I have a distinct memory from my childhood of my mother making a baked black rice pudding in a glazed earthenware dutch oven. A rich purple pudding with naturally sweet and fragrant black rice and delicious creamy coconut. I remember how charmed and excited I was by this different coloured rice, and waited in anticipation for dessert when she was making it.
This black rice and chia pudding is made on the stove top, but still has the beautiful deep purple colour and haunting vanilla coconut fragrance that my mother’s had. Black rice is full of antioxidants and iron, and with the addition of chia seeds for extra protein and omega 3s and 6s, this pudding makes a substantial start to your day, or a delicious and healthy dessert. I have put the sweetener as “optional” as some of you may like to omit it if making this pudding for breakfast… Not me though! This pudding is very welcome bit of tropical sunshine in what I think is going to be our coldest winter in a while.
When I asked my Mum about my childhood memory she said that in the 70s her friend had travelled to Bali and told her about a Balinese black rice pudding, and that she had elaborated on the idea and came up with that recipe. My mother has always been very inspired and intuitive in the kitchen, and I always remember her working her kitchen sorcery turning humble ingredients into a banquet. Such intuition and spontaneity also lead her to the discovery that banana and kiwi fruit taste amazing with coconut cream. In short – this is her dessert, and it wouldn’t exist without her. Neither would I. xx enjoy
Black Rice and Chia Pudding
Any other tropical fruit can be used in replacement here, such as mango or passionfruit. I highly recommend soaking the black rice before cooking this pudding. You can cook it from unsoaked rice, but the texture will be nicer and the cooking time substantially shorter if you remember to soak it. The digestibility of rice and other grains is also greatly improved by soaking to remove the phytic acid, which inhibits absorption of nutrients. If cooking unsoaked rice, increase water to 2 cups and cooking time to 50-60 min. Add more water if needed.
Adapted from My New Roots’ Coconut Black Rice Breakfast Pudding.
Black Rice and Chia Pudding
1 cup | 200g black rice (forbidden rice), soaked in water for at least 8 hours or overnight
1 cup | 250ml full fat coconut cream (+ more to serve)
1.5 cups | 375ml water
1 tsp vanilla powder
A pinch of sea salt
2 tbls chia seeds
1-2 tbls coconut sugar, maple syrup or sweetener of choice (optional, + more to serve)
1/2 cup | 75g coconut flakes
Kiwi fruit and banana, peeled and sliced finely, to serve
Drain and rinse the rice and put in a saucepan with the coconut cream, water, vanilla and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 25-30 min, stirring regularly, till the rice is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Add a touch more water if you find it gets too thick.
Whilst the rice is cooking, toast the coconut flakes in a pan over medium heat till golden (3-4 minutes, stirring continuously). Set aside.
When rice is done, stir through the chia seeds and coconut sugar, if using.
Serve the rice pudding warm with a drizzle of extra coconut cream, topped with the toasted coconut, fruit and a sprinkle of coconut sugar, if desired.
If reheating from cold, add a little water to the rice to make a runnier consistency.