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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Black Rice Pudding A Balinese Delight

Black rice pudding is a sweet dessert to end all desserts as this one is actually very good for you, makes a change hey!
Black rice is also known as Emperor's rice here in Bulgaria. It actually turns a deep purple when you cook it, a wonderful colour. It has a very high nutritional value & According to a study presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), "one spoonful of black rice bran contains more anthocyanin antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries and better yet, black rice offers more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants, but less sugar." It is an anti inflammatory too so good for those joints. Black rice is the new cancer fighting super food!!!!!!!
It's called Emperor's rice or forbidden rice as way back in China it was only the Emperor who was allowed access to it, the commoners were banned from eating it at the risk of death because they thought it would extend their life, which as it turns out it probably did.
I found this rice in Bulgaria & tried it as I thought it looked amazing. I enjoy it as a side with curry, chicken dishes etc. it is a bit like wild rice or brown rice, very separate & not at all sticky, unlike the dessert It is lovely & nutty. I have served it to my Bulgarian friends but they didn't like it so next time I will treat them to it as a dessert, I am sure they will like it this way :D
I first came across this delight in Bali Indonesia. I tried it as I was intrigued that there was such a thing as black rice!
We were sitting in an open air restaurant, overlooking a volcano, watching the smoke whisping from the top in the heat & humidity that was January, it gets worse, amongst the rice steps & amazing views, you have to be there, experiencing tea with condensed milk. This amazing dish was served to us in a pandanus leaf dish & I promptly fell in love.
It is found all over Asia but as I have only partaken of it in Thailand & Bali, I do not know how it would be served in China. So here is my version of Black rice pudding & I will include an internet recipe for the more complicated (well for here in Bulgaria) but authentic Balinese version which if you can get the ingredients, please I beg you try it, it's truly wonderful!

Black Rice Pudding, A Stunning Visual Dessert & gorgeous too!
Here is my recipe;
1 cup of Emperors rice
1 1/2 pints of milk
2 pints water
1 tsp Ginger
390 gr Sugar add more if needed
Soak rice in the water for 6 hours. Add milk & ginger to the rice & water, bring to the boil. Turn down & simmer for 1 hour 20 mins then add the sugar & stir it well, cook for another 10 mins.
Serve with coconut & cream or, if you can get it, coconut milk/cream.
Here is a more authentic recipe, if you can get the ingredients, source: Authentic Recipes from Indonesian, Heinz von Holzen and Lother Arsana.
1 cup (200 g) uncooked black glutinous rice (see not)
¾ cup (150 g) uncooked white glutinous rice
6 cups (1 ½ liters) water
2 pandanus leaves, tied into a knot, or 1 drop pandanus extract
¼ cup (50 g) shaved palm sugar or dark brown sugar

 Pinch of salt
½ cup (125 ml) coconut cream
Rinse both types of glutinous rice in several changes of water until water runs clear, and soak overnight.
In saucepan, bring the glutinous rice, water and pandanus leaves or extrac to a boil over medium heat and simmer uncovered for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is soft and cooked, with porridge-like consistency. Discard the pandanus leaves, if using. Add the palm sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes before removing the heat.
Combine the coconut cream and salt in a bowl and mix well
To serve, spoon the pudding into individual serving bowls and top with the salted coconut cream.