A wonderful dairy-free dessert

>> Sunday, March 15, 2009

Each of my kids had major food intolerances when they were babies, and my husband and I adopted strict dairy, wheat, and egg-free diets (with a few other things thrown in here and there) to accommodate them. It was tough at first and eating out was difficult (though not impossible!), but after a while we found that we could still eat very well even with such a limited diet.

One of our favorite tricks was to substitute light coconut milk for regular milk in desserts. It doesn't work in every recipe, but in puddings and other creamy desserts the coconut milk gives a nice, subtle coconut undertone. You don't have to be dairy free to try this trick!

Last night I made one of our favorite recipes from our days of food intolerances (all outgrown, I'm happy to say), and I thought I would pass it along to you - Indian Rice Pudding. It's incredibly easy and very tasty. The original recipe called for 5 cups of 2% milk, but I still like to make it with coconut milk (and a little more than 5 cups for extra creaminess).

Indian Rice Pudding

2/3 cup uncooked, white basmati rice
3 cans lite coconut milk (a little less than 6 cups)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
6 TBSP raisins (optional)

Rinse rice and drain well. Combine rice and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 30 min or until rice is tender and creamy, stirring frequently. Stir in sugar, cardamom and raisins.

Some notes about the recipe...

  • It will seem like a lot of rice for the amount of liquid, but basmati rice expands a lot while cooking, and you want the end product to be creamy and liquidy.
  • Be sure to use white basmati rice for this recipe! Brown basmati rice won't release enough starch - though I've read that you can beat the rice up in a blender before cooking to help it release more starch.
  • The rice will continue to soak up the liquid after cooking is complete, so the pudding will be much thicker the next day (and even an hour later), but still good!
  • The original recipe calls for sprinkling raisins on just before serving, but I like to add all of the raisins in while the pudding is still hot. The raisins soak up some of the liquid and are just fabulous that way.
  • Last, this is great served with fresh fruit. We also like to serve it with sauteed apples or bananas.


laura March 16, 2009 at 9:49 AM  

What a great idea. My husband does not like coconut but does not mind coconut flavor, so this would be perfect for us.

Mom and Kiddo March 16, 2009 at 10:46 AM  

I love Indian Rice Pudding. I'll have to try this.

My Year Without March 16, 2009 at 12:13 PM  

That looks so good. I like that it's creamy. Of course I will be substituting honey for the sugar, but I'm sure it will be just as sweet and delicious.

It seems like I am always looking for that perfect dessert. This looks like it could satisfy my cookie dough AND ice cream cravings...

Lori March 16, 2009 at 12:20 PM  

I've grown to love rice puddings. I never really had them until moving to Brazil. They love their sweet rice. I'm, of course, experimenting with coconut milk a lot lately too. I never knew it had so many uses. I still need to do my research on its health benefits.

Sagan March 16, 2009 at 7:31 PM  

Rice pudding has always kinda freaked me out because it just seemed like a weird dish. But I think I'm ready to give it a shot! Also if I'm going to be living in Cambodia for a month I had better get used to eating it... hehe. Thanks for the recipe!

Nobel4Lit March 17, 2009 at 8:35 AM  

Hi... I stumbled upon your blog while looking for info on high maltose corn syrup, which I saw was in my Nature Valley bar this morning. I'll be keeping up with your blog.

Elizabeth Jarrard March 17, 2009 at 9:01 AM  

oh that looks so good!!! i've been craving rice pudding lately-i might try this recipe with stevia!!

generic viagra March 3, 2011 at 6:05 AM  

That looks so good. I like that it's creamy. Of course I will be substituting honey for the sugar, but I'm sure it will be just as sweet and delicious.

Katia Craig March 24, 2011 at 8:52 PM  

Thanks for the recipe! I was looking for a dairy-free dessert just now 'cause my kids has the same problems as yours. I also had a hard time adapting too, since my first 2 kids were born completely 'normal'. I also need one of these desserts because I don't want to risk staining my new dental implants by eating too cold or too creamy desserts. Thank Goodness Sarasota has a lot of markets that sells these ingredients.

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