Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Thai Black Jasmine Rice Pudding with Toasted Coconut and Palm Sugar Candied Mango

     Bubur Pulut Hitam!
     Black Rice Pudding is popular throughout Asia, especially in Malaysia and the Philippines.  Black Rice Pudding is traditionally served for breakfast, but it can be offered as dessert.  
     There are a few varieties of Black Rice.  Some varieties have long grains with a fair percentage of brown colored rice grain in the mixture.  Thai Black Jasmine Rice is a short grain variety that is jet black, with no brown grains of rice mixed in.  Thai Black Jasmine Rice is full of nutrients and it has a high protein content.  Black Jasmine Rice is one of the healthiest "ancient super grains" that there is.   
     Thai Black Jasmine Rice stains a deep maroon color, so it has always been sought after by royalty.  Centuries ago, Black Jasmine Rice was called "Emperor's Rice or Forbidden Rice."  Only emperors were allowed to eat Black Jasmine Rice and the general public was banned from eating the forbidden rice.  In modern times, Thai Black Jasmine Rice is sometimes marketed by the name Forbidden Rice or Emperor's Black Rice.  It can be found in Asian food markets or specialty food markets.
     Palm Sugar is required for most Asian style Black Rice Pudding recipes.  Palm Sugar is used extensively in Thai cuisine and other cuisines of Southeast Asia.  Brown Sugar will not produce the same flavor.  Palm Sugar can be found in Asian food markets.
     Coconut Milk is also part of today's recipe and unsweetened coconut milk is best.  For the garnish, sun dried mango was used.  There are so many mangos harvested during mango season, that a large percentage of mango is dried for later use.  Dried Mango is very dense, but after simmering it becomes very tender and it takes on a candied fruit texture when cooked with sugar.

     *The toasted coconut and candied mango garnish can be made while the rice simmers! 

     Toasted Coconut:
     This recipe yields 2 petite garnish portions.
     Place 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut on a small baking pan.
     Place the pan in a 300ºF oven.
     Bake till the shredded coconut is lightly toasted and crisp.  
     Set the toasted coconut aside in a small container.

     Palm Sugar Candied Mango:
     This recipe yields 2 garnish portions.
     Dried mango slices are available at Asian food markets and Latino food markets.  Several varieties of Palm Sugar can be found in Asian food markets.
     Step 1:  Place 2 slices of dried mango in a small sauce pot.  
     Add 2 cups of water.
     Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
     Step 2:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer the dried mango slices till they become tender.
     Step 3:  Remove the mango slices from the liquid.
     *Leave the pot of mango flavored water on the heat.
     Cut the softened dried mango slices into strips and return them to the pot.
     Step 4:  Add 1 small pinch of cinnamon.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of palm sugar.
     Simmer and reduce till a thick candy syrup is formed.
     Keep the palm sugar candied mango warm on a stove top.  (The excess thick syrup will be poured over the rice pudding.)
     Thai Black Jasmine Rice Pudding:
     This recipe yields about 2 1/4 cups.  (2 portions) 
     The rice has to be overcooked and very soft for this recipe.  The rice can be soaked in a refrigerator overnight or it can be simmered for an extended time.
     Pandan Leaves and Kewra Extract both come from a tropical tree that is like a predecessor of palm trees.  Pandan is used extensively as a seasoning in Southeast Asia as an aromatic herb.  It can be found frozen, fresh or dried in Asian markets.  Kewra Extract is very strong, so only use a little bit!  If none can be found, then skip this ingredient.  The black rice pudding will still have plenty of flavor!  
     Step 1:  Place 3/4 cup of black jasmine rice in a small sauce pot.
     Add 3 cups of water.
     Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.
     Step 2:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 1 whole Pandan Leaf (or 1/8 teaspoon of Kewra Extract).  (optional)
     Simmer till the rice is very tender and soft.  
     *Do not cover the pot with a lid.  Add water if the liquid drops below the level of rice. 
     Step 3:  When the rice becomes tender, simmer and reduce till most of the excess liquid evaporates.
     Step 4:  Remove and discard the Pandan Leaf.
     Add 1 1/4 cups of coconut milk.
     Add 3 tablespoons of palm sugar.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice.
     Step 5:  Gently simmer and reduce till a thick rice pudding is formed.  Be sure to stir and mash the black rice pudding often, so it gains a smooth thick texture.
     Keep the black rice pudding warm over very low heat.

     Thai Black Jasmine Rice Pudding with Toasted Coconut and Palm Sugar Candied Mango:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Place about 1 cup of the warm Thai Black Jasmine Rice Pudding in a tall stemmed parfait glass.
     Place a few Palm Sugar Candied Mango Strips on top of the black rice pudding.
     Pour 1 teaspoon of the mango flavored palm sugar candy syrup over the pudding.
     Place a small mound of the toasted coconut on the black rice pudding.

     Thai Black Jasmine Rice Pudding is a great tasting dessert and it is nice for breakfast! 

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