Kazan Dibi (Καζάν-ντιμπί)

Nov 21st, 2009 | By | Category: Dairy, Dessert, Greek, Recipes, Sugar, Sweets, Turkish

IMG_2789-1Those who have visited Istanbul (Constantinople) will have feasted on the array of eclectic sweet and savory dishes. Back in 2007 during my trip to Greece, I snuck in a side-trip to Istanbul, Turkey for a long weekend.

One of the desserts I enjoyed was Kazan Dibi or in Greek..”Καζάν-ντιμπί”. For those that like Creme Brulee, this dessert is for you. The dessert’s name “Kazan Dibi” comes from the burnt bottom of the pan (kettle).

From my readings, the most authentic of Kazan Dibi’s are made with the milk of a bubal (buffalo). This dessert is very easy to make and it requires few ingredients: butter, milk, rice flour, corn starch, sugar and flavouring.

Kazan Dibi can be flavoured with ground mastic gum, vanilla, mahlepi,  or in my instance, with rosewater.


I’ve had this  dessert in Constantinople (Istanbul) and in Thessaloniki. In Constantinople (Istanbul), thin ribbons of the burnt pudding are rolled and then served. In Thessaloniki, I received the Kazan Dibi as a nice, thick serving as you see here.2007vacation 583

Kazan Dibi is a quick, exotic dessert with the only catch being to make the night before and allow for the pudding to set overnight.

A spatula is the only tool needed to serve this easy treat. Cut a square serving, slide the spatula underneath the Kazan Dibi and quickly (but carefully) invert and place on the serving plate. The burnt/caramelized side of the pudding should be on top for presentation.IMG_2740-2

You can add a couple of drops of rosewater, sprinkle some ground pistachios or just dust with some cinnamon..it’s your call. For this recipe, I used a large 9-inch skillet. A heavy bottomed skillet will also work fine.

Kazan Dibi (Καζάν-ντιμπί)

a 9-inch cast iron skillet

about 2 Tbsp. of room temp. unsalted butter

6 cups of milk + 1 cup to dilute the corn starch/rice flour mixture

3/4 cup corn starch

1/4 cup rice flour

1 cup of sugar + 2 heaping Tbsp. to make the caramel

3-4 Tbsp. of rosewater (or your preferred flavouring)IMG_2783-2

  1. Take 1 cup of milk and add it to a bowl along with your corn starch and rice flour. Mix until dissolved and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized pot, add the remaining 6 cups of milk and bring to a boil over medium heat. As soon as your milk comes to a boil, add the sugar, rosewater and reduce the heat to medium. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Add the corn starch/rice flour and milk mixture into your hot milk and stir for a couple of minutes until the mixture comes to the consistency of a thick cream.  Place the lid on the pot, take off the heat and reserve.
  4. Grease the bottom of your skillet with butter and sprinkle with 2 heaping Tbsps. of sugar. Place your skillet over medium-high heat and watch over it as your sugar caramelizes. As soon as it has just gone black, add two ladles of your thick cream mixture to sufficiently cover the surface of your skillet. Allow the the cream to bubble and cook for about a minute and to form the “bottom crust”. Take off the heat and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes.
  5. With your ladle, gently add the remaining cream over your burnt milk in the skillet. This step is important as you do not want to disturb the bottom crust and taint your cream mixture. Continue to add the cream mixture (ladle by ladle) and allow to cool for a few minutes. Place in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day when serving, cut a piece of the Kazan Dibi with your spatula and then slide underneath the piece and quickly (but carefully) flip the piece so that the burnt side is facing up.
  7. Serve “as is” or sprinkle some ground pistachios and cinnamon and serve cool.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at  http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

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© 2009 – 2011, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

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31 Comments to “Kazan Dibi (Καζάν-ντιμπί)”

  1. Anna says:

    Wow, who knew Turkish gluten free dessert? I will have to make this for my GF friend. Go rice flour!

  2. This looks absolutely amazing, Peter! I love desserts of this type. I’m definitely going to have to try this.

  3. pam says:

    Oh my gosh! I love this. I can’t do a good creme brulee because I don’t have a torch! This is perfect!

  4. Joanne (GreekJo) says:

    You finally got this post up Peter!!! I’ve been waiting patiently…Looks and sounds delicious and I will try and make this one day when I’ve had a great workout so I can have a large portion.

  5. Ivy says:

    I tried Kazan Dipi at Agapitos confectionery in Thessaloniki. Although not bad, I was not really impressed.

  6. Jan says:

    Oooh yum! I love creme brulee. Great photos Peter.

  7. This is a great milk pudding!
    When the buffalo’s (bubalus bubalis milk is very fat, there is no need for corn starch/rice flour. The milk/sugar mixture is simply boiled until it thickens and its bottom surface is burnt.
    Kazan dipi can be also made from the “tavuk gögsü”. Of course it may refer to the bottom part of any desert made from milk.

  8. Rosa says:

    OMG, that looks divine! I’m keeping that recipe!



  9. maria v says:

    this looks amazingly tempting, wish i could have been with you to try it

  10. Kat says:

    Oh a favorite! Funny though when I first saw your picture & that whiteness I thought it was a slice of fish!

  11. Peter G says:

    I’ll be honest and say I’ve never heard of this or tried it before Peter…but it looks great and seems very easy to make. I love the idea of flavouring it with rosewater.

  12. FoodJunkie says:

    I love Kasan Dipi and Tavuk gogsu (the one with the chicken in it)so much I had them every day when I visited Istanbul. Unfortunately I have not eaten a decent one in Greece yet. The buffalo milk makes all the difference…

  13. Georgia says:

    I had this when I was in Istanbul. Very tasty indeed! I also had a funny (and yummy) pudding that had cooked chicken in it…I forget what it was called.

  14. Now I need to add Turkey to my list of places to travel. As always I rememeber the places I have visted by the different food associations.

  15. Foodycat says:

    I love milk puddings! This looks lovely but I am convinced it isn’t as easy to make as you say!

  16. PIERRE says:

    Hi peter
    As a french I am fan of creme brulee so why not try this one ! thanks for hte recipe !cheers from paris

  17. ELENA says:

    Fantastic photos, I never tried Kazan dipi, but it looks easy to make it.
    Have a nice week Peter!

  18. cheffresco says:

    I love your blog. This is quite a tasty looking treat!

  19. Liz says:

    This is a dessert I am not that keen on but it looks like you did a excellent job of it.

    Jo, I have heard (from someone who grew up in Turkey) that you can get very good Tavuk gogsu at a small cafe/zaxaroplasteio on the sea front close to Floisvos. Before the post office as you are going towards Pireas. Unfortunately they told me about it having chicken in it before I had tried it and I just didn’t feel like it too much after that!

  20. I love the turkish sweets! I’ve been in Istanbul a couple of times and simply cannot resist them. This looks delicious!

  21. grace says:

    i’m glad you explained this tasty treat of a dish because i had no idea what i was seeing. it sounds absolutely amazing!

  22. Jeanne says:

    Sounds (and looks!) fantastic! I am a sucker for anything with a caramelised component…

  23. I like to find out how our muhallabiyeh is done by our med cousins. We use rice flour too but the technique is totally different. One thing intrigued me. You say cook 2 minutes and the cream is done. Wow! I usually have to stir a long time when I use rice flour!

  24. Maria says:

    My kind of dessert Peter! Lovely and I look forward to trying it soon.

  25. i couldn’t tell if that was a piece of fish upon first glance. but now that i know it’s dessert… wow. the top of it looks gorgeous!

  26. heidileon says:

    I tried this dessert last week at a turkish restaurant in Shanghai, I totally felt in love with it. I was wondering how or where to get the recipe and voila! Here comes Peter :)

    thank you my dear, I will make this one first thing tomorrow morning!

  27. [...] Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, people call it Muhallibieh. The Greeks know it as well, and make an elaborate, panna-cotta-like dish based on it. And it’s only milk pudding, made in ten minutes. Sounds like a dessert for [...]

  28. c says:

    truth is, if one heats the milk (90o celcius) then add the diluted rice flour/corn flour at then end, onloy a couple of minutes are needed to stir. it also helps not to scorch the bottom of the pan if one rinses the pan with cold water then adds the required sugar then the milk. no need to add everything from scratch as stirring takes ages, result is the same and too tired to finish it properly. the caramelised batch is the easy kazandibi and why not? some add butter/icing sugar/corn flour caramelise it add some of the mixture as it says above return to the fridge and then add the remaining pudding to set overnight

  29. [...] muhallebi without blinking an eye and whenever I go to a Turkish restaurant, it’s always the kazan dibi I choose because I love crème brulee and this is the Turkish interpretation of pretty much the [...]

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