For dessert at our final dinner in Malaysia, we were served a warm rice pudding, accompanied by sliced papaya. It was the perfect ending to three weeks of lip smacking.
Although the main ingredient, black glutinous rice, may be hard to find, the dessert is very simple to prepare. And you can’t beat it for unusual appeal–how often do you eat something so dark purple, it’s black?
A Vegan, Whole-Grain Dessert
If that isn’t reason enough to try it, assuage your guilt by knowing it is actually a whole grain, full of fiber and vitamins from the bran and germ, which are left on. While not as tacky as white glutinous or sticky rice, the grains have a chewy, nutty flavor that is perfectly offset by the accompanying salted coconut milk.
Look for black glutinous rice in Asian markets. I was ecstatic to find it in Chinatown, Honolulu, and I jumped right in, testing and concocting, to develop this recipe.
In Malaysia, a pandan leaf is often added to enhance the aroma, and palm sugar or a combination of palm and white sugar are used. To my non-Malaysian palate, omitting the pandan leaf and substituting brown sugar were not offensive. On the contrary; this is going to become one of my favorite desserts.
Alina’s Bubur Pulot Hitam,
Sticky Black Rice Pudding
1 can coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 c glutinous black rice
2-1/4 cups water
6 TBS brown sugar
Combine coconut milk and salt. Stir to dissolve salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Combine rice and water in a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and cook on medium-high for about 30 minutes, until water is absorbed and grains are tender.
Check near the end of the cooking time to be sure it doesn’t burn, and add a small amount of water if necessary. Older rice needs longer cooking time and will absorb more water.
Remove from heat. Leave covered and let sit 10 minutes.
Add brown sugar; mix well. Set aside to let cool.
To serve, put warm (not hot) rice into a bowl. Spoon salted coconut milk over it. Serve with sliced fruits, such as papaya, mango, peaches, etc., if desired.