“I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something. ”
~ Mich Ehrenborg
This is truly one of those comfort-in-a-bowl dishes. Black sticky rice pudding is popular in Thailand and parts of Asia. It can be eaten warm or cold, and makes a delicious dessert, but it’s equally good for breakfast or as a snack.
To serve I use a splodge of coconut cream or coconut yogurt, some fresh seasonal fruit, and sometimes a handful of nuts or seeds as well. It’s endlessly versatile.
Black sticky rice pudding is a great recipe – gluten free, dairy free, vegan and full of fibre, anti-oxidants and nurture-y goodness. Black rice is a source of amino acids, iron, zinc, copper and according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is great for supporting and nurturing the liver and kidneys, two organs/energy centres that get very depleted during times of stress, illness or depression. It’s great food for people with burnout or adrenal fatigue as it is warm and easy to digest. Coconut is also good for low thyroid function and boosting slow metabolisms.
I usually make double this quantity and keep some in the fridge. I reheat in a saucepan with a little extra water, but if you are a microwave user, I guess you could go there…
1 cup of black glutinous rice (you can find this in most Asian grocery stores or good supermarkets), 2.5 cups of water, 2 tablespoons palm sugar or soft brown sugar, salt, vanilla essence, 1 cup of coconut milk/cream
Note – If you are sugar-free use Natvia, stevia or your favourite sugar substitute.
Soak the rice overnight (or at least 6 hours) in the water in a ceramic or glass dish. It’s really important to soak your rice well, so please don’t skimp on that part of the cooking process. The water will go a nice shade of purple – try not to get it on you as it will stain some fabrics. Many people suggest you discard the soaking water, rinse and start over, but then you’d lose many of the minerals and anti-oxidants that have leached from the water overnight.
Transfer to a suitable saucepan and place on the heat. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, and then reduce the heat to low, and cover. Cook for a further half an hour to forty-five minutes, until the rice is soft and the mixture has thickened. You need to play this by ear a bit, as you might need to add a little more water and cook longer. It all depends on the rice.
Add a pinch of salt and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of coconut milk/cream, then sugar to taste. Add in a splash of vanilla essence too. I use about 2 heaped tablespoons of palm sugar, but if you prefer it sweeter, add more. Stir occasionally over the next ten minutes until the rice is thick and pudding like. (I sometimes omit the coconut milk as a variation, which gives a nuttier flavour.)
Cool slightly and then serve in bowls with the remaining coconut milk/cream drizzled over the top. Sliced banana or tropical fruits such as papaya or mango are also good. In winter I may use berries. Right now I am using a big dollop of coconut yoghurt (yoghurt made on coconut milk!) from a company called Co Yo, which is divine.
If I have made a less-sweet pudding, I will sometimes also add a sprinkle of palm sugar or a dash of maple syrup when serving.