The black bran on black rice turns the water it is cooked in a deep purplish black, or milk a lovely shade of lavender gray. For this pudding, begin with soft-cooked black rice, Not all black rice needs to be soaked before cooking. If you use the Chinese Forbidden Rice from Lotus Foods (which is less sticky than some black rices and available in better supermarkets) or some brands of Thai black rice, it will be tender in 35 minutes and very soft in 50 minutes without soaking. Sticky, found mostly at Asian grocers, may need to be soaked for several hours before cooking. Cooking black rice might seem like a lot of trouble, but this exotic rice, with its haunting aromatic flavor, is worth it—especially when used to make this irresistibly creamy pudding.
- One 14½-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (see Notes)
- ¾ cup (approximately) half and half or heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups soft-cooked black rice (see Notes)
- 2 ripe mangoes
- ½ cup unsweetened dried coconut, toasted (see Notes)
- 2 tablespoons brown sesame seeds, optional
1. Pour the coconut milk into a 2-cup measure; whisk to blend the solid coconut cream with the liquid coconut milk. Add enough half-and-half to equal 2 cups. Whisk to blend.
2. Combine the coconut milk mixture, sugar, and salt in a deep saucepan; heat to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching. Ladle out 1 cup and reserve to serve as a sauce.
3. Add the rice to the saucepan; heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook, stirring often to prevent sticking and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a steady simmer, until the pudding is very thick, about 10 minutes or more depending on the rice. Add more cream, if needed. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
4. Cut the mangoes just to the left and the right of the flat center pits. Peel the skin from the two cheeks. Place the cut sides down and cut crosswise into ½-inch-wide slices.
5. To serve the pudding, spoon a mound onto each dessert plate. Fan the mango slices and arrange on the side of each plate. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and/or sesame seeds. Pass a pitcher of the reserved sweetened coconut milk mixture to drizzle on top of the pudding, if desired.
CREAMY WHITE RICE PUDDING WITH COCONUT MILK AND MANGO. Substitute 2 cups cooked Thai jasmine rice for the cooked black rice.
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings.