Pulut Hitam: Discover this Exotic Malaysian Rice Pudding

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Trying this dish will be like running into an old friend who has been living abroad and comes to visit, bringing along a piece of the world with him. This is because this dessert is basically a rice pudding, an old favorite. And this means one thing: that it’s simple, healthy, and indeed, delicious! What makes it special is that it is made using slightly different ingredients: for one thing, this is a black rice pudding. Actually, Pulut Hitam means black rice in Malay—that explains a lot— and is combined with coconut milk to make a typical Malaysian dessert.


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Back to basics

Today, almost half of the world’s population have rice as their main source of food. There is no country where rice is not cooked. Still, 90% of the rice produced in the world comes from Asia, staying faithful to its origins. Let’s take a minute to go where it all started.

Southeast Asia, 10,000 years ago. That’s where rice was born. And there, quite near the Equator, we can find Malaysia, where rice is flavored by a multicultural heritage. Various cooking styles meet here, having dishes that range from side dishes of rice steamed in coconut milk to staples cooked in a wok using a rich combination of spices.

The spreading of rice from Asia to the rest of the world has left us innumerable rice recipes to enjoy in different situations. However, we should not forget where it comes from—we may be missing a fascinating experience for our palates.

Black is the new black

Did you know? There are more than 40,000 varieties of rice—we are never getting bored of it! Without further ado, today we are introducing black rice. Also called black glutinous rice, it is highly rich in nutrients. We are talking about really healthy food here: essential aminoacids, vitamins like folic acid, dietary minerals like iron… the list goes on and on. Besides, and quite unexpectedly if we think about its name, it’s gluten-free.

Don’t spend all your money on blueberries! Or do it if you may, but not because you need to feed some antioxidants into your body—black rice is the inexpensive solution for that. Now you know, you don’t need to pay a small fortune to eat healthy!

Last but not least: the flavor. It is entirely different from white rice. Nutty and mild, black rice is perfect for both sweet and savory dishes. You can get the most out of it by dry roasting it: you’ll get a much more intense flavor.

Seems like the perfect ingredient, right? Keep reading to learn how to use it in a meal.

How to make Pulut Hitam

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp black glutinous rice (soaked overnight).
  • 3⅓  (800 ml) water.
  • 2.5 oz (70 g) rock sugar.
  • 1 oz (30 g) palm sugar.
  • 2 pandan leaves.
  • Coconut milk to taste (optional).
  • A pinch of salt (optional).

Preparation

  1. Preparation starts 6 to 8 hours before the moment you are planning to cook this recipe: soak the black rice, ideally overnight.
  2. Pour the water in a pan and bring it to a boil with the pandan leaves to add a fragrance. Reduce heat and cook the rice until it expands. We are looking for a porridge-like texture, so you should cook for 30 minutes, but not more.
  3. Once the rice is puffed up, add sugar bit by bit. Taste it to try to control the sweetness.
  4. Serve it in a bowl and add the coconut milk. Easy-peasy.

Tips

  • Add some corn flour to make it slightly thicker than usual.
  • You may use any other kind of sugar: white or raw sugar will do. However, palm and rock sugar are highly recommended because their sweetness is milder, contrasting the strong flavor of coconut milk.
  • You may serve this dessert either cold or hot, in summer or winter. If you want to serve it cold, you can prepare it the night before: when it’s ready, let it chill and then put it in the fridge.
  • If you want to try something different, try using ice-cream instead of coconut milk.
  • Adding coconut milk is a fun ritual. If you have guests, let them be the ones to add it to the bowl!
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About Kristin

Master reviewer of all types of products. Love XL Fountain Sodas!! Cheer Mom extraordinaire. Socialite to all things small town and founder of ItsFreeAtlast.com. Come socialize and connect with me.

Comments

  1. Kelly l Woods says

    Thank you for sharing. This sounds interesting!

  2. Tami Vollenweider says

    I make rice pudding all the time but this seems so unusual,by the color of the rice! It’s really for my husband so hw would be the one eating it! To me as along as it taste as good as what I make I would try it!

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