It may seem like I'm suffering withdrawal symptoms for all the sweet delights of Paris with this post. Seriously that's not it, it's because I have a bag of sticky black rice from Bali that needs to be tackled. I've seen this dish often labelled as a breakfast option but I much prefer it as a dessert as it is quite sweet. I like to think of it as the Asian version of rice pudding. For the longest time I had this love affair with the Greek Rice pudding that you get from the supermarket, comfort in a plastic container. Now I can stop fretting and include this wholegrain dessert in our repertoire. This version is a lot sexier too. Who can resist plump dark purple grains topped with coconut cream and a touch of lime, want to come to my place? Well if you came there probably won't be any left as it does not last beyond 2 days.
If you can snag a bag of these grains from Bali then you're in for a splendid treat as I think that they are far superior, they are sometimes labelled as Indonesian black rice. They aren't really black more like a dark purple, you will notice this more after soaking the grains. Black glutinous rice from Thailand will work just as well. The rice requires overnight soaking and the can of full cream coconut milk needs to be popped in the fridge the night before to allow for the separation of solids. I use a Thai brand for the milk as it seems to separate easily compared with other brands.
Black Sticky Rice & Coconut Cream
1 cup black glutinous/sticky rice
8 cups of water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split
220g coconut cream plus 1 tbsp milk (from 1x 400ml can of Thai full cream coconut milk, placed in fridge overnight)
1 tbsp lime juice and grated zest of 1 lime
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp kudzu or cornflour
1-2 bananas, optional, for serving
Soak the rice with the lemon juice overnight. Use a large stainless steel pot as the rice can easily stain your kitchenware. The next day drain and wash the rice, removing any stones etc. Then add 8 cups of water, the salt and the vanilla bean. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 1 hour. At which time most of the water will be absorbed by the rice, turn off the heat and leave to sit for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean, add the coconut palm sugar and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Leave to cool.
Whilst the rice is cooking, remove the can of coconut milk from the fridge. Open and remove the solid mass, you should get about 220g. Keep 1 tbsp coconut milk aside and reserve the rest for smoothies. Place the cream in a saucepan and gently heat. Mix 1 tbsp of Kudzu with the 1 tbsp coconut milk. Once the cream is a smooth consistency, stir and add the kudzu mix. The mixture will thicken considerably, continue to stir for up to 2 minutes. Then remove to a heat proof bowl, add the lime juice and maple syrup. Combine and place covered in the fridge to cool.
Once the rice has cooled, spoon into bowls or glasses/jars and top with a generous dollop of coconut cream. Sprinkle with lime zest and slices of banana if using. Makes about 4 portions.