Vanilla Coconut Rice Pudding

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

coconut rice pudding

When my sister started eating rice pudding, I was thoroughly grossed out; I couldn’t think of anything that looked more unappetizing, except maybe tapioca.  Then, a few years ago, my favorite Indian restaurant in all of Los Angeles (Anarkali, on Melrose, for those locals reading) set a little dish of rice pudding in front of me as a little complimentary sweet to end the meal with and my whole view on rice pudding changed.

Looking back, I can’t imagine why I would be turned off by a recipe that centers on my favorite spices and now rice pudding is by far one of my favorite desserts.  Dare I say, ice cream doesn’t even hold a candle to rice pudding for the cold, sweet, creamy comfort it provides.

This recipe is a little different from the normal rice pudding in that instead of using only milk, it also uses coconut milk for flavor.  It adds a gentle coconut flavor that pairs well with the vanilla bean but isn’t overwhelmingly “coconutty”, if you catch my drift.  Sprinkle with cinnamon for an additional twist of flavor and you may find yourself eating this for breakfast like I did because I just couldn’t wait until dessert later in the day!

Vanilla Coconut Rice Pudding
Adapted from Vanilla Garlic
Makes about 4 cups

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked cold Arborio rice (or 3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice + 1 cup water)
  • 1 can (15 oz) light coconut milk
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out for use, or 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  1. If you don’t have cooked rice lying around, which I didn’t, in a saucepan bring the water and rice to a boil, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for a few minutes, stirring until the water is completely absorbed.  The rice should be al dente-slightly crunchy in the middle, which will give your rice pudding more texture later.  Move the rice to a bowl and put in the fridge (or if you’re in a hurry like me, in the freezer) until it cools down.
  2. Combine the rice, coconut milk, whole milk, sugar, salt and vanilla in a large saucepan and cook, uncovered, on low-medium heat for 40 minutes.  If you want it a little thicker, cook the mixture for a bit longer.
  3. Let the mixture cool to almost room temperature (so you don’t heat up your fridge too much), then move to the refrigerator to finish chilling.  Serve cold with a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy!



Leave a Comment: