Every culture has their own version of the comfort-food rice pudding. There are so many ways to prepare this dessert. Rice pudding may be baked, cooked over a stove, served hot/cold, made with brown/white rice, short-grain /long-grain rice, dairy milk/non-dairy milk. Phew...there are so many variations.
I'm making a vegan version made with coconut milk, basmati rice and sweetened with jaggery. Coconut adds a delicious flavour and creaminess to the pudding along with caprylic acid, capric acid and lauric acid. These medium chain fatty acids are easily broken down in the body and may be used as a source of energy by all body tissues including the brain. They are also thought to have antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties . Adding coconut to the diet is particularly beneficial for individuals with low energy, blood sugar issues or memory issues.
Jaggery made from sugar cane has a toffee-like taste and adds trace minerals like magnesium and manganese. In Ayurvedic medicine, jaggery is said to aid the clearing of mucous from the body. Go for the darker varieties, they are less refined and more mineral-rich than the lighter versions
This is a great gluten-free, lactose-free vegan dessert, perfect for my guests who happen to be vegan.
1 litre of homemade coconut milk
1/4 cup pre-soaked basmati rice
3-4 spilt cardamom pods
1/4-1/2 cup unrefined sugar (jaggery) to taste (optional)
- I poured my fresh coconut milk into a pan . If you don't have any freshly made milk then you could use canned coconut milk or make coconut milk by dissolving a block of creamed coconut in hot water and then straining.
- I warmed my milk up and then added 1/4 cup of basmati rice .
- Next I added around 3 split cardamoms to the milk/rice mixture and heated it until it was nearly boiling.
- I then turned down the heat & simmered. This pudding needs to be stirred often to avoid the milk and rice sticking to the pan
- I continued simmering until the milk had reduced, the rice was cooked & mashed easily.
- My pudding had thickened and was almost ready. With a hand blender, I lightly blended the pudding to break up the rice but was careful not to over blend and create a mush.
- At this stage if the pudding is too thick just add some more coconut milk. It will thicken further as it cools.
- Next I stirred in some jaggery (unrefined sugar) to taste. It darkens the colour a little but adds a rich taste. If you don't have any jaggery, don't worry, you could use maple syrup, honey, date, syrup, pureed fruit, palm sugar or coconut sugar.
- A quick check to test taste and it was ready.
At this stage it's great to eat warm but I'm going to serve mine chilled so I poured it into a glass dish.
There's so many ways to garnish this pudding. I could use some toasted coconut, chopped nuts, dried fruits, a fruit puree or fresh fruit.
In the end, I added some sliced strawberries.