Surely, you’re heard and most likely tasted the classic Arroz con Leche (rice pudding), a dessert of European origin. Well, Arroz Zambito is the Peruvian version of that traditional dessert. It is a dish typical of Afro-Peruvian pastries.
The preparations for both of these desserts are very similar although, arroz zambito has a few additional ingredients intensifying its flavors. A combination of pecans, blonde raisins, cinnamon, coconut and chancaca result in zambito rice. The chancaca gives it the distinct color. Precisely because of its coloration, it is called zambito (as people with dark complexions are known in Peru). These ingredients allow the texture of this dessert to be less creamy and with a more intense flavor than that of rice pudding.
The chancaca is a sweetener obtained from the processing of sugar cane juice, also known as panela and is widely used in other Peruvian sweets.
This Peruvian recipe has become a tradition, which you can consume warm or cold and occasionally accompanied by purple mazamorra (purple Peruvian Corn dessert)
Diana Ramírez R.
Image credits: Flavors of my land