Forbidden rice sounds so mysterious. Despite the name, it was easy to find at the grocery store, sitting among all the other types of rice. However, at one time this was not the case. In the past, this ancient grain was eaten only by the Emperors of China, who believed it ensured longevity and improved health. In fact, it is a healthy whole grain, high in iron and an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which is believed to prevent disease.
Although I chose to make a dessert, this nutty heirloom rice would also make a wonderful savory dish, whether steamed and served plain, in a pilaf or a salad. And while the forbidden rice appears black, it is actually a deep purple, turning broths a stunning violet hue.
Using coconut milk and fresh mango, this forbidden rice pudding is slightly sweet, with a nutty bite and tropical flare. It can be served either warm or cold, so it is an easy dessert to make ahead of time.
Forbidden Rice Mango Pudding
- 1 1/2 C forbidden rice (black glutinous rice – not wild rice)
- 3 C water
- 1 C light coconut milk
- 1/4 C sugar
- 1 medium mango, peeled and chopped (about 1 C)
Rinse rice until water runs clear. Place rice and water into a medium saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for around 25 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Mix in coconut milk and sugar and cook, uncovered, for 10-15 more minutes. Remove from heat and either serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. Serve with chopped mango.