Black rice is my new favourite ingredient. It looks so arresting and mysterious I just want to jump right in to the bowl. This variation on a favourite from my travels in Thailand many years ago is really quick and deliciously simple: rice, coconut milk, mango and rich, butterscotchy, unrefined coconut palm nectar. Exotic, cosy and beautiful all at the same time. Just as life should be?
I use Nerone black rice from UK based company Organico, it is rich and nutty and fragrant and has the perfect bite. According to them, black rice has historically been known as “forbidden rice” – making it all the more juicy to devour) – being reserved exclusively for the Chinese emperor and Imperial family to eat, who set much store by its aphrodisiac and nutritional benefits. All the more reason to whip it up, and probably why I can’t stop.
I find most good puddings and breakfasts interchangeable, and this is no exception. The best recipe I have tried is from My New Roots, I played around and added Biona coconut palm sugar and almond milk for extra depth of flavour. It holds well in the fridge overnight so if you have leftovers you don’t need to waste any. Add some extra almond or coconut milk when you reheat to keep it juicy and gloopy.
Serves 2 (or 3 if you’re more restrained)
1 cup black rice, soaked overnight or for a few hours before cooking
1 tin organic coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or a vanilla pod
A generous pinch of sea salt (pink Himalayan is great with sweet things)
1 mango, diced
1 tbsp coconut flakes
1 tbsp (or more) unrefined coconut palm sugar
A splash of nut milk
Drain and rinse your soaked rice and place in a saucepan with the whole tin of coconut milk, vanilla, salt and the 1/2 cup of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 40-45 minutes or until the rice is tender. Nerone rice retains a lovely bite so check it relatively often to make sure you’re not overdoing it. Add more water if you need.
When it is done, remove from the heat, splash with a little milk and top with mango, coconut and palm sugar. Black sesame would also look ace but I have run out.