As a mum, I feel like I spend all my life preparing food. As a food blogger, I feel like I spend all my time thinking about food. There's barely a second that goes by when I'm not doing one or the other, so much so that some would call me obsessed. I do. But believe it or not, it's not often I cook something that makes me jump of my seat, it's that good.
This people, is one of those dishes.
Creamy rice pudding with a touch of rose water, citrusy sweet date compote and crunchy green flecks sprinkled over top for a little added drama. What's not to like?!
Admittedly I have played around with the recipe somewhat, okay actually quite a lot. But someone needed to convert this to dairy-free eh? I also cut the sugar in half, completely omitting it from the date compote. I find dates are more than sweet enough for me, just as they are. And if I'd had more than a few tablespoons of brown rice syrup left in my jar I would have used that as the sweetener, making it cane sugar-free too. Maybe next time.
Now I've made many a rice pudding in my time, but adding cornflour was a first for me! It gives such a beautiful creaminess to the dish and body that can sometimes be lacking in rice pudding. The book suggests you serve it chilled but just between you and me, ahem, and speaking from personal experience, it's perfect straight from the pot, at room temperature and chilled. Just so you know...
creamy coconut rice pudding with date compote
As I've mentioned before most tinned coconut cream and milk contain some really nasty additives. Read the labels (even on 'organic' ones) and make sure the ingredients list reads only pure coconut kernel extract and water. I use Ayam brand premium coconut milk and cream, or TCC brand coconut milk (contains citric acid too, but I reckon that's okay) available at most supermarkets (I buy mine at Coles). I always avoid buying 'light' versions and if you read the label you'll see why.
- 3 tablespoon (gluten-free) cornflour (corn starch)
- 1/2 cup (125ml) water
- 2 x 400ml tins natural coconut milk
- 400ml water, extra
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla paste (or 1 scraped vanilla pod)
- 1 cup (200g) short-grain rice (I used arborio), soaked in cold water for at least 2-4 hours or overnight, drained
- 1/2 cup (100g) natural raw sugar
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- 1 cup (160g) pitted dried dates, chopped roughly
- 1/2 cup (125ml) orange juice
- 1/2 cup (125ml) water
- zest of half a orange
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped, to garnish
Combine the cornflour and water in a small bowl and stir to dissolve, then set aside.
In a large heavy-based saucepan combine the coconut milk, extra 400ml of water and vanilla paste. Bring to the boil, then add the drained rice. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring often until the rice is tender and the mixture has thickened. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Pour in the cornflour mixture and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the rosewater.
To make the date compote put all the ingredients except for the pistachios into a small saucepan. Bring the the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook stirring often for 3-4 minutes, using the back of a spoon to gently press the dates against the side of the pan to help break them down until the dates for a paste. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
To serve, spoon rice pudding into glass cups or small bowls, cover and chill if you prefer or serve the pudding warm or room temperature, topped with a spoonful of date compote and a sprinkling of chopped pistachios.