I thank Thai cuisine for a black rice pudding, which recently came into my life and often appears on my breakfast table these days. I made slight adjustment in the recipe by serving it warm immediately after cooking. That is why I call it rather porridge than pudding.
The first time I faced black rice was in Italy. I have noticed it accidentally in a small shop and I was curious. I have bought it and brought back home. It was forgotten in my kitchen for some time being lost among other grains, but when I came across it again, I decided to finally cook something, and the black rice pudding was the first thing that came to my mind. That is how this particular product has become widely used by me for cooking and it is taking on of top places among other grains on the shelf.
What is black rice and why is it so special?
Black rice is quite rare, because it is quite difficult to grow in terms of yield, which often reaches 10% of other varieties of rice. It is occasionally called “emperor’s rice” or “forbidden rice”, because in early Chinese dynastic times, it was given to the emperor as a treatment due to it health benefits. People were not allowed to eat or use the rice and it became known as a tribute food.
NUTRIENTS AND BENEFITS
The nutritional value of black rice is superior comparing to its white and brown relatives. Black rice is a source of vitamins and minerals and also good source of antioxidants, especially anthocyanin, which prevents free radical damage in the body and protects against heart diseases, inflammation and cancer. This antioxidant profile is similar to purple colored foods such as blueberries, grapes, acai berries, eggplants and other specific kind of purple veggies and fruits as purple cauliflower, purple corn, and blood oranges.
Brown rice is 20% higher in protein comparing to white rice and 10% higher than brown rice. In terms of fiber, black rice is 8 times more rich in fiber than white rice and even 2 times than brown rice. Black rice is also a good source of Iron.
More detailed nutritional information about black rice you can read here.
When you boil black rice it gives purple color to the water and the dish becomes very funny color in the range from pink to purple. That is why the porridge is so pink in the picture 🙂 I like the effect and gastronomic pleasure goes hand in hand with aesthetic pleasure in this dish.
Black rice can be used as any other variety of rice in cooking, for example, as a side dish or risotto, as well as black rice flour can be used for bread cooking. Although, my favorite ways of cooking black rice are sweet dishes like porridge or pancakes.
Let me share with you the recipe for black rice porridge in coconut milk today. I have no doubts you will like it.
! For more servings multiply the ingredients by the number of portions.
Soak black rice and cashews overnight separately in the water. It will make the rice softer and boil faster and will take you less time to cook it in the morning.
Drain the water, where black rice was kept overnight and wash it thoroughly. Put it in the pot with whole cardamom pod and slightly cover above with the water. Boil for 20 min.
While the rice is being cooked, make the pudding for topping. Blend cashews with 1 tbsp of coconut milk and 1 date until it is smooth. Add frozen pieces of mango and blend it again all together until it has a cream consistency.
After 20 min, stir in 2 tbsp of coconut milk and coconut sugar in boiling black rice, and reduce heat to low and simmer stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and rice is tender but still slightly chewy, about 10 minutes.
When rice is ready, serve it warm or chilled topping with mango cream and shredded coconut.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with black rice using it for many other dishes.
Since black rice is very valuable for it’s nutrition, I will not stop to share just one recipe. I will post another recipe with black rice for sweet pancakes very soon.