile: Prepare it over the stove or take a hands-off approach and let the Instant Pot do all the work. Add your favorite spices, sugar, milk, and toppings to customize each bowl.
What is rice porridge?
Rice porridge is a mixture of rice and water, simmered until thick and creamy. The dish has significantly more liquid than rice, resulting in a porridge.
It is also very similar to Guyanese Sweet Rice or Kheer, but uses different spices and is not quite as rich as kheer.
Rice Porridge Ingredients
This recipe includes milk but you can make it completely. dairy-free by skipping the evaporated milk and milk powder at the end.
- Water: Use this as your liquid base when cooking the rice.
- Spices: I use cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and grated nutmeg, for a warm, fragrant, spiced porridge. Add an optional ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon for even more flavor.
- Dried Orange Peel: This adds a bit of brightness to the porridge.
- Long grain white rice: When my grandmother made rice porridge she used broken rice. I am using long grain rice that is pulsed in a food processor to make broken rice.
- Salt: This balances out the other flavors.
- Vanilla extract and almond extract: Using extracts adds another layer of flavor that deepens the overall taste.
- Coconut milk Milk: Coconut milk adds to the flavor of the porridge. At it in the end to preserve the creaminess.
- Demarara Sugar (not photographed): This is the sugar we use in Guyana so I typical use that in nostalgic recipes but you can use any sweetener you like.
- Evaporated Milk (not photographed): This optional ingredient makes the porridge very creamy.
- Powdered Milk (not photographed): Want to add even more creaminess to the porridge add a bit of milk powder and mix it in before serving.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Rice Porridge
For this recipe you will need broken rice. In Guyana this is called fine rice. After rinsing the rice, add it to a food processor and give it 2-3 pulses.
Then water, cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel to a large pot over medium heat and let boil for about 10 minutes or longer to infuse the water with the as much flavor as you like. You may scoop out the spices and orange peel before adding the rice if you like.
Bring to a boil uncovered then reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer until the rice is fully cooked (about 20 minutes).
Once the rice is cooked add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, sugar and mix together well.
Then finish it off with the grated nutmeg, mix that in and you are pretty much done.
To take this porridge up a notch you may add some evaporated milk and powdered milk and mix it in before serving.
Instant Pot Rice Porridge
Add water, rice, salt and spices to the instant pot. Then seal up the instant pot and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Use the rapid-release function to release the pressure from the instant pot.
Then add the grated nutmeg, vanilla extract, almond extract, sugar and coconut milk to the instant pot and mix together well. Add some powdered milk and evaporated milk to finish it off if you like or enjoy as is.
Store leftover porridge in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. It thickens once cooled so you may need to add a splash of water or milk when reheating. To reheat, warm it up over the stovetop over medium-low heat until warmed through.
Recipe Variations & Substitutions
- Vegan: Make this recipe without the addition of the evaporated and powdered milks for a completely vegan dish or add evaporated coconut milk and powdered coconut milk if you like.
- Sweet Rice Porridge: Try coconut sugar to sweeten the porridge. A swirl of honey, agave, or maple syrup works too.
- Fruits: Try topping the cooked porridge with dried fruits like dried apricots, currants, or raisins.
- Rice: I used jasmine rice in this recipe but any long grain rice can work. You can even try it with arborio rice for extra creaminess. You can also use brown rice, although it takes much longer to cook.
- Savory: If you prefer savory porridge, halve the amount of water and use a vegetable broth or chicken broth instead. Consider adding ingredients like scallions, garlic, ginger, and fresh herbs.
Tips for the Best Rice Porridge
- Rinse the rice under cold water before pulsing in the food processor. This makes the rice really starchy and creamy.
- Cook the porridge over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Slow cooking allows the rice to absorb the liquid gradually, resulting in a creamier texture.
- If the porridge becomes too thick, adjust the consistency by adding more liquid. If it’s too thin, continue cooking until it reaches the desired thickness.
- The porridge thickens as it cools down. Keep this in mind if you want to change the water-to-rice ratio.
Frequently Asked Questions
The porridge is made with rice and water. Additional ingredients like milk, spices, and sweeteners may be added to enhance the flavor and texture of the dish.
Rice porridge, also known as rice pap in Guyana, is a universal dish that has many variations across the globe. The most popular version comes from China and is known as congee. But the dish is also popular in India, Jamaica, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and parts of Europe.
Chinese rice porridge (congee) is usually savory whereas the Caribbean version is often sweet. Learn more about congee here.
Rice pudding is thicker and sweeter than rice porridge. Porridge tends to be thinner, and more soup-like whereas pudding is richer and creamier.
Caribbean Rice Porridge
- Large Pot
- Instant Pot optional
- 4 cups water
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 inch dried orange peel
- 1 cup long grain white rice rinsed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 Cup Demerara Sugar or sweetener of choice
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 cup powdered millk optional
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- Add the water, cinnamon, cloves and dried orange peel to a large pot over medium heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes to infuse the water with the spices.
- Before moving to the next step you may remove the spices from the water and discard them if you like. Or keep them in to continue cooking along with the rice for a more intense flavor.
- While the water and spices are boiling, add the rinsed rice to a food processor and pulse 2-3 times to make broken rice. Then when the spice infused water is ready, add the broken rice and the salt and mix together well.
- Bring the rice to a boil uncovered then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is cooked (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking.
- Then add the coconut milk, vanilla and almond extract, brown sugar and the nutmeg. Mix together and enjoy.
- To take this recipe up a notch, add the optional evaporated and powdered milk and mix together well before serving. Enjoy a cup of this porridge while it is still hot.
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Add the water, rice and spices to the instant pot. Then seal up the instant pot and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Use the rapid release function to release the pressure from the instant pot.
- Then add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, sugar and nutmeg and mix together well. Finish off with the evaporated milk and milk powder if using and serve hot.
The information listed in the recipe card is an estimate provided by an online nutrition tool. The tool evaluates ingredient names and amounts then makes calculations based on the number of servings listed for the recipe. It is provided as a general guideline and not as a precise calculation. For precise nutrition information please feel free to add the ingredients to your preferred nutrition calculator or consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist.