I frequently tear out recipes from the local paper, The Roanoke Times. I sometimes make those recipes. Occasionally I make the recipe BEFORE the paper yellows and becomes brittle. This recipe is for rice pudding, which is a perennial favorite. The twist is that it is made with black rice.
Black rice was first cultivated in China and was once considered so nutritious and so rare that it was reserved for the emperor. Forbidden for all others. I found it at a local Kroger, so it must no longer be very rare.
I thought it looked exactly like wild rice. So I got some out and compared them. The black rice on the right is shorter and more compact than the wild rice on the left
Regular rice pudding is sort of bland, but the Black Rice Pudding has a nutty flavor and is more chewy. When you cook it, the milk turns a pretty purple color.
Forbidden Rice Pudding
1/2 cup forbidden rice ( Chinese black rice )
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups whole milk, divided use
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 large cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon vanilla
chopped crystallized ginger for garnish
Combine the rice and water in a medium sauce pan.
Boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove form the heat and let it stand for a few minutes. I didn't have any excess water, but if there is, pour the rice through a strainer and return the rice to the pan.
Add 2 cups of the milk, the sugar, the cinnamon stick and a pinch of salt.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 40 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes or so.
When the 40 minutes are almost up, beat the eggs and the remaining 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl. Take a large spoon of the rice mixture and whisk it in to the egg mixture. Do it again. And then one more time. You are trying to temper the egg mixture so that when you combine them, you don't have scrambled eggs in your rice pudding. This would be bad.
Add the tempered egg mixture to the rice and milk. Cook over medium low heat until the pudding thickens a bit, enough to coat the back of the spoon. It will take about 4 or 5 minutes. Do not let the pudding boil....more scrambled eggs...more bad...
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Carefully pour the pudding into a bowl and chill for at least 2 hours. It will thicken a bit more in the refrigerator. What is that lump? Oh, yeah. The cinnamon stick. Leave it in until you serve, then remove it.
Serve the pretty, purple rice pudding in a bowl with the crystallized ginger. I added a bit of Cool Whip, just for fun. And, by the way, don't skimp on the ginger. It took a nice, nutty rice pudding and made it really good.