This rice pudding is so delicious it should be forbidden, but it actually has zero cholesterol and is quite a healthy dish thanks to Coconut milk. In the East, it’s often eaten for breakfast.
Rather, the name of the dish refers to the type of rice used: a black rice called “Forbidden Rice”. Some say the name originated in ancient China, where only emperors were allowed to eat this rice due to its rarity and high nutritional value.
And it does pack a nutritional punch: low in fat, high in anthocyanin antioxidants (similar to blueberries but a lot cheaper), along with amino acids, iron, zinc, copper, carotene, protein and roughly the same amount of fibre as brown rice, but with a sweeter and nuttier taste. During the cooking process, it starts out black and becomes a deep purple. And as it’s grown locally in Italy, it also earns enviro-points.
Either way, the ingredients are simple, the cooking process easy and the taste more-ish. It’ll have you sneaking spoonfuls at midnight.
Ingredients for 4 people
- Half a cup of black “Forbidden Rice”
- 1 and a half cups of cold water
- 1 quarter of a cup of brown sugar
- 200 ml of coconut milk (stirred)
- Pinch of salt to taste
- Optional: you can add cinnamon, cardamom, golden sultanas or really anything that grabs your fancy during the initial boiling process to add extra oomph.
Bring the rice, water and a pinch of salt to boil in a heavy-based saucepan, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to simmer for 45 minutes until the rice is cooked, but the mixture should still be wet. Add the sugar, coconut milk and possibly a sprinkle more of salt to deepen the flavours (taste it first). Bring the mixture to boil again, then reduce the heat and simmer for around 30 mins until you reach your desired consistency. Then allow the mixture to cool and refrigerate.
You can serve it with nuts sprinkled on top for breakfast, or with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream, or as mentioned above sneak spoonfuls whenever the craving grabs you.