In Oaxaca, arroz con leche is traditionally served with candied garbanzos because we are extra like that. This combination sounds weird, but it’s actually very good. Think of it as the Oaxacan version of those sweet red bean desserts in Japan. The candied garbanzos have a similar texture to candied sweet potatoes and add a nice layer of caramel flavor into the milky spiced rice.
This recipe is an extract from Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico by Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral (Abrams, £30). Photographs copyright © 2019 Quentin Bacon
Ingredients for the candied garbanzos Serves: 12
Ingredients for the arroz con leche
Method for the candied garbanzos
- In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, combine 480 ml of water, the piloncillo, cinnamon stick, star anise, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and mix until the piloncillo has fully dissolved.
- Add the garbanzo beans and continue simmering until the garbanzos are completely tender and a syrup starts to form. Once the syrup is the texture of honey, about 5 minutes total, remove from the heat. It is ready.
Method for the arroz con leche
- In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, bring 6 cups (1.4 L) of water to a boil. Add the rice and lower the heat to a simmer.
- When the rice is cooked, about 15 minutes later, add the evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and lime zest. Keep simmering for about 10 minutes more, until the sugar is dissolved and the texture of the rice and milk is thick, like a traditional pudding.
- When ready to serve, serve the rice pudding with the candied garbanzos on top.