Total Time: 60 minutes (including rice cooking time)
For the Rice Pudding Ingredients
- 1 cup brown rice, pre-soaked
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cinnamon stick, or 2
- 1 orange, whole, peeled and juiced
- 1½ coconut milk, canned, (18 oz)
- 1/8 teaspoon rosewater
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom, ground, (or 4-6 whole pods)
- 1/4 cup honey, raw unfiltered
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 ground black pepper
For the Garnish Ingredients
- 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
- 1/4 cup cacao beans, or "nibs", crumbled
- 1 edible flowers, (optional)
- Cook the rice according to package instructions in a saucepan. Add only a pinch of salt to cooking water (less than you would if you were cooking a savory dish). Add the cinnamon sticks and orange peel to the rice and cook together.
- When the rice is done, turn the burner temp to low and add all of the remaining ingredients to the saucepan except the pistachios and cacao, and stir together. Note: golden raisins or dried apricots could also be added here, or as a replacement for the dates. Cook for 10 minutes, allowing flavors to come together and texture to thicken, stirring occasionally (ensuring that the rice does not stick to the pan).
- Transfer to a medium size bowl and refrigerate until cool (4 hours).
- Stir to reincorporate any separation and serve in small bowls, garnished with the pistachios, cacao, and flowers (optional).
Going brown is an easy choice that you can apply to any meal or snack, including rice. With its hull and bran still intact, brown rice carries more magnesium, fiber, and nutrients such as calcium than its naked white rice counterpart. Plus, the fiber actually aids in digestion of those nutrients, getting them where they need to go— a double bang for minimal bucks!
Cacao beans can be a real eye opener for the already-converted chocolate lover. The base ingredient of chocolate is rich, toasty, earthy and bitter in the best way, like a great cup of coffee (in fact, they are delicious ground with coffee). Investing in a small bag of cacao beans or “nibs” will last you a good, long while, and you can sprinkle them on everything from yogurt to roast beef. Once you really fall in love, you will be eating them by the whole pod and will likely be shocked at how satisfying they are and how easily they stave off sugar cravings. Cacao plus brown rice in this dish really ups the magnesium quotient, and they are also high in antioxidants, which we are all trying to stock up on.
Aside from being a beautiful chartreuse garnish for your rice pudding (that color is from antioxidants!), pistachios ratchet up the magnesium content even further in this dish. They also bring along vitamin B6, a smattering of protein, and even more fiber.
The Good Decisions you can make just by switching to brown rice and garnishing your dish with healthy toppings, not only make this Indian Brown Rice Pudding ‘not so bad’ for you, but actually provide a rich source of magnesium, antioxidants and fiber! So go ahead and have dessert!