“I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something. ”
Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding … with dragon fruit & rambutans, a welcome and wonderful change from the rice pudding I usually serve. As much as we love the Indian version, with saffron and pistachios, this version topped with Thai fruit was a riot of colours. Pretty … and pretty yummy too! The idea of serving it came from a Phirni Custard I had done while reviewing Everyone Can Cook by Vikas Khanna, the inspiration for the skewered fruit from a BBC recipe I had seen somwehere.
Mr PAB was on an official trip to Bangkok and enjoyed a whole slew of Thai fruit at the hotel there. I love Thai fruit, so bright and colourful, and full of flavour. It costs an arm and a leg to buy them here, so I was pleasantly surprised when he arrived laden with bags of fruit.
Enjoy them as is was pretty much how the plan was going. Some shots later, the daughter looked aghast that I ‘wasn’t doing anything’ with them! “Aren’t you going to make ‘something’ with them? How can we just eat them all?” I had no plans at the time, but soon after the head was buzzing!Baking wasn’t in my line of thought but something more fun certainly was. One of my most pinned images from the Vanilla & Strawberry Macaron Trifle was a contender. Yet we needed dessert the same night! The jelly would have to wait since it needed an overnight set. Rice pudding seemed plenty more tangible.
SUCH FUN! In line with Thai fruit, I added some coconut milk to the rice pudding, and lemongrass and ginger juice for flavours. Beautiful undertones of a tropical rice pudding teased the palette in every spoonful … mild, gentle, addictive!
If you love the gentle flavours of coconut milk, this creamy make ahead rice pudding is for you. If you have time, then maybe infuse the milk with lemon grass and ginger the night before. Strain and use. Or if you haven’t had time to think and plan like me, make a tight little bundle of lemon grass, grate and squeeze out the ginger juice…The Indian rice pudding is traditionally a vegetarian, eggless dessert option. It’s creamy with beautiful texture. Gluten free too. This version, the Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding is a wonderful make ahead dessert option. Can be set in pudding bowls or serving glasses a day or two in advance. Top it with fruit the same day else the fruit tends to lose its shine and appeal!
The basic recipe is pretty generic. For Indian flavours, you could skip the lemongrass and ginger. Use cardamom powder and saffron instead. The latter reminds me of a stunning Saffron Caramel Panna Cotta I made a while ago. That’s another great make ahead dessert option.
Rambutans are similar to the Indian litchi, just a little firmer. The outer covering of course grabs your eyeballs. Amazing colours! The dragon fruit is another story altogether. I could stare at it all day long. The fruit of a cactus plant, in many ways it seems unreal!
If the outer appearance is mesmerising, just cut through the fruit and be ready for magic! For me, it was a trip back to 101 Dalmatians! I fell in love with the black and white interiors, and the pretty pink contrasting inner membrane. An explosion of colours, nature that mesmerises, black and white that pleases! Wow!!
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