This is a traditional Thai dessert: luscious black rice pudding drizzled with coconut milk. Vegan and gluten-free, sweet and creamy, this is a great dessert for everyone.
You know how much I like desserts right? There was nothing I wanted more after a long day at school than to come back home with something sweet waiting for me on the dining table. If there wasn’t, I would search through the fridge to find a little piece of chocolate or candy or anything really, to give me some energy.
Yes, school is very tiring.
I also loved sneaking in a piece of sweet into school exams, pretended to cough and stuff that thing inside my mouth.
But I was born in Thailand and I didn’t grow up with desserts like cupcakes, chocolate or ice-cream. Not that I don’t like them, but coming home to a bowl of traditional Thai dessert made by my mom always made me feel like the luckiest kid on earth. I would drop my backpack instantly, go grab a spoon and just dig in. My mom makes a lot of Thai desserts, and one of my favorites would be coconut black rice pudding. My dad also loves it, there’s nothing he wouldn’t eat that has coconut milk in it.
Coconut black rice pudding is made with Thai black rice, which is a type of glutinous sticky rice that has many colors. Thai black rice has a unique sticky texture when cooked. If you can’t find this type of rice, you can use normal black rice instead, however, the resulting texture will be quite different.
I soaked my sticky rice for about 5 hours, because this allows it to cook much faster and it results in a better pudding texture. Then the soaked rice is boiled in water until it becomes soft but still chewy. I’ve seen many people boil their rice in coconut milk, but using only water also works well and produces a lighter, healthier dish. It’s also the traditional Thai way.
It is very important to add the sugar once the rice is cooked until soft and chewy. If not, the sugar will cause the rice to become hard.
Black rice is high in nutritional value and is a source of antioxidants (more than blueberries!), iron, dietary fiber and vitamin E. This, and also the substitution of coconut milk with water, makes coconut black rice pudding a satisfying, healthy dessert. I love having mine cold, but it is traditionally eaten warm. The drizzle of salted coconut milk is definitely recommended. The salt in the coconut milk balances all the flavors in your pudding and binds everything together very well.
You need quite some time to make this, soaking, washing, cooking the rice and all. But if you do have some extra time and are looking for a creamy, hearty dessert, this is the one for you!
- 1 cup Thai black rice
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Measure rice, rinse and cover with water. Let soak overnight or for at least 5 hours. Drain and rinse well again.
- In a medium-sized pot, combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook covered, stirring frequently until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Stir in sugar and taste. You may add more sugar if you'd like.
- Simmer for a couple more minutes or until pudding has desired texture. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Combine full-fat coconut milk, sugar and salt.
- Stir until sugar and salt have completely dissolved.
- Drizzle over warm rice pudding. Enjoy!
- If you decide to make this without soaking rice beforehand, cooking time will be longer and more liquid will be needed. If you can remember to soak the grains the night before you are going to make the pudding, it will save you a lot of time.