Dawn News

Dessert for the calorie-conscious

Photo Courtesy: Harini Prakash

Rice pudding is a universally loved dish and every country has its own variant. In India and Pakistan it is popularly known as kheer which though tasty, is also very sweet and contains copious amounts of full fat milk. The Western variation comes with a generous dose of cream and eggs in addition to the milk. The healthiest among the lot is the Thai version which is made with coconut milk. This is well suited for weight watchers as an occasional serving is definitely not as calorific as other versions. It has a fairly lower quantity of sugar and no cream, eggs or milk. Traditional Thai pudding is topped with mangoes, which I love to add when in season but during other times of the year, I prefer seasonal fruits, either poached or roasted.

The following recipe includes a topping my son loves best – candied dried fruits. Each variation comes with its own novelty. Do try them all, it won’t fail your expectations!

Coconut milk pudding Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients:

For the pudding:

Rice (long grain) – ½ cup Water – 1 cupCoconut milk (first extract if fresh or half a can if using store-bought) – ¾ cup + ½ cupGranulated sugar – ¼ cup Vanilla stick – ½ stick, slit horizontally and scraped directly

For the topping:

Toasted cashew nuts and almonds, chopped into small bits – 3-4 tbsp. Sugar – 3 tbsp. Water – A little, to melt the sugar

Method:

The pudding:

Soak rice for 3 hours. Drain well and pound coarsely so that the grains become half their size.

Boil water and add the pounded rice. Cook until water is absorbed.

Add ¾ cup coconut milk, sugar and scrape vanilla seeds (or you may substitute with vanilla extract) into the pan.

Cook further, stirring well so that the mixture is evenly distributed throughout, until the milk is absorbed.

The topping:

Heat a saucepan with sugar and water, just enough to melt the sugar. When the sugar melts, add toasted nuts and keep stirring until the nuts are well coated with sugar and the pan becomes dry.

Serving: In a bowl, pour some of the pudding, add a few tablespoons of fresh, thick coconut milk and top with candied fruits.

*If you want specific recipes for the next blog post, feel free to suggest in the comment box below and I will try my best to accommodate your requests.

Sunshinemom aka Harini is a vegan food writer, food photographer and food stylist. To see her work, visit her blog or Flickr album.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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Comments (7) Closed



NESTLE'
Mar 15, 2011 02:15pm
Any way to make it suitable for the diabetic???/
Aamnah Khan
Mar 15, 2011 04:08pm
Eating good desserts is a guilty pleasure of mine.Thank you for sharing a low-caloric one. For the next blog please add pancakes with semonila/wheat flour/bran flakes or oats rather than flour as the main ingredient and anything properly healthy with easily available ingredients for breakfast delights.
Amna
Mar 15, 2011 04:59pm
It is really tantalizing recipe, I would love to try it. Please write few more low-caloric recipes.
Humera
Mar 15, 2011 07:30pm
It looks good though :) However, I am confused with the water and coconut milk ratio? what about pounding the boiled rice instead of pounding before boiling?
kinza haider
Mar 15, 2011 08:36pm
i have to come in at this stage because i absolutely disagree with Harini. All Palm associated products are declared as saturated fats (animal fat type, although they are derived from the plant) contrary to the unsaturated fats which are from non animal products. so coconut milk itself is a very heavy type of fat for your body compared to cow milk that it had to be put in saturated fats category. i had already done my search on that and the max amount of fat in cow milk which we can call full fat milk is 3.5% whereas its 17% for coconut milk! so obviously cow milk is much better compared to coconut milk. this coconut milk is highly enriched with oil content and sugar which gives it such a nice flavor! So for the 'Nestle' user, its not for you if your diabetic (God forbid).
kinza haider
Mar 15, 2011 08:37pm
please read my comment above!
KPI
Mar 17, 2011 03:14pm
Hi, Kinza. You are absolutely right! It is a very unhealthy option.