The dessert feature I did for Dawn this time is inspired from the traditional Thai sticky rice pudding – Khao niaow ma muang. Not only is this as delicious as kheer but also less calorific then a regular pudding. It is traditionally vegan, gluten free and egg free.
Rice pudding is a universally loved dish and every country has its own variant. In India and Pakistan it is popularly known as kheer which though tasty, is also very sweet and contains copious amounts of full fat milk. The Western variation comes with a generous dose of cream and eggs in addition to the milk. The healthiest among the lot is the Thai version which is made with coconut milk.
This recipe includes a topping my son loves best – candied dried fruits. Each variation comes with its own novelty. Do try them all, it won’t fail your expectations.
Recipe: Coconut milk pudding
Yield: 3 servings
For the pudding:
Rice (long grain) – ½ cup
Water – 1 cupCoconut milk (first extract if fresh or half a can if using store-bought) – ¾ cup + ½ cupGranulated sugar – ¼ cup
Vanilla stick – ½ stick, slit horizontally and scraped directly
For the topping:
Toasted cashew nuts and almonds, chopped into small bits – 3-4 tbsp.
Sugar – 3 tbsp.
Water – A little, to melt the sugar
Soak rice for 3 hours. Drain well and pound coarsely so that the grains become half their size. Boil water and add the pounded rice. Cook until water is absorbed.
Add ¾ cup coconut milk, sugar and scrape vanilla seeds (or you may substitute with vanilla extract) into the pan.
Cook further, stirring well so that the mixture is evenly distributed throughout, until the milk is absorbed.
Heat a saucepan with sugar and water, just enough to melt the sugar. When the sugar melts, add toasted nuts and keep stirring until the nuts are well coated with sugar and the pan becomes dry.
In a bowl, pour some of the pudding, add a few tablespoons of fresh, thick coconut milk and top with candied fruits.