Coconut Black Rice Pudding

Coconut Black Rice Pudding
Makes 4-6 servings
2 – 2 1/2 cups water
1 cup Thai black rice
1 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, mix 2 cups water, rice and coconut milk, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, make sure to keep a close eye, adding extra water, 1/4 cup at a time, if the rice gets too dry.

Meanwhile, toast the coconut. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes or until golden-brown, stirring once during baking.

When the rice is tender, add the sugar and salt. Simmer for a couple more minutes, or until pudding is desired texture. (Add a little more water for a looser pudding; let cook several more minutes for a drier pudding.) Taste and adjust seasoning. Spoon into individual bowls, top with toasted coconut flakes, and serve.

Additional Notes
• When making this pudding for breakfast, use 2 tablespoons of sugar for a less sweet version.

• For a richer pudding, use full-fat coconut milk. Reserve the coconut cream — the thick layer that rises to the top of the can — and use a little to top each serving before adding the toasted coconut flakes.

• You can reduce the cooking time by soaking the rice overnight before cooking. In a medium bowl, cover the rice with cold water and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Drain and proceed with the recipe, reducing the water to 1-1 1/2 cups and the cooking time to 30 minutes before adding the sugar and salt.

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