Week 24: Forbidden Rice

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.

12 Comments on Week 24: Forbidden Rice

  1. Nathalie (spacedlaw)
    June 13, 2010 at 8:11 am (10 years ago)

    There is a black rice in Italy too (Venere – Venus) which can be used for risotto. I suppose I could use this one too for an intriguing rice pudding.

    • Stephanie
      June 13, 2010 at 8:48 am (10 years ago)

      I googled “venere rice” and it sounds like it’s the same thing as forbidden rice (it had the same story about being eaten exclusively by Chinese Emperors). Have you used made it before?

  2. Andrea Groves
    June 13, 2010 at 11:31 am (10 years ago)

    My dad recently went to a specialty rice store and came home with many different kinds – a black/purple rice was one of them. Since then, some has been used and transferred to a storage bag (thus losing the packaging!). So, can any black rice be sued for this recipe? I want to make the pudding, but I don’t know if the rice I have is suitable.

    • Stephanie
      June 13, 2010 at 2:21 pm (10 years ago)

      Hmm some black rice is wild rice, which I don’t think works for pudding. I’m not sure if there’s some way to tell the difference – maybe you could call the specialty store and ask? Or make a small batch of pudding and see how it turns out. Good luck!

  3. Monet
    June 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm (10 years ago)

    This rice is visually stunning. What a beautiful set of pictures. And I love mango…just pulled some mango muffins out of the oven. This looks delicious!

    • Stephanie
      June 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm (10 years ago)

      Mmmmm mango muffins! I love anything mango, but just straight up fresh mango can’t be beat. It was really great with the rice pudding.

  4. The Housewife
    June 13, 2010 at 10:35 pm (10 years ago)

    The name sounds so mysterious and exotic! It’s nice that you’ve given a bit of history behind the name and grain. I love that you’ve paired the rice with mango… there is no better pairing in my opinion! 🙂

  5. Ami
    June 17, 2010 at 8:35 am (10 years ago)

    I use this rice to make an awesome, savory salad. forbidden rice, chopped mango, diced red onion, finely chopped scallions, sprinkle of cilantro, chopped raw cashews and a lime-olive oil vinaigrette. Seriously tasty.

  6. anna
    June 17, 2010 at 9:02 am (10 years ago)

    I love forbidden rice! I haven’t done anything sweet with it but when I have some on hand I make what my boyfriend refers to as “insanity rice” with lots of lime and spices.

    In regards to the black rice/wild rice confusion in previous comments, wild rice is very easy to tell apart from real rice. It’s not rice at all and the grains are elongated and very skinny, like little needles. Forbidden rice is more short-grain rice shaped.

  7. Kevin (Closet Cooking)
    June 25, 2010 at 8:55 am (10 years ago)

    I like the sound of using forbidden rice to make a rice pudding!

  8. A
    August 5, 2010 at 4:56 am (10 years ago)

    black glutinous rice is not forbidden rice – black glutinous rice is very common in much of SE Asia, particularly in desserts (and this is one of my favourites, with lots of coconut milk over top). Forbidden rice is more of a medium-grain, with less starch. It’s not a sticky rice, and its cultivation was more restricted. You can still get it now, but the vast majority of what I find is still black glutinous rice.


1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Week 24: Forbidden Rice

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jay Terauchi, sheri. sheri said: Yum! Wanna try this one with Forbidden rice → http://bit.ly/9QOlBK RT @Chef_Jay: Monday is National Rice Pudding Day! #foodcalendar […]

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