Fragrant Tropical Black Rice Pudding from the Instant Pot™
Black rice comes together with mango, coconut and a hint of cardamom to make a rich, exotic pudding filled with healthy goodness. Best of all, the Instant Pot™ makes its preparation super quick and easy.
I’ll never forget the first time I actually saw black rice in the supermarket. It was when we lived in Abidjan, right after the post-election crisis. Because of the months of trouble in the country, supermarket shelves were much barer than usual. I suspect that’s why the black rice jumped out at me.
It looked so exotic. I wanted to use it, but had no idea how. Needless to say, my dreams of preparing black rice took a back seat to helping my family settle into life in Côte d’Ivoire.
Fast forward a few years. We’re now back in Johannesburg, where black rice has been creeping up on supermarket shelves for a while. I finally decided I HAD to take the plunge!
So, I dove in head first, and I’m sure this recipe will be the first of many. But, before we get to the recipe, I have to tell you a little about the fascinating history of black (forbidden) rice.
About Forbidden Rice
Yes. You heard me right. Forbidden rice. This is the unusual moniker assigned to black rice, an ancient grain that’s been grown in Asia for thousands of years.
When its incredible health benefits were discovered in ancient China, there was a run on this beautiful grain. Thus, the emperor forbade its preparation or consumption outside the royal household. Henceforth, black rice became known as “forbidden rice.”
Regardless of what you think of the emperor’s policy, forbidden rice is one of the healthiest grains you can consume. Compared to other rice varieties, it is very high in protein, fibre, and powerful antioxidants, particularly anthocyanin.
Black rice contains more anthocyanin than any other grain. This is an antioxidant which bas been proven to:
- Help prevent cardiovascular disease;
- Protect the body from cancers caused by free radical damage;
- Improve brain function; and
- Reduce inflammation.
Forbidden rice also helps the body detoxify. Modern science has backed up Chinese medicine which says that forbidden rice detoxifies the liver, eliminating toxic build up. It also helps keep the digestive system healthy and is a natural blood purifier.
As healthy as black rice is, you will want to eat it more often. Dessert seems like a pretty good place to start. We normally think of dessert as the unhealthy part of the meal. So, black rice can make us feel better about indulging our sweet tooth from time to time!
About the Recipe
Since forbidden rice is a whole grain, it takes time to cook properly. Thus, the Instant Pot™ is the ideal tool to make the task easier. Pop the rice and water into the pot and let it do all the heavy lifting for you. What could be easier?
I have intentionally kept the recipe very simple. This fragrant rice pudding is a healthy, fuss-free dessert that can be served warm or cold — depending on the season and your own tastes.
I used mangoes to top the pudding, because they’re in season at the moment and mango and coconut are a match made in heaven. However, I would encourage you to use any juicy flavourful fruit that’s in season where you live.
I am hoping that you will be able to use this recipe as a template to create myriad rice puddings using black rice and your Instant Pot™. So, please feel free to vary the seasonings and the flavours according to your own tastes. Please share your inventions in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
Most of all, I hope you and your family enjoy this beautiful dessert in excellent health. Bon appétit!