Tuesday, the S.O. went under for a root canal. So after a couple of days of nothing but soup, mashed potatoes, and milkshakes, his palate was bored. I thought I’d cheer him up with a treat that had more exotic flavor, yet was still easy on his choppers.
I put together this sumptuous South Asian-inspired pudding, plump with coconut, and hypnotically seasoned with saffron. This recipe is a combination of components from a coconut pudding found in Copeland Marks’ The Exotic Kitchens of Indonesia, and a conventional rice pudding recipe. My favorite feature of this recipe is its unusually refreshing and cooling mouthfeel, introduced by the coconut water.
Saffron and Coconut Water Rice Pudding
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cup jasmine rice (when uncooked)
- 3 C whole milk
- pinch of saffron threads
- 2 C coconut water
- 1/2 C sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 3/4 C shredded coconut
1. Prepare rice, either in rice cooker or on stovetop [my rice cooker formula is 1 C rice to 1 C water].
2. In a separate pot, combine milk, saffron, coconut water, and 1/4 C sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble around the edges, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Add remaining 1/4 C sugar, and whisk until fluffy and pale yellow, about 20 seconds. Add cornstarch, and whisk another 30 seconds or until smooth.
4. Temper the egg mixture by slowly adding 1/2 C of the warmed milk mixture, stirring continuously.
5. Add the tempered egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture. Cook over medium heat until thickened [should coat a wooden spoon], about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Add cooked rice and coconut [I like the frozen finely-shredded coconut from the Indian markets] to the pudding. Stir until well-incorporated, and keep over medium heat until the pudding bubbles (large, “ploppy” bubbles). Pour into serving dishes; serve either warm or cold.