Black rice is a relatively new product in the Turkish market. I learned about this product as I was researching on Thai cuisine, which I am relatively less informed on compared to other world cuisines. I found out that there was this Thai rice pudding dessert made with black rice and coconut milk. About 5 or 6 years ago coconut milk was not a product we could easily access on the market. So I thought why not try incorporating this black rice into our Turkish style rice pudding aka ‘sütlaç’? And so I did. The result? Just plain delicious! Everyone in the family gave it a thumbs up. For us, this turned out to be an extraordinary dessert, with an enchanting color and a silky smooth texture into which the cooked black rice added an extra bite and nice nutty flavor.
By the time I started sharing my recipes here on my blog, coconut milk had become an easily available product on the market, which led me to make a new version of this pudding using coconut milk and replacing the sugar with honey, as a natural sweetener instead. Those of you who wish to try the vegan and sugarfree version of this dessert should take notice of the ingredients in brackets, but the rest is exactly the same.
To conclude, I decided to name this dessert “Emperor’s Black Venus Rice Pudding” because honestly speaking ‘black rice’ doesn’t sound too appetizing in Turkish! Also I figured this name would be eligible because according to history books, in ancient times this very valuable product, which is rich in magnesium and iron, and contains antioxidants among its other health benefits, was reserved for the Emperor and members of the royal family in China, where it originates from.
- 400 ml water
- 80 gr (about 1/3 cup) black rice
- 1 liter (4 cups) milk (or coconut milk)
- 150 gr (¾ cup) granulated or caster sugar ( or about 1/3 cup honey or other natural sweetener)
- 40 gr (a little less than 1/4 cup) rice flour
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
Step by step method
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- Wash rice thoroughly under running cold water. Place into a pot with 400 ml of hot water, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to low and cook with lid ajar for about 30 minutes or until rice has become tender and almost all of the water has evaporated.
- When rice is cooked take pot off heat and leave to cool a little for 5-10 minutes. Then add milk (or coconut milk) and place pot on medium heat again. The milk will change color and turn into a lilac or dusty rose sort of tone.
- In a medium bowl combine rice flour, sugar and corn starch. Add about 1/4 cup of water and mix well to make a slurry. Add to the milk and rice mixture and continue to stir mixture. (If you are using other sweeteners in liquid form such as honey, do not add into this slurry. Wait until pudding has thickened, then add in final step).
- Cook rice pudding over medium heat, constantly stirring, until it comes to a soft boil and becomes thicker. Take off heat and distribute to serving glasses or bowls. (If you are using honey as a sweetener, you should add it after you have taken pot off the heat and waited about 5 minutes).
- Leave to cool to room temperature first and then refrigerate at least 5-6 hours or preferably overnight before serving. Decorate using fresh fruit, coconut strips, blanched almonds or whatever other condiments you prefer.