By the end of 2021, I am planning to put out a series of recipes for traditional Danish Christmas food. I always enjoy learning about different cultures and what they eat, but during Christmas time I go all traditional, so I thought I’d share my recipes with you. This is my recipe for Danish rice porridge.
In Denmark, we eat this porridge all through December. Both because it’s an easy dinner in a busy month, but also because it’s super delicious and the kids are ecstatic about it.
While it may seem strange to anyone foreign from the Nordic countries, I implore you to read on, it’s such a good dish.
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The history of Danish rice porridge
While this dish is eaten in the Nordic countries, it has its roots in the Middle East in the middle ages. In Scandinavia, rice porridge was first mentioned in Malmö in Sweden around 1542.
This porridge was normally made with water but made with milk during the holidays. As rice was a very expensive import, the main ingredient wouldn’t be rice, but rye, barley, or oat.
In the 1800’s the wealthier people started to serve rice porridge to their guests at Christmas. Since rice still was an expensive import, this was considered a status symbol.
During the late 1800s, rice became more common and cheaper and something you could buy at the local store, so around the early 1900’s rice porridge was something that everyone ate.
In Denmark, we have a superstition about the house-elf, a sort of mischievous version of a Christmas elf. Like Americans put cookies out for Santa, we put a bowl of risengrød in the attic to appease the elf, so he’d be on his best behavior.
Any sort of bad luck would be ascribed to the elf, so putting the porridge in the attic was meant for good luck.
It’s a tradition many people still uphold to this day, but more so in the rural areas. In the cities, most people don’t have an attic because they live in apartments.
The choice of rice for this Danish rice porridge recipe
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The best rice for risengrød is Japonica rice, which is short-grained rice. Risotto rice like Arborio can be a good substitute.
If you can’t get any of those any regular rice will work, just make sure to get an unscented kind, so no Jasmin or Basmati.
The conclusion of this rice porridge
When you take a bite out of this porridge, you get creamy porridge. Smooth and silky with pleasantly soft rice grains in every bite.
The cinnamon sugar on top adds a spicy and sweet taste to every bite, including a bit of a crunch from the sugar.
To top it off, melting butter, runs all over the hot porridge, oh my. it’s just so good.
Try it! You’ll be in Christmas heaven.
Please share this recipe for Danish rice porridge on social media
This is my recipe for Danish rice porridge. If you like the recipe please consider sharing it with like-minded food lovers on social media.
If you make it and post it on Instagram, please tag me as @foodgeek.dk so I can see it. That would make me very happy.
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Danish Christmas Rice Porridge
- 190 g porridge rice
- 250 ml water
- 1 l whole milk
- pinch salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- butter as much as you want
Make the rice porridge
- Pour the water into a pot and bring it to a boil.250 ml water
- Pour in the rice. Let it boil for about 2 minutes or until all of the water has evaporated.190 g porridge rice
- Then pour in the whole milk. If you use milk with less fat, it's possible to burn it.1 l whole milk
- Bring it to a boil, and then turn the heat to medium-high.
- Stir about every 2 minutes until the porridge thickens, then stir more often.
- Once it has the right consistency, put in a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed.pinch salt
Make the cinnamon sugar
- Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon to a small bowl.3 tbsp sugar, 3 tsp cinnamon
- Stir to combine.
Serve the rice porridge
- Eat the porridge with a good knob of butter and cinnamon sugar. If you accidentally eat both of those before finishing your bowl. You’re allowed to add more.butter