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 and using dairy milk/non-dairy milk.
This version is 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
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)
- Pour 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.
- Warm up the milk and then add 1/4 cup of basmati rice .
- Next add around 3 split cardamoms to the milk/rice mixture and heat until it is nearly boiling.
- Turn down the heat & simmer. This pudding needs to be stirred often to avoid the milk and rice sticking to the pan
- Continue simmering until the milk had reduced, the rice is cooked & mashes easily.
- At this stage, the pudding has thickened and is almost ready. With a hand blender, lightly blend the pudding to break up the rice but be careful not to over blend and lose the texture of rice.
- Next I stir 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, you could use maple syrup, honey, date, syrup, pureed fruit, palm sugar or coconut sugar.
- If the pudding is too thick then just add a little more coconut milk. Check to taste and make any adjustments if required.
At this stage the pudding is great to eat warm but it can also be served chilled. When the pudding cools down it will thicken a bit more.
There's so many ways to garnish this pudding. You could use some toasted coconut, chopped nuts, pre-soaked dried fruits, a fruit puree or fresh fruit.
A delicious gluten and lactose-free dessert.