Breakfast fit for a desert nomad

Rice Pudding Recipe

The day before we began our 160km bicycle crossing of the Sahara, we went shopping. Not for souvenirs, scarves or silly stuff. Oh no, we needed to find breakfast ingredients fit for a desert nomad. After all, that is what we were about to become.

We had finished the last of our porridge a couple of days earlier and I couldn’t think of anything that really made my taste buds come alive.

Bread and oil, a traditional breakfast staple in Morocco didn’t really do it for me. Harira, a vegetable soup that’s popular as a morning dish wasn’t exactly practical to prepare. And on this section of our journey we had to carry a lot more water than we’d done previously, so space was limited. Breakfast had to be compact and it had to be satisfying and substantial.

I wandered around the market hoping for inspiration, and it came.

Among the bags of lentils, flour, nuts, raisins, and powdered spices, was a sack of white rice.

“Rice pudding,” I said. “Why didn’t I think of it before?”

“With cinnamon?” Dan asked, licking his lips as he spoke.

My mouth was already watering at the thought of tucking into creamy rice pudding at the foot of a sand dune.

I handed the stall holder a plastic zip-lock bag and he filled it until it weighed half a kilo. Then I persuaded him to add a generous scoop of dried cinnamon to the rice. This cost 6 dirham or approximately €0.60.

Rice pudding recipeOn this trip, our new MSR WhisperLite stove, fuelled by unleaded petrol, made cooking a wider variety of meals an easier task than when we’d used alcohol stoves.

And of course, 100 miles of desert deserves dessert, don’t you think? Even if it is for breakfast.

Please excuse the state of the tent. Sandstorms are very tough to deal with. Rice pudding is perfect for mornings after, believe me.

Rice pudding at camp

Rice pudding recipe

Cooking time 20 mins plus 5 – 10 mins resting (the rice not you)

Serves 2


Please note that cup in this instance is not a standard measure, it’s the cup that you’re using.

¾ cup of rice (any short grain variety)

2 cups water

4 large spoonfulls dried milk

2 large spoonfulls sultanas or other dried fruit

Spoonful of powdered cinnamon or a whole stick

Sugar if desired

Recipe: Rice pudding at camp

How to make rice pudding, a breakfast fit for a desert nomad

Put everything except the dried fruit in the pot.

Stir well, cover, then slowly bring to the boil, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t stick.

Simmer for 10 mins and remove from the heat.

Add the dried fruit and let the mixture sit for 10 mins. It will continue to cook but you’ll save fuel.

Fire up the stove again and bring up to boiling.

Again, reduce the heat and simmer for another 10 mins.

Dole the pudding between two bowls and enjoy a great breakfast.

For further reading check out Bikepacking in Morocco

Meraid Griffin

Freelance writer, adventurer and public speaker. Descibed in the Sunday Times as a 'modest explorer'. Nothing modest about me.


  1. Love rice pud – never tried it for breakfast, although I might, having read your blog!

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